Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stomach 'clock' tells us how much to eat

Date:
December 4, 2013
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
Researchers have discovered the first evidence that the nerves in the stomach act as a circadian clock, limiting food intake to specific times of the day.

"What we've found is that the nerves in the gut are at their least sensitive at time periods associated with being awake. This means more food can be consumed before we feel full at times of high activity, when more energy is required," researchers state.
Credit: cook_inspire / Fotolia

University of Adelaide researchers have discovered the first evidence that the nerves in the stomach act as a circadian clock, limiting food intake to specific times of the day.

The discovery, published today in The Journal of Neuroscience, could lead to new information about how the gut signals to our brains about when we're full, and when to keep eating.

In the University's Nerve-Gut Research Laboratory, Dr Stephen Kentish investigated how the nerves in the stomach respond to stretch, which occurs as a consequence of food intake, at three-hourly intervals across one day.

"These nerves are responsible for letting the brain know how much food we have eaten and when to stop eating," says Dr Kentish, who is the lead author of the paper.

"What we've found is that the nerves in the gut are at their least sensitive at time periods associated with being awake. This means more food can be consumed before we feel full at times of high activity, when more energy is required.

"However, with a change in the day-night cycle to a period associated with sleeping, the nerves in the stomach become more sensitive to stretch, signaling fullness to the brain quicker and thus limiting food intake. This variation repeats every 24 hours in a circadian manner, with the nerves acting as a clock to coordinate food intake with energy requirements," he says.

So far this discovery has been made in laboratory studies, not in humans.

"Our theory is that the same variations in nerve responses exist in human stomachs, with the gut nerves being less sensitive to fullness during the day and more sensitive at night," Dr Kentish says.

Study leader Associate Professor Amanda Page says this research could lead to further discoveries about how changes in people's circadian clocks affect their eating habits.

"We know that shift workers, for example, are more prone to disruptions in sleep and eating behavior, leading to obesity and other health problems. We are now conducting further research to see what kind of impact such changes to the circadian rhythm will have on eating behavior, and how the nerves in the stomach react to those changes," Associate Professor Page says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephen J. Kentish, Claudine L. Frisby, David J. Kennaway, Gary A. Wittert, And Amanda J. Page. Circadian Variation in Gastric Vagal Afferent Mechanosensitivity. The Journal of Neuroscience, December 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Stomach 'clock' tells us how much to eat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204181240.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2013, December 4). Stomach 'clock' tells us how much to eat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204181240.htm
University of Adelaide. "Stomach 'clock' tells us how much to eat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204181240.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins