Disruption of the gut microbes due to jet lag can lead to obesity, observes a new study.
The study showed that gut microbes in human and mice are controlled by a biological clock which ultimately leads to obesity and metabolic problems.
Senior study author Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science, said that these findings provided an explanation for a long-standing and mysterious observation, namely that people with chronically disturbed day-night cycles due to repetitive jet lag or shift work had a tendency to develop obesity and other metabolic complications.
Authors analyzed the microbes found in fecal samples collected from mice and humans at different times of day and they discovered that rhythmic fluctuations in the abundance of microbes and their biological activities. The host's circadian clock and normal feeding habits were required for the generation of these rhythmic fluctuations in the gut microbes.
According to the study when mice were exposed to changing light-dark schedules and abnormal 24 hr feeding habits, the microbial community lost its rhythmic fluctuations and changed in composition.
Moreover, a high-fat diet caused these jet-lagged mice to gain weight and develop metabolic problems associated with diabetes.
The study is published in journal Cell Press.