Special Issue "Nutrition at the Interface of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms: Implications for Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutritional Epidemiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Egeria Scoditti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Research Council –Institute of Clinical Physiology, Lecce Section, Laboratory of Vascular Biology and Nutrigenomics, Ecotekne Campus, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: nutrition; signaling pathways; chronic disease; genomics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Sergio Garbarino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

An integral part of homeostasis includes daily rhythms in physiology, behavior, and metabolism. The circadian timing system enables organisms to adapt their biological functions, such as eating/fasting, sleep/alertness, as well as immune function and endocrine signaling, to the cyclic nature of the environment on Earth, mostly the daylight cycle. Intimately intertwined with the circadian clock, sleep is a physiological function fundamental for survival that, far from being a passive condition, plays a crucial role in physical, mental, and emotional health. Alterations of sleep quality and quantity, especially sleep deprivation, caused by modern society’s lifestyle and behavior as well as by sleep disorders have been associated with deregulation of the neuro-immune-endocrine functions and with an increased risk for diseases including cardiovascular, metabolic (obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes), infectious, cognitive, neurodegenerative, and cancerous diseases. Similarly, chronic misalignment of an organism’s endogenous rhythms can lead to metabolic dysfunction and increases the risk for multiple diseases that involve circadian components including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart diseases, neurodegeneration, and cancer in their pathology.

Research is starting to demonstrate the complex interrelationship between nutrition, sleep, and the circadian system, where nutritional pattern, nutrient composition and metabolism, and food timing affect sleep pattern and/or circadian clock components and vice versa. For example, some foods and nutrients may impact the availability of substances that influence sleep, promoting or altering it. On the other hand, inadequate sleep and especially short sleep duration is associated with unhealthy nutrients intake and altered metabolism. Many metabolic rhythms and amplitude of clock gene expression rhythms in clocks outside of the master pacemaker exhibit progressive dampening with age, contributing to the increased risk of metabolic diseases in older adults. A reciprocal influence between nutrition and the circadian system has also been invoked: nutrients can act as drivers of circadian rhythms, and have the ability to target the circadian clock components and to modulate the circadian regulation and, eventually, misalignment of biological functions in specific tissues and across tissues.

Many gaps in knowledge still exist in the interplay of nutrition with sleep and the circadian system as they modulate human health, and more research is needed to expand the field and further understand the impact of nutrients and nutrition patterns on sleep and circadian clock system and vice versa, the underlying molecular pathways, the differential effect in physiologic and pathophysiologic conditions (based on chronotype and across our lifespan), as well as the influence of genetic or epigenetic variations. With this step forward in integrative physiology, novel opportunities are disclosed for developing tailored nutritional recommendations with beneficial effects on sleep and circadian rhythmicity so as to increase healthy lifespan and prevent or treat chronic diseases.

Dr. Egeria Scoditti
Dr. Sergio Garbarino
Guest Editors

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Keywords

nutrition; sleep; circadian system; chronic disease

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Breakfast Consumption Suppresses Appetite but Does Not Increase Daily Energy Intake or Physical Activity Energy Expenditure When Compared with Breakfast Omission in Adolescent Girls Who Habitually Skip Breakfast: A 7-Day Randomised Crossover Trial
Nutrients 2021, 13(12), 4261; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13124261 - 26 Nov 2021
Viewed by 342
Abstract
With concerns that adolescent girls often skip breakfast, this study compared the effects of breakfast consumption versus breakfast omission on free-living physical activity (PA) energy expenditure (PAEE) and dietary intakes among adolescent girls classified as habitual breakfast skippers. The participants went through two [...] Read more.
With concerns that adolescent girls often skip breakfast, this study compared the effects of breakfast consumption versus breakfast omission on free-living physical activity (PA) energy expenditure (PAEE) and dietary intakes among adolescent girls classified as habitual breakfast skippers. The participants went through two 7-day conditions in a trial with a crossover design: daily standardised breakfast consumption (energy content: 25% of resting metabolic rate) before 09:00 (BC) and daily breakfast omission (no energy-providing nutrients consumed) until 10:30 (BO). Free-living PAEE, dietary intakes, and perceived appetite, tiredness, and energy levels were assessed. Analyses were linear mixed models. Breakfast manipulation did not affect PAEE or PA duration. Daily fibre intake was higher (p = 0.005; d = 1.31), daily protein intake tended to be higher (p = 0.092; d = 0.54), post-10:30 carbohydrate intake tended to be lower (p = 0.096; d = 0.41), and pre-10:30 hunger and fullness were lower and higher, respectively (p ≤ 0.065; d = 0.33–1.01), in BC versus BO. No other between-condition differences were found. Breakfast-skipping adolescent girls do not compensate for an imbalance in energy intake caused by breakfast consumption versus omission through subsequent changes in PAEE but may increase their carbohydrate intakes later in the day to partially compensate for breakfast omission. Furthermore, breakfast can make substantial contributions to daily fibre intake among adolescent girls. Full article
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Article
No Significant Effect of the Individual Chronotype on the Result of Moderate Calorie Restriction for Obesity—A Pilot Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 4089; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13114089 - 15 Nov 2021
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Background: Chronotype is the pattern of the circadian rhythm that allows an individual to optimize times of sleep and activity. It has been observed that chronotypes may associate with some conditions and diseases, including obesity. It is not known, however, whether chronotypes determine [...] Read more.
Background: Chronotype is the pattern of the circadian rhythm that allows an individual to optimize times of sleep and activity. It has been observed that chronotypes may associate with some conditions and diseases, including obesity. It is not known, however, whether chronotypes determine the effectiveness of weight loss regimens. Therefore, in the present study, we compared the outcomes of a 3-week moderate calorie restriction undertaken by individuals with obesity under the same controlled hospital conditions. Methods: A total of 131 participants with obesity (median BMI 40.0) were studied. The subjects underwent the same dietary intervention over 3 weeks, with a 30% reduction in daily caloric intake. The individual chronotypes were assessed by the morning and evening questionnaire (MEQ) according to Horne and Östberg. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were assessed by routine methods. Results: Of all patients examined, 75% had the morning (lark) chronotype and 25% had the evening (owl) chronotype. These patient sub-groups did not differ in terms of demographic, anthropometric and biochemical characteristics at baseline. After 3 weeks of calorie restriction, both groups experienced a similar loss of weight and BMI (Body Mass Index) (3.4 ± 0.38% for larks vs. 4.1 ± 0.47% for owls, p = 0.45), with owls exhibiting a marginally greater loss of body fat (3.1 ± 0.79%) compared with larks (2.6 ± 0.64%), p = 0.02. On the other hand, the larks had a more discernable, but not statistically significant from owls, decrease in glycated haemoglobin and CRP (C Reactive Protein). Conclusions: The chronotype of individuals with obesity does not have a significant effect on the magnitude of the body weight loss, but there is a tendency observed towards the reduction in body fat content in owls through changing their meal and sleep timing to earlier hours, in response to moderate calorie restriction applied under the same controlled conditions. Full article
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Article
Eucaloric Balanced Diet Improved Objective Sleep in Adolescents with Obesity
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3550; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13103550 - 10 Oct 2021
Viewed by 770
Abstract
Background: A better understanding of the influence of energy balance on sleep in adolescents, particularly those with obesity, could help develop strategies to optimize sleep in these populations. The purpose of this study was to investigate sleep under ad libitum-vs-controlled diets adjusted to [...] Read more.
Background: A better understanding of the influence of energy balance on sleep in adolescents, particularly those with obesity, could help develop strategies to optimize sleep in these populations. The purpose of this study was to investigate sleep under ad libitum-vs-controlled diets adjusted to energy requirement (eucaloric) among adolescents with obesity and their normal weight controls. Methods: Twenty-eight male adolescents aged between 12 and 15 years, n = 14 adolescents with obesity (OB: BMI ≥ 90th centile) and n = 14 normal weight age matched controls (NW), completed an experimental protocol comprising ad libitum or eucaloric meals for three days, in random order. During the third night of each condition, they underwent in home polysomnography (PSG). Results: An interaction effect of energy intake (EI) was detected (p < 0.001). EI was higher during ad libitum compared to the eucaloric condition (p < 0.001) and in OB compared to NW (p < 0.001) in the absence of any substantial modification to macronutrient proportions. Analyses of energy intake distribution throughout the day showed a significant interaction with both a condition and group effect during lunch and dinner. Sleep improvements were noted in OB group during the eucaloric condition compared to ad libitum with reduced sleep onset latency and N1 stage. Sleep improvements were correlated to reduced EI, especially during the evening meal. Conclusion: Simply adjusting dietary intake to energy requirement and reducing the energy proportion of the evening meal could have therapeutic effects on sleep in adolescents with obesity. However, positive energy balance alone cannot justify worsened sleep among adolescents with obesity compared to normal weight counterparts. Full article
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Article
A Higher Intake of Energy at Dinner Is Associated with Incident Metabolic Syndrome: A Prospective Cohort Study in Older Adults
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3035; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13093035 - 30 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1021
Abstract
A higher energy intake (EI) at night has been associated with a higher risk of obesity, while a higher EI at lunch may protect against weight gain. This study examined the association between EI throughout the day and incident metabolic syndrome (MetS) among [...] Read more.
A higher energy intake (EI) at night has been associated with a higher risk of obesity, while a higher EI at lunch may protect against weight gain. This study examined the association between EI throughout the day and incident metabolic syndrome (MetS) among older adults. A cohort of 607 individuals aged ≥ 60 free from MetS at baseline was followed from 2008–2010 until 2015. At baseline, habitual EI was assessed on six eating occasions: breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and snacking. MetS was defined according to the harmonized definition. Statistical analyses were performed with logistic regression and adjusted for the main confounders, including total EI, diet quality, and physical activity/sedentary behavior. During follow-up, 101 new MetS cases occurred. Compared to the lowest sex-specific quartile of EI at dinner, the OR (95% confidence interval) for incident MetS were: 1.71 (0.85–3.46) in the second, 1.70 (0.81–3.54) in the third, and 2.57 (1.14–5.79) in the fourth quartile (p-trend: 0.034). Elevated waist circumference and triglycerides were the MetS components that most contributed to this association. A higher EI at dinner was associated with a higher risk of MetS in older adults. Reducing EI at dinner might be a simple strategy to prevent MetS. Full article
Article
Diet-Related Phototoxic Reactions in Psoriatic Patients Undergoing Phototherapy: Results from a Multicenter Prospective Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 2934; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13092934 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 686
Abstract
Vegans and vegetarians often consume foods containing photosensitizers capable of triggering phytophotodermatitis. The potential effect of vegan and vegetarian diets on the response of psoriatic patients undergoing phototherapy is not well characterized. We assessed clinical outcomes of vegan, vegetarian and omnivore adult psoriatic [...] Read more.
Vegans and vegetarians often consume foods containing photosensitizers capable of triggering phytophotodermatitis. The potential effect of vegan and vegetarian diets on the response of psoriatic patients undergoing phototherapy is not well characterized. We assessed clinical outcomes of vegan, vegetarian and omnivore adult psoriatic patients undergoing band ultraviolet B phototherapy (NB-UVB). In this multicenter prospective observational study, we enrolled 119 adult, psoriatic patients, of whom 40 were omnivores, 41 were vegetarians and 38 were vegans, with phototherapy indication. After determining the minimum erythemal dose (MED), we performed NB-UVB sessions for 8 weeks. The first irradiation dosage was 70.00% of the MED, then increased by 20.00% (no erythema) or by 10.00% (presence of erythema) until a maximum single dose of 3 J/cm2 was reached and constantly maintained. All the enrolled patients completed the 8 weeks of therapy. Severe erythema was present in 16 (42.11%) vegans, 7 (17.07%) vegetarians and 4 (10.00%) omnivores (p < 0.01). MED was lowest among vegans (21.18 ± 4.85 J/m2), followed by vegetarians (28.90 ± 6.66 J/m2) and omnivores (33.63 ± 4.53 J/m2, p < 0.01). Patients with severe erythema were more likely to have a high furocumarin intake (OR 5.67, 95% CI 3.74–8.61, p < 0.01). Vegans consumed the highest amount of furocumarin-rich foods. A model examining erythema, adjusted for gender, age, skin type, MED, phototherapy type, number of phototherapies and furocumarin intake, confirmed that vegans had a lower number of treatments. Vegans had more frequent severe erythema from NB-UVB, even after adjustment of the phototherapy protocol for their lower MED. Assessing diet information and adapting the protocol for vegan patients may be prudent. Full article
Article
Efficacy of a Multi-Component m-Health Diet, Physical Activity, and Sleep Intervention on Dietary Intake in Adults with Overweight and Obesity: A Randomised Controlled Trial
Nutrients 2021, 13(7), 2468; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13072468 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1093
Abstract
This three-arm randomised controlled trial evaluated whether (1) a multi-component weight loss intervention targeting diet, physical activity (PA), and sleep was effective at improving dietary intake over six months and 12 months, compared with a control, and (2) the enhanced diet, PA, and [...] Read more.
This three-arm randomised controlled trial evaluated whether (1) a multi-component weight loss intervention targeting diet, physical activity (PA), and sleep was effective at improving dietary intake over six months and 12 months, compared with a control, and (2) the enhanced diet, PA, and sleep intervention was more effective at improving dietary intake than the traditional diet and PA intervention. A total of 116 adults (70% female, 44.5 years, BMI 31.7 kg/m2) were randomised to either traditional diet and PA intervention; enhanced diet, PA, and sleep intervention; or wait-list control. To examine between-group differences, intervention groups were pooled and compared with the control. Then, the two intervention groups were compared. At six months, the pooled intervention group consumed 1011 fewer kilojoules/day (95% CI −1922, −101), less sodium (−313.2 mg/day; 95% CI −591.3, −35.0), and higher %EI from fruit (+2.1%EI; 95% CI 0.1, 4.1) than the controls. There were no differences in intake between the enhanced and traditional groups at six months. At 12 months, the pooled intervention and control groups reported no significant differences. However, compared to the traditional group, the enhanced reported higher %EI from nutrient-dense foods (+7.4%EI; 95% CI 1.3, 13.5) and protein (+2.4%EI; 95% CI 0.1, 4.6), and reduced %EI from fried/takeaway foods (−3.6%EI; 95% CI −6.5, −0.7), baked sweet products (−2.0%EI; 95% CI −3.6, −0.4), and packaged snacks (−1.1%EI; 95% CI −2.2, −0.3). This weight loss intervention reduced total energy and sodium intakes as well as increased fruit intake in adults at six months. The enhanced intervention group reported improved dietary intake relative to the traditional group at 12 months. Full article
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