Author(s): Stenvers DJ, Jonkers CF, Fliers E, Bisschop PH, Kalsbeek A
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Abstract Life on earth has evolved under the daily rhythm of light and dark. Consequently, most creatures experience a daily rhythm in food availability. In this review, we first introduce the mammalian circadian timing system, consisting of a central clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and peripheral clocks in various metabolic tissues including liver, pancreas, and intestine. We describe how peripheral clocks are synchronized by the SCN and metabolic signals. Second, we review the influence of the circadian timing system on food intake behavior, activity of the gastrointestinal system, and several aspects of glucose and lipid metabolism. Third, the circadian control of digestion and metabolism may have important implications for several aspects of food intake in humans. Therefore, we review the human literature on health aspects of meal timing, meal frequency, and breakfast consumption, and we describe the potential implications of the clock system for the timing of enteral tube feeding and parenteral nutrition. Finally, we explore the connection between type 2 diabetes and the circadian timing system. Although the past decade has provided exciting knowledge about the reciprocal relation between biological clocks and feeding/energy metabolism, future research is necessary to further elucidate this fascinating relationship in order to improve human health. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Prog Brain Res
and referenced in Journal of Nutritional Disorders & Therapy