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A new study has revealed exactly why working a night shift drives up your risk of obesity, stroke and heart disease.
Researchers say working a job when most are sleeping disrupts the chemical processes in our body's metabolism, which follow 24-hour rhythms, and shift our internal clocks.
Studies - Master - Clock - Brain - Light
Previous studies suggested that the master clock in the brain, which uses light cues to tell to our body whether it's day or night, was disrupted by working an irregular shift.
However, this study, conducted by Washington State University and the University of Surrey, is the first to show that several clocks in the body rather than just one are thrown out of sync, which causes the disruption.
Mechanism - Risk - Night - Shift - Work
It is also the first to propose what the mechanism is that drives up the risk between night shift work and chronic kidney disease.
First author Dr Debra Skene, a professor of neuroendocrinology at the University of Surrey, told Daily Mail Online that the clocks responsible for this disruption are peripheral clocks, found in various body tissues including the liver, pancreas and digestive tract .
Peripheral - Clocks - Behavior - Shift - Pattern
'These separate peripheral clocks are responding to the behavior of your shift pattern and aligning with that behavior,' she said.
'The clocks are being driven by changes in your eating and sleeping patterns and causing a mismatch between the clocks in your body and the master clock.'
Study - Researchers - Participants - Day - Shift
For the study, the researchers had 14 participants - seven of whom did a three-day simulated day shift and seven doing the three-day simulated night shift.
The team took blood samples from both at the end of the three days and analyzed the samples for metabolites, which are the immediate result of metabolic reactions involved in breaking down and digesting food and others processes in the metabolism.
Metabolites - Rhythm
These metabolites are influenced by our daily (circadian) rhythm,...
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