Surprise! Your circadian clock has alarms set to turn on a group of rhythmic stress-related genes as you grow older. A new study from Oregon State University (conducted with fruit flies, but applicable to human bodies) discovered a collection of genes that are part of a previously unknown stress-response mechanism. This set of genes is a subset of the genes involved in the regulation of daily circadian rhythms, or the “biological clock.” The genes in this newly identified subset appear to “become active and respond to some of the stresses most common in aging, such as cellular and molecular damage, oxidative stress, or even some disease states,”
“These genes may help to combat serious stresses associated with age, disease or environmental challenges, and help explain why aging is often accelerated when the biological clock is disrupted.”
Routine disruptions of circadian rhythms and sleep patterns have been found to lead to shorter lifespans and increased susceptibility to cancer.
Here is an excellent extended article on the research:
Here is another good article:
The published study is available here:
All these links have been added in Aging.