Los científicos han descubierto por qué comer tarde en la noche conduce a la diabetes y al aumento de peso

Una nueva investigación muestra por primera vez que la liberación de energía puede ser el mecanismo molecular por el cual nuestros relojes internos controlan el equilibrio energético. Estos hallazgos tienen amplias implicaciones, desde la dieta hasta la falta de sueño y más.

Los beneficios para la salud provienen de comer durante el día, lo que muestra un posible vínculo con la liberación de energía.

Los científicos de Northwestern Medicine han descubierto que el mecanismo detrás de comer tarde en la noche está relacionado con la diabetes y el aumento de peso. Según los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades, 37,3 millones de estadounidenses tienen diabetes, lo que representa el 11,3 % de la población estadounidense. Otros 96 millones de estadounidenses mayores de 18 años tienen prediabetes, lo que representa el 38,0 % de la población adulta de EE. UU. La obesidad es una enfermedad común, peligrosa y costosa, con una prevalencia de obesidad en los Estados Unidos del 41,9 %, según los CDC.

La relación entre la hora de comer, el sueño y la obesidad es bien conocida pero no bien entendida, ya que las investigaciones han demostrado que la sobrealimentación puede alterar el tejido adiposo y alterar los ritmos circadianos.

Por primera vez, una nueva investigación en la Universidad Northwestern ha demostrado que la liberación de energía puede ser el mecanismo molecular a través del cual nuestros relojes internos controlan el equilibrio energético. A partir de este entendimiento, el investigador también encontró que el día es el momento ideal en el entorno fotovoltaico de la rotación de la Tierra cuando la disipación de energía en forma de calor es óptima. Estos hallazgos tienen amplias implicaciones, desde la dieta hasta la pérdida de sueño, así como la forma en que alimentamos a los pacientes que necesitan asistencia nutricional a largo plazo.

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El artículo de investigación, «La nutrición restringida en el tiempo atenúa la obesidad a través de la termogénesis de los adipocitos», se publicó el 20 de octubre en la revista. Ciencias.

El autor correspondiente del estudio, el Dr. Joseph T. Bass, Charles F. Medicina Kettering en la Universidad Charles F..[{» attribute=»»>Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He also is a Northwestern Medicine endocrinologist.

“When animals consume Western-style cafeteria diets — high fat, high carb — the clock gets scrambled,” Bass said. “The clock is sensitive to the time people eat, especially in fat tissue, and that sensitivity is thrown off by high-fat diets. We still don’t understand why that is, but what we do know is that as animals become obese, they start to eat more when they should be asleep. This research shows why that matters.”

Bass is also director of the Center for Diabetes and Metabolism and the chief of endocrinology in the department of medicine at Feinberg. Chelsea Hepler, a postdoctoral fellow in the Bass Lab, was the first author and did many of the biochemistry and genetics experiments that grounded the team’s hypothesis. Rana Gupta, now at Duke University, was also a key collaborator.

Scrambling the internal clock

In the study, mice, who are nocturnal, were fed a high-fat diet either exclusively during their inactive (light) period or during their active (dark) period. Within a week, mice fed during light hours gained more weight compared to those fed in the dark. To mitigate the effects of temperature on their findings, the scientists set the temperature to 30 degrees, where mice expend the least energy.

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“We thought maybe there’s a component of energy balance where mice are expending more energy eating at specific times,” Hepler said. “That’s why they can eat the same amount of food at different times of the day and be healthier when they eat during active periods versus when they should be sleeping.”

The increase in energy expenditure led the team to look into metabolism of fat tissue to see if the same effect occurred within the endocrine organ. They found that it did, and mice with genetically enhanced thermogenesis — or heat release through fat cells — prevented weight gain and improved health.

Hepler also identified futile creatine cycling, in which creatine (a molecule that helps maintain energy) undergoes storage and release of chemical energy, within fat tissues, implying creatine may be the mechanism underlying heat release.

Findings could inform chronic care

The science is underpinned by research done by Bass and colleagues at Northwestern more than 20 years ago that found a relationship between the internal molecular clock and body weight, obesity, and metabolism in animals.

The challenge for Bass’s lab, which focuses on using genetic approaches to study physiology, has been figuring out what it all means, and finding the control mechanisms that produce the relationship. This study brings them a step closer.

The findings could inform chronic care, Bass said, especially in cases where patients have gastric feeding tubes. Patients are commonly fed at night while they sleep, when they’re releasing the least amount of energy. Rates of diabetes and obesity tend to be high for these patients, and Bass thinks this could explain why. He also wonders how the research could impact Type II Diabetes treatment. Should meal times be considered when insulin is given, for example?

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Hepler will continue to research creatine metabolism. “We need to figure out how, mechanistically, the circadian clock controls creatine metabolism so that we can figure out how to boost it,” she said. “Clocks are doing a lot to metabolic health at the level of fat tissue, and we don’t know how much yet.”

Reference: “Time-restricted feeding mitigates obesity through adipocyte thermogenesis” by Chelsea Hepler, Benjamin J. Weidemann, Nathan J. Waldeck, Biliana Marcheva, Jonathan Cedernaes, Anneke K. Thorne, Yumiko Kobayashi, Rino Nozawa, Marsha V. Newman, Peng Gao, Mengle Shao, Kathryn M. Ramsey, Rana K. Gupta and Joseph Bass, 20 October 2022, Science.
DOI: 10.1126/science.abl8007

Research support was provided by the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (grants R01DK127800, R01DK113011, R01DK090625, F32DK122675, F30DK116481, F31DK130589, K99DK124682, R01DK104789 and R01DK119163), the National Institute on Aging (grants R01AG065988 and P01AG011412) and the American Heart Association Career Development Award (19CDA34670007).

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