Insecticides That Mimic Melatonin Can Affect Sleeping Patterns

Published on April 18, 2017


Synthetic chemicals commonly found in insecticides and garden products bind to the receptors that govern our biological clocks, University at Buffalo (UB) researchers have found. The research suggests that exposure to these insecticides adversely affects melatonin receptor signaling, creating a higher risk for metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

Published online on Dec 27 in Chemical Research in Toxicology, the research combined a big data approach, using computer modeling on millions of chemicals, with standard wet-laboratory experiments. It was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Disruptions in human circadian rhythms are known to put people at higher risk for diabetes and other metabolic diseases but the mechanism involved is not well-understood.

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Get in Sync: How to Achieve Optimum Circadian Health


If you’ve ever traveled across time zones, you’ve likely experienced what chronobiologists call circadian disruption.

Jet lag leaves you more than just tired. You’re hungry for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings in the middle of the morning, you can’t keep from nodding off at 4 in the afternoon, and you find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night with no hope of sleep. Your brain grasps what the clock on the wall says, but your body’s peripheral clocks (organs with their own circadian rhythms) are completely confused as a result of the flight. Your pancreas thinks it’s still in London, your liver is stalled over Greenland, while your kidneys know you’re back home in Akron. Leer Más