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Could Staying Up Too Late Be the Cause of Your High Triglycerides?

When the circadian rhythm gets thrown off, it could come with an unexpected side effect: high triglycerides.

New research on mice whose internal "clocks" don't function has helped scientists understand the normal rise and fall in triglycerides, which happens at about the same time each day. According to a report in Science Daily, triglycerides in normal mice double or triple over the course of a day, reaching their lowest point at night, when they eat and are most active.

But triglycerides in clock-mutant mice don't change, and stay high all the time. When researchers delved into the mechanism linking the mutant animals' internal clocks to triglycerides, they discovered that a core component of their circadian circuitry controls a plasma protein that carries triglycerides through the blood.

The findings, when applied to humans, could suggest that activities that disrupt the circadian rhythm, such as staying up until 2 a.m. or travel overseas, might come with real consequences for lipid metabolism.

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