Circadian Rhythms and Metabolism

Updated: Jun 1

New research published in the journal Scientific Reports, suggests that circadian rhythms impacts the body's fat metabolism functions. Scientists at the University of Surrey, UK conducted the first ever analysis of circadian rhythms in human fat. The hypothesis of the study was that the misalignment of ‘human clocks’ with each other and the environment is believed to be a major contributor to obesity and poor health.

Lead author Dr Jonathan Johnston, Reader in Chronobiology and Integrative Physiology, at the University of Surrey, said: “Tissues made up of fat cells don’t just store excess energy, they are active metabolic tissues, full of their own rhythms. This is the first time that we have been able to identify such rhythms in human fat. This provides us with more information about how human metabolism changes across the day and possibly why the body processes foods differently during day and night.”


Similarly, researches at the Uppsala University, Sweden found that as little as one night of sleep loss has a tissue-specific impact on the regulation of gene expression and metabolism in humans. And correspondingly as reported in the Journal Biology, researchers found that "The rhythm in energy expenditure and macronutrient metabolism may contribute to greater weight gain in shift workers and others with irregular schedules."


Science is unlocking the secrets of how humans are impacted by the natural rhythm of our days and what happens when these rhythms are disrupted. For more information on how lighting impacts the circadian cycle check out my previous post Circadian Stimulation.