The human circadian oscillator — or "body clock" — is linked intrinsically to insulin, new scientific research has found. If you're suffering from jet lag, it's therefore possible to reset your body clock by eating a large, insulin-releasing meal before going to bed. Sounds good to us!
Researchers from Yamaguchi University in Japan studied mice cell culture exposed to insulin, a pancreatic hormone that is secreted in response to feeding. They discovered insulin caused changed that could effectively "reset" an organism's body clock through dietary manipulation.
“Insulin-mediated phase adjustment of the clock in feeding-relevant tissues may enable the synchronization between mealtime and tissue function, leading to effective digestion and absorption,” head researcher Dr. Makoto Akashi said in a statement. “In short, insulin may help the stomach clock synchronize with mealtime."
According to Akashi, this could prove particularly effective for people suffering from jet lag:
For jet lag, dinner should be enriched with ingredients promoting insulin secretion, which might lead to a phase advance of the circadian clock, whereas breakfast would be the opposite.
Naturally, this type of dietary manipulation is not recommended for individuals with insulin resistance, such as sufferers of type 2 diabetes. The report also cautions that there may be side effects related to the circadian clock when treating patients with insulin.
For everyone else, foods containing sugars, white flour, refined grains and starch will help to increase insulin production. Krispy Kremes are my new bedtime snack.