Jet lag is something that a lot of people experience. While it currently doesn’t have a reliable cure, a recent research might just change that. According to a team of scientists, the cure for jet lag happens to be a reduction in oxygen.
The current study was done on mice and the results came out as quite encouraging. The report was published in the journal Cell Metabolism. The research claimed that if animals were made to breathe approximately one-quarter less oxygen than the normal amount then that could help them make their bodies become comfortable with the six-hour time difference a lot faster. Oxygen is an essential requirement of all living beings. The cells in our bodies require oxygen in order to produce the energy they need to perform their specific actions.
The current research was conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Bristol (England) and the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel). The team was able to discover that oxygen could be used to affect the circadian system present in oxygen consuming living beings. The circadian system is what helps to synchronize cells with the internal body clock. An individual’s body clock runs at a pace dependent on the person’s time of waking up and performing other activities throughout the day, etc.
Our body temperatures normally drop a bit when we go to sleep. It ends up rising back again when we wake up. The researchers were able to find that the regulation of temperatures and eating food are actually products of our consumption of oxygen. A study was developed, using mice, in order to determine the importance of the circadian system being regulated.
The oxygen levels in the mice were monitored by the team of experts. Once all of the tests were conducted, the results showed researchers that mice consumed more oxygen when placed in the dark. This made sense as mice are considered to be nocturnal animals. During the day, the mice were observed to consume less oxygen. This was also the time these animals rested.
Mice cells were also cultured by the team of researchers in order to test the genes that were triggered when they were exposed to oxygen. The oxygen levels were kept consistently at 8%, for 24 hours, in some dishes that contained mice cells. In some of the other dishes the level of oxygen was kept at 8% for more than twenty-four hours. The results showed researchers that all of the cells that were exposed to different levels of oxygen were able to gain a new circadian rhythm.
The results of jet lag were also observed by the scientists during the same time, however, in a different study. The phenomenon of jet lag was mimicked in mice. The results revealed that before starting a total of 21% of oxygen was being breathed by all of the mice. But after a 12-hour change in their circadian system, all of the mice started to consume only 16% of oxygen. The team of researchers concluded that the mice were able to adapt to the jet leg through the consumption of less oxygen.
More research is required in order to apply these results to humans. People who have irregular schedules are at risk of experiencing fatigue and other health problems such as diabetes, obesity and workplace injuries. However, the current results might help in providing some sort of treatment for such individuals that have messed up circadian rhythms.