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The circadian rhythm-microbiome-metabolism connection

Galaxy Brain

Are you aware of the interdependence between the circadian rhythm and the microbiome?

To coincide with World Sleep Day, we’re putting the spotlight on a recent study highlighting the importance of sleep for a healthy gut and metabolism. 

This first review paper, published in the Journal of Gastro Hep Advances (2020), discusses the associations of the circadian clock (sleep-wake cycle) and the gut microbiome in relation to metabolic disorders.  

 Key take aways include: 

  • The gut microbiome plays a key role in metabolic processes such as digestion, inflammatory modulation, and bile acid metabolism 
  • Disruption of the balance of the gut microbiome can cause sleep disruption and vice-versa, which can promote metabolic dysfunction 

This can be a risk factor for the development of some long- term health conditions.  

The authors concluded: “Considering the impact of gut dysbiosis or circadian dyssynchrony on health, interest in therapeutic targets for these systems is growing. Examples of these interventions include time-restricted feeding, dietary modification, light exposure therapy, prebiotics, probiotics, and faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT).” 

Manipulating the gut microbiome could help modulate circadian rhythms and metabolic health 

This second review paper published in the journal Microorganisms (2019) reviewed the link between the gut microbiota and factors affecting the circadian-metabolic axis.  

Key highlights include: 

  • Light-dark cycles, sleep-wake cycles, diet, and eating patterns affect the circadian rhythm and metabolism 
  • Gut bacteria have their own daily rhythm when it comes to functions, composition, and location in the intestines 
  • Lifestyle factors including altered sleep and eating patterns can disturb the circadian rhythm as well as the gut microbiome 
  • This can increase the risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome  

The authors concluded: “Manipulating the gut microbiome might be a promising strategy to restore the host’s circadian rhythm and metabolic homeostasis.”

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