If you work shifts, get out in the sun!

Vitamin D may play a crucial role in syncing our body rhythms.

Enforced routines such as night shift work can play havoc with our health – increasing our risk of a stroke, for example. Sean-Patrick Scott and researchers from Monterrey Institute of Technology said we all have a small group of “regulatory clock genes” which switch on and off during the day. As a result, the levels rise and fall over a 24-hour period. The scientists looked at the behaviour over 24 hours of two so-called ‘regulatory clock-genes’ in human fat cells. Dosing cells with vitamin D produced the same regulatory effect as in the body.

“Vitamin D synchronises the cells,” says Scott. “Our results explain some of the benefits of sunlight,” he says. “Vitamin D is one of the ways we might be able to maintain circadian rhythms in the body.”

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