Saturday , October 16 2021

Taking medications at defined times, vital for controlling diseases

The particular moment in which we feed, sleep or take medication is essential for the body to increase its effectiveness and function properly; even better results can be obtained to, for example, control sugar levels, according to a UNAM study.

The researcher of the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology (IIBm), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Lorena Aguilar Arnal, explained that this methodology is known as chronotherapy.

It is used in the design of treatments to improve metabolism efficiency, control sleep rhythms or mitigate the adverse effects of certain diseases.

According to the study, led by Aguilar Arnal, pharmacological intervention at specific times (chronotherapy) is more effective in controlling serum glucose levels than sustained intervention throughout the day.

"These results are preliminary and the method has only been tested in mice so it is necessary to continue the studies in order to design a strategy in the future that will help people with obesity and diabetes," he said.

By applying chronotherapy to obese mice, they were able to recover from diet-induced obesity, where the most obvious effect was the elimination of cellular inflammation.

In a statement released by UNAM, the biologist pointed out that for some time, research on the circadian cycle – which regulates the activities that the body performs during the day or night and responds mainly to the cycles of light and darkness – have shown that its can lead to serious health problems.

Derived from this knowledge, his laboratory observations show that the time taken to ingestion of a drug or food supplement influences the response obtained.

Aguilar Arnal recalled that the World Health Organization believes that changing the circadian cycle is a health problem, and it is documented that there are more cases of cancer among people working at night or performing activities outside of normal hours.

In addition, due to low sun exposure at certain times of the year, Nordic populations suffer from high rates of depression, although they have a good quality of life.

"Lack of exposure alters circadian rhythms, in these cases, phototherapy at certain times may be advisable," he concluded.

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