It has long been known that jet lag can cause issues such as fatigue and insomnia, now though scientists have discovered that it may also be causing you to gain weight.
What were the results of the study?
A team of scientists have discovered that those who travel long distances and pass through changing time zones may find that their circadian rhythm (otherwise known as your biological clock) is disrupted.
This can disrupt the normal rhythm of your gut bacteria, reducing the rate that you are able to digest food.
Obviously if you are unable to digest your food properly you will find that you may experience weight gain.
What did the study involve?
The study that has been published in the journal Cell, looked at how affecting the circadian rhythm of mice affected their weight.
The results showed the mice ate more erratically and gained weight, while also developing metabolic problems you would normally associate with those who are diabetic.
Eran Elinav, from the Israel-based Weizmann Institute of Science, who carried out the study had this to say about the findings:
“We were very surprised to see that gut microbes have this diurnal variation, both in composition and function.”
“The point here is our gut microbes live completely in the dark, yet feature this striking circadian behaviour.”
“How do they feel something that they are not exposed to.”
“These findings provide an explanation for a long-standing and mysterious observation, namely that people with chronically disturbed day-night cycles due to repetitive jet lag or shift work have a tendency to develop obesity and other metabolic complications.”
With these results in mind, perhaps if you take a lot of long haul flights and have noticed recent weight gain perhaps this is the reason.