A Simple Blood Test May Soon Help You Understand When Your Internal Body Clock Needs You To Eat, Sleep Or Work

By on October 25, 2018

Timing is everything or so they say in life, right? Well, your internal body clock (circadian rhythm), controls a whole lot of functions in your body, like when you feel sleepy to when you feel hungry to when you feel the most productive in the day.

The fact that it plays such a vital role in your life makes your internal body clock a critical part of your health and well-being.

In fact, if it is disturbed for prolonged periods of time it can lead to diseases such as diabetes, heart issues and mental ailments.
That’s why understanding how one’s internal body clock works can help people customize medications and a health and lifestyle one needs to follow. The predictions made using these learnings can help identify and track the risk of diseases.

The problem is that the current methods available are time to consume, not comprehensive, expensive and inaccessible to most people at this point. For most people even understanding the relevance of their internal body clock is a struggle, let alone trying to get it evaluated.

Fortunately, a simple blood test may now be able to measure a person’s internal body clock, according to a recent study.
A team of researchers at Northwestern University said Monday they have designed a blood test that can measure a person’s inner body clock within 1.5 hours, an advance that may help personalize medical treatments in the future.

Three US geneticists won the Nobel Prize for Medicine last year for discovering the molecules that drive the process. And a study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a peer-reviewed US journal.

The study revealed that the scientists were able to identify if a person’s body clock was off by up to two hours.
The algorithm developed by the scientist was able to reveal patterns in the people they studied. “What the algorithm told us, is that there were a small set of about 40 markers that could predict the time of day with great accuracy,” said Braun.

This biological clock regulates “all sorts of biological processes, when you feel sleepy, when you feel hungry, when your immune system is active, when your blood pressure is high, when your body temp changes,” said lead author Rosemary Braun, assistant professor of biostatistics at Northwestern University.

When the clock is not regulated properly, research has shown a link to diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart problems and diabetes.

Importantly, the scientists only need to take two blood draws to have enough information to decipher a person’s body clock.
It opens a “whole range of possibilities in terms of investigating how precisely the circadian clock is related to all sorts of health outcomes,” she said.

The ‘circadian rhythm’ governs all cells in the body and is a burgeoning field of research. There is more research needed, however before the study can be made widely available.

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