Hana Hassanin

Dr Hana Hassanin

Associate Professor in Translational and Experimental Medicine; Director of Surrey Clinical Research Facility; Director of NIHR Royal Surrey Clinical Research Facility
+44 (0)1483 683442
10 MA 01



Cheryl Isherwood, Daniel Rutger Van Der Veen, HANA HASSANIN, Debra Jean Skene, Jonathan David Johnston (2023)Human glucose rhythms and subjective hunger anticipate meal timing, In: Current Biology Elsevier

Circadian rhythms, metabolism, and nutrition are closely linked.1 Timing of a 3-meal daily feeding pattern synchronises some human circadian rhythms.2 Despite animal data showing anticipation of food availability, linked to a Food Entrainable Oscillator3, it is unknown whether human physiology predicts mealtimes and restricted food availability. In a controlled laboratory protocol, we tested the hypothesis that the human circadian system anticipates large meals. Twenty-four male participants undertook an 8-day laboratory study, with strict sleep-wake schedules, light-dark schedules, and food intake. For six days, participants consumed either hourly small meals throughout the waking period, or two large daily meals (7.5 and 14.5-h after wake-up). All participants then undertook a 37-hour constant routine. Interstitial glucose was measured every 15 minutes throughout the protocol. Hunger was assessed hourly during waking periods. Saliva melatonin was measured in the constant routine. During the 6-day feeding pattern, both groups exhibited increasing glucose concentration early each morning. In the small meal group, glucose concentrations continued to increase across the day. However, in the large meal group, glucose concentrations decreased from 2-h after waking until the first meal. Average 24-h glucose concentration did not differ between groups. In the constant routine, there was no difference in melatonin onset between groups, but antiphasic glucose rhythms were observed, with low glucose at the time of previous meals in the large meal group. Moreover, in the large meal group, constant routine hunger scores increased before the predicted meal times. These data support the existence of human food anticipation.