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Friday, January 11, 2013

Link Between Illness And Timing For Meals, Sleep

Researchers have found evidence that the disruption of circadian rhythms may be connected to weight gain, diabetes and even some types of cancer. (Chrissy Wainwright/Flickr)

Researchers have found evidence that the disruption of circadian rhythms may be connected to weight gain, diabetes and even some types of cancer. (Chrissy Wainwright/Flickr)

Is there a best time to eat? A recent study fed two groups of mice the same high-calorie food. The mice who ate only when they were active stayed much leaner and had lower cholesterol than the mice who ate around the clock.

What about exercise? Our lungs are nearly 18 percent more efficient at 5 p.m. than they are at noon. Joints are 20 percent more flexible in the evening, and muscle strength peaks in the late afternoon.

Must of us know that our bodies have daily rhythms. Now researchers in the fast-growing field of chronobiology are studying how those circadian rhythms work at the cellular and molecular levels, and finding evidence that the disruption of those rhythms may be connected to weight gain, diabetes and even some types of cancer.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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