A new research shows that an interrupted circadian rhythm in addition to a high-fat and sugar diet might cause inflammation.
Chronic inflammation can lead to various health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. The study found that people who work night shifts like doctors, nurses and fire-fighters have increased risk of developing certain diseases.
"Circadian rhythm, which imposes a 24-hour cycle on our bodies, is different from sleep pattern," said Robin M. Voigt, PhD., assistant professor at the Rush Medical College and first author of the study." "Sleep is a consequence of circadian rhythms," Voigt said in a news release.
According to researchers, changes in bacteria type living in the intestines are associated with inflammation.
For the study, the researchers conducted experiments on male mice models. Researchers altered mice's exposure to light- dark on a weekly basis. Researchers said that changes in light-dark patterns lead to disruption of circadian rhythm. These mice were made to follow different types of diets with some getting more high-fat food than others.
The study findings showed that the microbes in the guts of the mice were different from germs in the control group. But, this shift in microbiome was seen only when they were fed high-fat diets.
Mice on high-sugar and fat diet also had bacteria that are linked to chronic inflammation.
Researchers suggest that people working in fields that disrupt the circadian rhythm to be more careful about their health. Healthy diet, keeping a strict sleep-wake cycle and maintaining gut health might help people stay away from the condition.
"Looking forward, we would like to functionally evaluate how circadian rhythm disruption may influence diseases including colon cancer, which may in part be the consequence of altered intestinal microbiota," Voigt concluded.
The study is published in the journal 'PLOS One'.