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Just 3 night shifts can raise your risk of diabetes, obesity: Study

Just three-night shifts may be enough to raise your risk of several diseases like diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic disorders, finds a study.

Researchers from Washington State University, the US revealed that night shifts can cause the body’s protein rhythms related to blood glucose regulation to go haywire. It also hampers energy metabolism and inflammation — influencing the development of chronic metabolic conditions.

In the study published in the Journal of Proteome Research, the team explained about a “master biological clock in the brain,” which makes the body follow rhythms by day and night.

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When this gets “dysregulated,” it leads to stress that causes long-term health consequences, said Hans Van Dongen, Professor. Additionally, Van Dongen notes that just three-night shifts are enough to disrupt the rhythm and raise the health risks, which suggests that early intervention to prevent diabetes and obesity is possible.

Using blood samples the team identified proteins present in blood-based immune system cells, some of which had rhythms closely tied to the master biological clock and showed no change in response to the night shifts.

However, most other proteins showed change. Analysing proteins involved in glucose regulation, the team found a nearly complete reversal of glucose rhythms in night-shift participants.

Further, they found that processes involved in insulin production and sensitivity were found to be out of sync in night-shift workers. In addition to this, previous studies have shown evidence that shift work has an additive negative effect on blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke — elevated in night shift workers.

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