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Lack of sleep causes molecular changes in the body
- April 13, 2020
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
It has long been proven that lack of sleep seriously affects the mental and physical health of a person – however, what other spectra of influence can it have on a person? Specialists from Uppsala University asked this question and today presented the results of their new experiment aimed at finding out what molecular changes in the human body occur due to insufficient sleep patterns. Looking ahead, it is worth noting that the results not only additionally confirmed most of the previously expressed assumptions, but also pointed to a conceptually new cellular process directly related to the work of DNA.
Similar studies previously demonstrated that lack of sleep can lead to an increased risk of early mortality, type 2 diabetes and psychosis. However, Swedish scientists decided to focus on finding out how lack of sleep affects a person’s weight. Initially, they conducted a comparative study of two groups of people, one of which received a normal eight-hour sleep for two weeks, and the second about five hours. They found that the second group was noticeably harder to control their weight, unlike the first group.
Trying to figure out what exactly is the reason for this, experts found that in the layers of subcutaneous fat there is a rather large and rapid accumulation of DNA methylation. DNA methylation is an epigenetic process that regulates the activation / deactivation of certain hormones – if this process fails, the redistribution and destruction of excess fat cells becomes difficult, if not impossible, which has become the main reason for the inability to control your weight in the control group.
In order to prove the validity of this fact, specialists needed to analyze tissue DNA from 15 participants of the project – both from the first and second control groups. They found that in the tissues taken, an increased DNA methylation process was indeed observed. In addition, such a systematic state of cells can lead to the formation and development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and some other diseases.