Today in PLOS, researchers have discovered that circadian dysregulation disrupts bile homeostasis. This may explain the unsettling stomach you had after eating General Tso’s chicken in the food court of Newark via LA.
Bile is critically important for the metabolism of lipids. Before the ascent of modern Gray’s Anatomy medicine, Greco-Roman doctors of Hippocrates’s era considered bile homeostasis to govern personality. Yellow and black bile, blood, and phlegm comprised the four humors. Individuals with too much yellow bile were characterized as ornery, while individuals with excessive black bile were described as melancholic.
In this study, circadian desynchronization was independent of environmental changes. The mice lacked clock genes, which assist in maintaining a circadian rhythm near 24 hours (hence, why it’s defined as circadian; circa=about; dia=day). Similar mouse lines are currently used in our lab for a top secret project. Yes, it’s top secret, unless you happen to be a philanthropist….