To maintain a healthy heart, you not only have to eat right food but also have to eat at the right time. Research also suggests that genes that regulate the body's circadian rhythm are also an integral part of this process. Biologist at San Diego State University (SDSU), Girish Melkani, was optimistic that the results could possibly translate into cardiac- and obesity-related health benefits for humans.
During their study, researchers at SDSU and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, limited the time span during which fruit flies could eat. By doing so, they were able to prevent aging-and diet-related heart problems in the flies. Researchers also found that genes responsible for the body's circadian rhythm are integral to this process. But, they were unable to explain how. Previous research also suggests that people who tend to eat later in the day and into the night have a higher chance of developing heart disease than people who cut off their food consumption earlier.
The researchers sequenced the RNA of the flies at various points in the experiment to understand which of their genes had changed as a result of time-restricted feeding. They identified three genetic pathways that appear to be involved in the process- the TCP-1 ring complex chaperonin, which helps proteins fold; mitochondrial electron transport chain complexes (mETC); and a suite of genes responsible for the body's circadian rhythm.
The study appears in Science.