What is it : Circadian Gut Rest

Body clock health and circadian rhythm or sleep disorder and life longevity or lifespan medicine concept as a 3D illustration.

Body clock health and circadian rhythm or sleep disorder and life longevity or lifespan medicine concept as a 3D illustration.

To understand Circadian Gut Rest (CGR), it is important to understand Circadian Rhythm (CR), which is the invisible biological clock inside our body governed by factors such as hormones, moods, anxieties, metabolic changes, sleep pattern, the type of food we eat and in what how much quantity.

Every organ works on CR. But CR governs the gut the best.

While the heart needs to beat continuously, the gut (the entire length of the digestive system from mouth to anus and the digestive juice secreting organs like liver and pancreas that help in digestion) needs to rest when you sleep in the night. This is the time when you do not feel hunger for eight hours because the circadian gut rests.

Just think: During the day you get hunger pangs within three to four hours of eating breakfast. “This happens because your metabolic rate is high and is controlled by the CR,” says Dr PL Alagammai, Consultant Gastroenterology, Meenakshi Mission Hospital, Madurai. But when the CR tells you not to eat in the night because the gut needs a break, you still do because you are up and working and feel that munching on something will help you to remain awake and energetic. “Actually you are abusing your gut leading to indigestion,” she says.

Hormonal CR circadian can be controlled with pills: for instance, if you wish to regulate delay your menstrual cycle. But not the CGR. “You need to give it rest and that is why working in the nights affects your body because you deny the break it requires,” says Dr Alagammai. “What is tuned to happen naturally should not be interfered with. Or else it can lead to discomfort and ailments.”

This is why nutritionists advise a daily, timely and early breakfast. “After the circadian gut goes into rest for eight hours in the night, if you delay breaking the fast, the CR gets affected and creates an acidic environment, because the digestive system alters, to make adjustments. Medicos do not commonly use the word CGR, but advise patients to be on time for healthy upkeep of every organ. Synchronise the rhythms of your gut microbiome (the collection of and environment formed by all the microorganisms in the GI tract) with other circadian rhythms such as sleep/wake cycles and food intake patterns,” says the doctor.

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Printable version | May 14, 2022 6:22:58 pm |