Frank A.J.L. Scheer, PhD, Director of Medical Chronobiology Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, explains the role of the circadian system and its impact on health and disease.
The biological clock is composed of a central clock in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus, as well as virtually all the cells in our body that contain the same molecular machinery that can generate 24-hour rhythms. Circadian rhythms are produced by the biological clock.
Dr. Scheer explains how the circadian system regulates many physiological functions, including pulmonary or lung function, blood clotting and blood glucose control. The role of the circadian system may explain why asthma symptoms worsen at night, the frequency of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke increase in the morning, and shift workers are at an increased risk for obesity and diabetes. Dr. Scheer also describes research studying the role of meal timing on weight loss and glucose control.
Learn more: https://sleep.med.harvard.edu/research/labs/54
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