Saturated fats 'cause body clock disruptions'

7 April 2016

Scientists have identified a negative impact on internal body clocks caused by saturated fats, which helps to explain why these kinds of fats are bad for health.

The Texas A&M University research indicated that consumption of saturated fats - specifically a fatty acid called palmitate - at certain times can cause a jet lag effect to circadian clocks, putting the person at increased risk of metabolic disorders.

By disrupting the local timing of important cellular processes necessary for normal functioning, these fats prevent inflammatory responses from being kept in check, potentially increasing the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis.

The study also indicated that healthier types of fat, such as omega 3 fatty acids, could be used in conjunction with anti-inflammatory treatments to prevent the local time changes in body clocks caused by saturated fats.

Dr David Earnest, professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine's department of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics, said: "Our findings suggest that we may be able to control the inflammatory response locally in specific tissues, maximising the inflammation with timed palmitate treatment to help the body respond to infection or injury."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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