Time for food: the intimate interplay between nutrition, metabolism, and the circadian clock

Cell. 2015 Mar 26;161(1):84-92. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.03.015.


The circadian clock, a highly specialized, hierarchical network of biological pacemakers, directs and maintains proper rhythms in endocrine and metabolic pathways required for organism homeostasis. The clock adapts to environmental changes, specifically daily light-dark cycles, as well as rhythmic food intake. Nutritional challenges reprogram the clock, while time-specific food intake has been shown to have profound consequences on physiology. Importantly, a critical role in the clock-nutrition interplay appears to be played by the microbiota. The circadian clock appears to operate as a critical interface between nutrition and homeostasis, calling for more attention on the beneficial effects of chrono-nutrition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Clocks*
  • Eating*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Metabolomics