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    Johnston, Jonathan D. 2014. Physiological links between circadian rhythms, metabolism and nutrition. Experimental Physiology, Vol. 99, Issue. 9, p. 1133.

    Hampton, Shelagh M. and Johnston, Jonathan D. 2014. Probing the diurnal regulation of glycemic control. Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, Vol. 28, Issue. 6, p. 751.

    Georges, Marjolaine Mouillot, Thomas Lombard, Sophie Pénicaud, Luc and Brondel, Laurent 2016. La privation de sommeil fait grossir : mythe ou réalité ?. Nutrition Clinique et Métabolisme, Vol. 30, Issue. 2, p. 142.

    Li, Zhigang Wang, Yan Sun, Kevin Kai Wang, Kangli Sun, Zhong Sheng Zhao, Mei and Wang, Jundong 2015. Sex-related difference in food-anticipatory activity of mice. Hormones and Behavior, Vol. 70, p. 38.


Physiological responses to food intake throughout the day

  • Jonathan D. Johnston (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 25 March 2014

Circadian rhythms act to optimise many aspects of our biology and thereby ensure that physiological processes are occurring at the most appropriate time. The importance of this temporal control is demonstrated by the strong associations between circadian disruption, morbidity and disease pathology. There is now a wealth of evidence linking the circadian timing system to metabolic physiology and nutrition. Relationships between these processes are often reciprocal, such that the circadian system drives temporal changes in metabolic pathways and changes in metabolic/nutritional status alter core molecular components of circadian rhythms. Examples of metabolic rhythms include daily changes in glucose homeostasis, insulin sensitivity and postprandial response. Time of day alters lipid and glucose profiles following individual meals whereas, over a longer time scale, meal timing regulates adiposity and body weight; these changes may occur via the ability of timed feeding to synchronise local circadian rhythms in metabolically active tissues. Much of the work in this research field has utilised animal and cellular model systems. Although these studies are highly informative and persuasive, there is a largely unmet need to translate basic biological data to humans. The results of such translational studies may open up possibilities for using timed dietary manipulations to help restore circadian synchrony and downstream physiology. Given the large number of individuals with disrupted rhythms due to, for example, shift work, jet-lag, sleep disorders and blindness, such dietary manipulations could provide widespread improvements in health and also economic performance.

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*Corresponding author: Dr Jonathan D. Johnston, fax +44 1483 686401, email
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Nutrition Research Reviews
  • ISSN: 0954-4224
  • EISSN: 1475-2700
  • URL: /core/journals/nutrition-research-reviews
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