Lack of sleep affects fat metabolism, can be severely harmful for system

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WASHINGTON: Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in one’s life but work week keeps us all a bit short on sleep, which can be severely harmful, says a study.

In the Journal of Lipid Research, researchers at Pennsylvania State University reported that just a few days of sleep deprivation can make participants feel less full after eating and metabolise the fat in food differently.

Sleep disruption has been known to be having harmful effects on metabolism for some time. Orfeu Buxton, a professor at Penn State and one of the senior authors of the new study, contributed to a lot of the research demonstrating that long-term sleep restriction puts people at a higher risk of obesity and diabetes.

However, Buxton said, most of those studies have focused on glucose metabolism, which is important for diabetes, while relatively few have assessed digestion of lipids from food.

Kelly Ness, now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington, ran the study when she was a graduate student in Buxton’s lab. After participants spent a week getting plenty of sleep at home, she said, the 15 healthy men in their 20s checked into the sleep lab for the ten-night study.

For five of those nights, the participants spent no more than five hours in bed each night. To find out how the uncomfortable schedule affected metabolism, the researchers gave participants a standardised high-fat dinner, a bowl of chilli mac, after four nights of sleep restriction.

“It was very palatable — none of our subjects had trouble finishing it — but very calorically dense,” Ness said. Most participants felt less satisfied after eating the same rich meal while sleep-deprived than when they had eaten it well-rested.

Then researchers compared blood samples from the study participants. They found that sleep restriction affected the postprandial lipid response, leading to faster clearance of lipids from the blood after a meal.

This study was highly controlled, which makes it an imperfect model for the real world, Ness said. It focused on healthy young people, who are usually at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and all of the participants were men.

The researchers also wondered whether giving more recovery time would change the magnitude of recovery they observed. Nonetheless, according to Buxton, the study gives worthwhile insight into how we handle fat digestion.

WASHINGTON: Avocados can help change the eating habits of people suffering from obesity, claim researchers. It helps in increasing meal satisfaction in obese adults, amongst other benefits. The findings suggest that simple dietary changes can have an important impact in managing hunger and aiding metabolism.

As part of the study published in the Journal of Nutrients, the team of researchers assessed the underlying physiological effects of including whole and half fresh Hass avocados on hunger, fullness, and how satisfied subjects felt over a six-hour period.

Researchers evaluated these effects in 31 overweight and obese adults in a randomised three-arm crossover clinical trial. These dietary changes were also shown to limit insulin and blood glucose excursions, further reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease by adding healthy fats and fibres into a regular daily diet.

“For years, fats have been targeted as the main cause of obesity, and now carbohydrates have come under scrutiny for their role in appetite regulation and weight control,” said Britt Burton-Freeman, lead researcher of the study.

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to optimal meal composition for managing appetite. However, understanding the relationship between food chemistry and its physiological effects in different populations can reveal opportunities for addressing appetite control and reducing rates of obesity, putting us a step closer to personalised dietary recommendations,” Burton-Freeman added.

The research found that meals including avocado not only resulted in a significant reduction in hunger and an increase in how satisfied participants felt, but also found that an intestinal hormone called PYY was an important messenger of the physiological response. (ANI)