You have most probably heard of circadian rhythm and its crucial role in our physical wellness and mental wellbeing. If you don’t follow and nourish your body’s circadian rhythm, you’ll end up with an increased risk for health problems, including overweight, heart problems and cancer. The most vulnerable group here are the night shift workers.

A recent small experimental study had a closer look at how disruption of the circadian rhythm is related to cancer at the gene level. The study found out that night shifts disrupt the natural 24-hour cycle of cancer-related genes and dysregulate the DNA repair. This leads to greater vulnerability to both internal (e.g. oxidative stress) and external sources (e.g. exposure to viruses and radiation) of DNA damage and increases the likelihood of cancer.

Scientists noted that their findings need to be replicated in a larger group of people who have been constantly working day or night shifts for many years. This will help determine if they have accumulated DNA damage over time.

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Tatsiana Haponava, PhD

a certified nutrition coach, educator and researcher with a PhD degree

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