Circadian rhythms, nutrition and implications for longevity in urban environments

Proc Nutr Soc. 2018 Aug;77(3):216-222. doi: 10.1017/S0029665117003962. Epub 2017 Oct 25.


Presently, about 12% of the population is 65 years or older and by the year 2030 that figure is expected to reach 21%. In order to promote the well-being of the elderly and to reduce the costs associated with health care demands, increased longevity should be accompanied by ageing attenuation. Energy restriction, which limits the amount of energy consumed to 60-70% of the daily intake, and intermittent fasting, which allows the food to be available ad libitum every other day, extend the life span of mammals and prevent or delay the onset of major age-related diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and cataracts. Recently, we have shown that well-being can be achieved by resetting of the circadian clock and induction of robust catabolic circadian rhythms via timed feeding. In addition, the clock mechanism regulates metabolism and major metabolic proteins are key factors in the core clock mechanism. Therefore, it is necessary to increase our understanding of circadian regulation over metabolism and longevity and to design new therapies based on this regulation. This review will explore the present data in the field of circadian rhythms, ageing and metabolism.

Keywords: BMAL1 brain-muscle-Arnt-like 1; CR calorie restriction; CRY cryptochromes; IF intermittent fasting; PER Periods; RF restricted feeding; SCN suprachiasmatic nuclei; Circadian rhythms; Clock; Feeding; Life span; Metabolism; Nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • CLOCK Proteins / metabolism
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Circadian Clocks*
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Eating*
  • Fasting / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Longevity / physiology
  • Nutritional Status*


  • CLOCK Proteins