How your body clock affects how you age

April 7, 2009


We all have an internal body clock, or circadian rhythm that dictates whether we are an owl or a lark and governs many of our normal functions such as body temperature, brain activity, hormone production and metabolism. These things are well known and we can study our own rhythms to help us balance our lives better so we don’t study at a time when our body is not at its mental best, or try to sleep when it is naturally ready to go out and party.

Now it also appears to affect how we age, at least according to new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who have discovered that our inner biological clock actually communicates directly with the processes that govern aging and metabolism.

As we age, our circadian rhythm declines and the researchers believe that this could be a contributing factor to age-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes and is linked to a gene called SIRT1 which at the center of a network that regulates aging, coordinates metabolic reactions throughout the body and manages the body’s response to nutrition. This biochemical mechanism can directly drive the oscillation of the body’s daily clock and is potentially a way to correct metabolic disorders and improve health as people age.


Article by  


What do you think of this health article by ? Join the discussion...