TIME Diet/Nutrition

Your Food Influences Your Body’s Internal Clock

The hormone insulin may play a role in regulating circadian rhythms

It’s well established that light plays a role in the body’s circadian rhythms, but in new study, Japanese researchers look at how food is also a factor in how your body regulates itself.

In their study published in the journal Cell Reports, the researchers looked at mice, and using cell cultures, they concluded that insulin, which is a hormone released during feeding, may synchronize the stomach clock at mealtime.

Though the study is preliminary, it sheds light on how food regulates our bodies, and the researchers say it’s possible that diet could be manipulated to re-set the body’s internal clock. “For example, for jet lag, dinner should be enriched with ingredients promoting insulin secretion, which might…advance of the circadian clock,” said Dr. Makoto Akashi, of Yamaguchi University, in Japan in a statement.

It’s too early to know what you should eat when, exactly, in order to switch your internal clock. Stay tuned for more research.

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