Are you a frequent flyer? If yes, then you ought to know that as per a recent study, repeated jet lag can increase the chances of obesity-related liver disease and the risk of liver cancer.
The study, performed a team of Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, said that when one travels through different time zones or works in night shifts, the central circadian clock in the brain gets chronically disrupted.
The researchers studied the effect of this when they changed the number of time the lights went on and off during night, each week on a normal mice. While it was fed with a regular healthy diet, the mice slowly gained weight and developed fatty liver disease, which progressed to chronic inflammation and led to liver cancer in some cases.
Moreover, the mice also lost control of its liver metabolism. There was an increase in the production of bile acids (acids that are produced by the liver to help digest food) which is linked to liver cancer.
Lead author David Moore, Professor at Baylor College of Medicine while talking about the study said that liver cancer is on a rise worldwide, and in human studies it is also observed that patients can progress from fatty liver disease to liver cancer without any middle steps such as cirrhosis (i.e. chronic liver damage from a variety of causes leading to scarring and failure).
While the study was not performed exclusively on human beings, the evidence that sleep disruption causes an increase in bile acid and risks of liver-related diseases and liver cancer in some cases.
(Feature image source: Reuters)