Mary-Margaret Remchak, a doctoral student in the AMP lab, was recently awarded the 2021 Michael L. Pollock Student Scholarship for Clinical Research as well as the Gail E. Butterfield Nutritional Registrational Award through the American College of Sports Medicine. The title of her work is Altered TCA cycle flux parallels insulin resistance and metabolic inflexibility in late chronotypes with obesity. Co-authors were: Dr. Emily M. Heiston, Ms. Anna Ballantyne, Ms. Brielle L. Dotson, Mr. Nathan R. Stewart, Dr. Andrea Spaeth, and Dr. Steven K. Malin.
Individuals often identify as being a “morning” or “evening” person. While this reflects generally when they may feel most productive, some research has suggested whether this identification (known as early and late chronotype) is linked to chronic disease. In fact, “evening” people have been associated with higher risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The reason for this is unclear, but it has been suggested that alterations in metabolism may exist. The present work highlights that late chronotypes are more insulin resistant and do not use/store glucose as much as their early chronotype counterparts. Further, the findings showcase that there may be alterations in the TCA cycle, which is an important component of our mitochondria and energy production capabilities. The findings highlight additional work is needed to understand how to best prescribe lifestyle treatments for people with different chronotypes to mitigate chronic disease risk.