Obesity and metabolic syndrome: Association with chronodisruption, sleep deprivation, and melatonin suppression

Russel J. Reiter, Dun Xian Tan, Ahmet Korkmaz, Shuran Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

111 Scopus citations

Abstract

Obesity has become an epidemic in industrialized and developing countries. In 30 years, unless serious changes are made, a majority of adults and many children will be classified as overweight or obese. Whereas fatness alone endangers physiological performance of even simple tasks, the associated co-morbidity of obesity including metabolic syndrome in all its manifestations is a far more critical problem. If the current trend continues as predicted, health care systems may be incapable of handling the myriad of obesity-related diseases. The financial costs, including those due to medical procedures, absenteeism from work, and reduced economic productivity, will jeopardize the financial well-being of industries. The current review summarizes the potential contributions of three processes that may be contributing to humans becoming progressively more overweight: circadian or chronodisruption, sleep deficiency, and melatonin suppression. Based on the information provided in this survey, life-style factors (independent of the availability of abundant calorie-rich foods) may aggravate weight gain. Both epidemiological and experimental data support associations between disrupted physiological rhythms, a reduction in adequate sleep, and light-at-night-induced suppression of an essential endogenously produced molecule, melatonin. The implication is that if these problems were corrected with life-style changes, body-weight could possibly be more easily controlled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)564-577
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Medicine
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

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Keywords

  • Brown adipose tissue
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Light:dark cycle
  • Melatonin
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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