The stomach has a clock of its own, limiting the need to eat food to certain times in a day, a new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience says.
Researchers at University of Adelaide reveal that they have discovered the first evidence that the nerves in the stomach act as a circadian clock through which the stomach sends signals to the brain about when to eat food.
"What we've found is that the nerves in the gut are at their least sensitive at time periods associated with being awake. This means more food can be consumed before we feel full at times of high activity, when more energy is required. However, with a change in the day-night cycle to a period associated with sleeping, the nerves in the stomach become more sensitive to stretch, signaling fullness to the brain quicker and thus limiting food intake. This variation repeats every 24 hours in a circadian manner, with the nerves acting as a clock to coordinate food intake with energy requirements", lead researcher Dr Stephen Kentish said.