Sumary of Body clock off-schedule? Prebiotics may help:
- But a new University of Colorado Boulder study funded by the U.S. Navy suggests simple dietary compounds known as prebiotics, which serve as food for beneficial gut bacteria, could play an important role in helping us bounce back faster.
- “This work suggests that by promoting and stabilizing the good bacteria in the gut and the metabolites they release, we may be able to make our bodies more resilient to circadian disruption,” said senior author Monika Fleshner, a professor of integrative physiology.
- The animal study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, is the latest to suggest that prebiotics — not to be confused with probiotics found in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut — can influence not only the gut, but also the brain and behavior.
- The authors’ previous studies showed that rats raised on prebiotic-infused chow slept better and were more resilient to some of the physical effects of acute stress.
- For the new study, part of a multi-university project funded by the Office of Naval Research, the researchers sought to learn if prebiotics could also promote resilience to body-clock disruptions from things like jet lag, irregular work schedules or lack of natural daytime light — a reality many military personnel live with.
- ” How a healthy gut may prevent jet lag The researchers raised rats either on regular food or chow enriched with two prebiotics: galactooligosaccharides and polydextrose.
- They then manipulated the rats’ light-dark cycle weekly for eight weeks — the equivalent of traveling to a time zone 12 hours ahead every week for two months.
- Rats that ate prebiotics more quickly realigned their sleep-wake cycles and core body temperature (which can also be thrown off when internal clocks are off) and resisted the alterations in gut flora that often come with stress.