Read the latest news from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Center for Diabetes and Metabolism. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about our faculty’s latest achievements, awards, and honors.
If you’ve long struggled with your weight – or just recently put on some unexplained poundage – you’ve probably wondered about the health of your thyroid. After all, while more than 12 percent of Americans develop a thyroid condition in their lifetime, up to 60 percent of those sufferers are undiagnosed, according to the American Thyroid Association. And since the thyroid gland is in charge of producing T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), two hormones that, among other things, are in charge of setting your basal metabolic rate – the number of calories you burn every day just to stay alive – thyroid issues can easily trigger significant weight loss or, more commonly, weight gain, explains Dr. Peter A. Kopp, an endocrinologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
The time of day you hit the gym could have an impact on the quality of your workout, according to researchpublished in the October 2016 issue of Cell Metabolism.Researchers discovered circadian clocks in the muscle tissue that regulate how well it adapts to changes in the environment and activities throughout a 24-hour period. “Our sleep/wake cycle is programmed by our internal biological clock,” says lead researcher Joe Bass, MD, PhD, the chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Molecular Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. “There is a similar clock in the muscle tissue.”
Not So Sweet: Getting smart about sugar
Most of us are guilty of indulging in sugary foods and beverages over the holiday season. But with the new year, now is the time to get on track with your sugar intake. Knowing where to spot sugar is the first step. “The first thing that everybody needs to figure out is where the sugar is in their diet,” says Lisa Neff, MD, an endocrinologist at the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Some sources of sugar are more obvious (think cookies, cake and ice cream), but others are well hidden.
The time of day determines a muscle's energy efficiency and metabolic response.
Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered circadian clocks in muscle tissue that control the muscle's metabolic response and energy efficiency depending on the time of day. The finding in mice sheds light on the time-of-day differences in muscle's ability to adapt to exercise and use oxygen for energy. Muscle cells are more efficient during an organism's normal waking hours, the study found. All cells in the body, including those in muscle, contain a clock that regulates how cells adapt to changes in the environment and activity across the 24-hour day. "Oxygen and the internal clock are doing a dance together inside muscle cells to produce energy, and the time of day determines how well that dance is synchronized," said senior author Dr. Joseph Bass. "The capacity for a cell to perform its most important functions, to contract, will vary according to the time of day. More research is needed before the finding can be translated into workout advice.