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Eating at wrong time of the day/night makes fruit flies less fertile!

June 8, 2011 - Washington

Those keen to lose weight are often asked to eat food at the right time.

Now, a study led by an Indian-origin researcher says that 'wrong'-time eating reduces fertility in fruit flies.

Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania manipulated circadian rhythms in fruit flies and measured the affect on egg-laying capacity.

Lead author Amita Sehgal, John Herr Musser Professor of Neuroscience, stressed, though, that what is true in flies grown in a lab does not necessarily hold for humans, and any potential link between diet and reproduction would have to be independently tested.

"I wouldn't say eating at the wrong time of the day makes people less fertile, though that is the implication," said Sehgal, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. "I would say that eating at the wrong time of the day has deleterious consequences for physiology."

The next question to pursue, Sehgal said, is finding the molecular mechanism that controls this phenomenon: How does the fat body communicate with the ovaries. And, more importantly, is this effect restricted to fruit flies, or does it also occur in higher organisms, including humans.

The study is published in this week's Cell Metabolism


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