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[News] Lipoic Acid Helps Sync Circadian Rhythms
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Lipoic Acid Helps Sync Circadian Rhythms
Lipoic Acid Helps Sync Circadian Rhythms

Researchers have discovered a possible explanation for the surprisingly large range of biological effects that are linked to a micronutrient called lipoic acid: It appears to reset and synchronize circadian rhythms.

The ability of lipoic acid to help restore a more normal circadian rhythm to aging animals could explain its apparent value in so many important biological functions, ranging from stress resistance to cardiac function, hormonal balance, muscle performance, glucose metabolism, and the aging process.

The findings were made by biochemists from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (OSU), and published in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, through the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Lipoic acid has been the focus in recent years of increasing research by scientists around the world, who continue to find previously unknown effects of this micronutrient. As an antioxidant and compound essential for aerobic metabolism, it’s found at higher levels in organ meats and leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.

“This could be a breakthrough in our understanding of why lipoic acid is so important and how it functions,” says Tory Hagen, the Helen P. Rumbel Professor for Healthy Aging Research in the Linus Pauling Institute, and a professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the OSU College of Science, in a release.

“Circadian rhythms are day-night cycles that affect the daily ebb and flow of critical biological processes,” Hagen says. “The more we improve our understanding of them, the more we find them involved in so many aspects of life.”

Almost one-third of all genes are influenced by circadian rhythms, and when out of balance, they can play roles in cancer, heart disease, inflammation, hormonal imbalance, and many other areas, the OSU researchers say.

Of particular importance is the dysfunction of circadian rhythms with age.

“In old animals, including elderly humans, it’s well-known that circadian rhythms break down and certain enzymes don’t function as efficiently, or as well as they should,” says Dove Keith, a research associate in the Linus Pauling Institute and lead author on this study.

“This is very important, and probably deserves a great deal more study than it is getting,” Keith says. “If lipoic acid offers a way to help synchronize and restore circadian rhythms, it could be quite significant.”

In this case, the scientists studied the “circadian clock” of the liver. Lipid metabolism by the liver is relevant to normal energy use, metabolism, and, when dysfunctional, can help contribute to the “metabolic syndrome” that puts millions of people at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Researchers fed laboratory animals higher levels of lipoic acid than might be attained in a normal diet, while monitoring proteins known to be affected by disruption of the circadian clock in older animals.

They found that lipoic acid helped remediate some of the liver dysfunction that’s often common in old age, and significantly improved the function of their circadian rhythms.

In previous research, scientists found that the amount of lipoic acid that could aid liver and normal lipid function was the equivalent of about 600 milligrams daily for a 150-pound human, more than could normally be obtained through the diet.

A primary goal of research in the Linus Pauling Institute and the OSU Center for Healthy Aging Research is to promote what scientists call “healthspan”–not just the ability to live a long life, but to have comparatively good health and normal activities during almost all of one’s life. Research on lipoic acid, at OSU and elsewhere, suggests it has value toward that goal.

Continued research will explore this process and its role in circadian function, whether it can be sustained, and optimal intake levels that might be needed to improve health.


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The above post may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The material available is intended to advance the understanding of Sleep Apnea treatment and to advance the educational level of Sleep Apnea patients with regard to their health. Sometimes included is the full text of articles and documents rather than a simple link because outside links frequently "go bad" or change over time. This constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this post is distributed without fee or payment of any kind for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this post for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
07-22-2014 12:16 AM
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Post: #2
RE: Lipoic Acid Helps Sync Circadian Rhythms
... and a related article:

Insulin May Be Involved in Resetting Circadian Clock

Food not only nourishes the body but also affects its internal biological clock, which regulates the daily rhythm of many aspects of human behavior and biology. Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports provide new insights into how adjusting the clock through dietary manipulation may help patients with various conditions and show that insulin may be involved in resetting the clock.

The circadian clock plays an important role in preferred sleep times, times of peak alertness, and the timing of certain physiological processes. The clock enables maximum expression of genes at appropriate times of the day, allowing organisms to adapt to the earth’s rotation. “Chronic desynchronization between physiological and environmental rhythms not only decreases physiological performance but also carries a significant risk of diverse disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, sleep disorders, and cancer,” says Dr Makoto Akashi, of Yamaguchi University in Japan, in a release.

The circadian clock involves two major pathways. The first, which responds to light, has been well characterized. The second, which responds to food, is less understood. Through experiments in cells and mice, Akashi and his colleagues found, using cell culture, that insulin, a pancreatic hormone that is secreted in response to feeding, may be involved in resetting the circadian clock. “Insulin-mediated phase adjustment of the clock in feeding-relevant tissues may enable the synchronization between mealtime and tissue function, leading to effective digestion and absorption,” he says. “In short, insulin may help the stomach clock synchronize with mealtime.”

The researchers’ findings provide valuable information on how to adjust the circadian clock through dietary manipulation. “For example, for jet lag, dinner should be enriched with ingredients promoting insulin secretion, which might lead to a phase advance of the circadian clock, whereas breakfast would be the opposite,” says Akashi. The findings also suggest that clock adjustments through feeding might not work well in individuals with insulin resistance, a characteristic of patients with type 2 diabetes. Also, there may be side effects related to the circadian clock when treating patients with insulin.



Fair Use from:
http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/2014/07/in...ian-clock/

The above post may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The material available is intended to advance the understanding of Sleep Apnea treatment and to advance the educational level of Sleep Apnea patients with regard to their health. Sometimes included is the full text of articles and documents rather than a simple link because outside links frequently "go bad" or change over time. This constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this post is distributed without fee or payment of any kind for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this post for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
07-22-2014 12:24 AM
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