A brand new examine in contrast individuals who ate the identical meals – however at completely different instances of the day. (Superstar, Shutterstock)
Estimated studying time: 4-5 minutes
ATLANTA — We all know that late-night eating is not good for our waistlines, however why? A brand new examine weighed this query by evaluating individuals who ate the identical meal, however at completely different instances of the day.
“When all the pieces is stored constant, does it matter what time we eat?” mentioned first writer Nina Vujovic, a researcher within the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
The reply was sure. According to a examine printed Tuesday within the journal Cell Metabolism, eating within the night doubles the chance of feeling hungry.
“We discovered that eating 4 hours later had a big impact on our starvation ranges, post-meal calorie burn, and fats storage,” Vujovic mentioned. “Together, these modifications clarify why late eating is related to weight problems threat reported by different research and supply new organic insights into the underlying mechanisms.”
The analysis helps the idea that the circadian rhythm, which impacts key physiological capabilities similar to physique temperature and coronary heart price, impacts how our our bodies take up gas, the researchers mentioned.
The examine mentioned that eating later “will increase starvation, impacts hormones and in addition modifications gene expression, significantly affecting fats metabolism with an inclination towards much less fats breakdown and extra fats loss.” Bhanu Prakash Kolla is a professor of psychiatry and psychology on the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and a guide and dependancy therapy specialist on the Mayo Center for Sleep Medicine.
While earlier research have linked later eating to weight acquire, this examine didn’t measure weight reduction and can’t present a causal relationship, mentioned Colla, who was not concerned within the examine. In addition, research have proven that skipping breakfast is related to weight problems.
“So might these outcomes be the results of skipping breakfast as a substitute of eating late? That must be taken under consideration for this examine,” Colla mentioned.
The examine was small — solely 16 folks had been chubby or overweight — however was fastidiously designed to rule out different potential causes of weight acquire, the authors mentioned.
“Although there have been different research investigating why eating late is related to weight problems threat, it could be finest managed by strict management of meal dimension, composition and timing, bodily exercise, sleep, room temperature and publicity to mild,” mentioned senior writer Frank Scheer. , director of the medical chronobiology program in Brigham’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders.
All contributors had been in good well being, had no historical past of diabetes or shift work, had circadian rhythm publicity, and had common bodily exercise. Each participant within the examine maintained a strict sleep/wake schedule for 3 weeks and was supplied with meals ready at mounted instances for 3 days previous to the beginning of the laboratory experiment.
The contributors had been then divided into two teams. One group ate high-calorie meals at 8 a.m., midday, and 4 p.m., whereas the opposite ate the identical meal 4 hours later, at midday, 4 p.m., and eight p.m., for the six days reported within the examine. Hunger and urge for food measurements had been collected 18 instances every, and checks for physique fats, temperature, and power expenditure had been collected on three separate days.
After a break of a number of weeks, the identical contributors reversed the process—the early eaters switched to the late-eater group and vice versa, utilizing every individual as an impartial management.
More starvation, much less fats burning
The outcomes confirmed that starvation doubled for many who ate at night time. They reported cravings for starchy and salty meals, meat and, to a lesser extent, dairy merchandise and greens all through the day.
By trying on the outcomes of the blood take a look at, the researchers had been in a position to see why: ranges of the hormone leptin, which tells us after we are full, had been diminished within the early eaters in comparison with the late eaters. In comparability, ranges of the hormone ghrelin, which will increase our urge for food, elevated.
“Our outcomes present that late eating results in a rise within the ghrelin-to-leptin ratio averaged over the 24-hour sleep/wake cycle,” Shear mentioned. In reality, a examine discovered that the ratio of ghrelin to leptin elevated by 34% when the meal was eaten within the night.
“These modifications in appetite-regulating hormones correlate nicely with elevated starvation and urge for food with late meals,” Shear mentioned.
Participants burned energy at a slower price all through the day than earlier than. The examine discovered modifications in genes that have an effect on how fats is burned or saved when analyzing their physique fats.
“These modifications in gene expression promote adipose tissue development with the formation of extra fats cells, in addition to elevated fats storage,” Shear mentioned.
It is just not recognized whether these results persist over time, or in folks at the moment taking medicines for power ache, who had been excluded from this examine. Further analysis is required, the authors say.
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