Eating two hours before bed may increase the risk of developing diabetes

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A study carried out by Professor Marta Garaulet, from the University of Murcia, Spain, in partnership with Harvard University (USA) and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston (USA), found that eating two hours before bed increases the risk of diabetes by up to 50%.

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According to research, having dinner at a time very close to resting time decreases tolerance to glucose, especially in those who have a genetic risk variant in the melatonin receptor called MTNR1B.

This situation occurs because endogenous melatonin, which is commonly generated during the night, when sleep is felt, is directly involved in the glucose changes that occur in metabolism.

genetic variable

All those who have this genetic variable produce, in their pancreas, a smaller amount of insulin secretion when they eat shortly before going to sleep. This occurs due to the presence of this melatonin.

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In this sense, the test results suggest that, in the presence of food, melatonin causes the pancreas to reduce its production of insulin. This, in turn, results in increased blood sugar levels.

According to previous studies by Marta Garaulet, a late meal is considered to be any meal in which a person eats about two hours before bedtime. This is due to the fact that the body begins to produce melatonin half an hour before sleep begins to act.

New discovery

However, one of the main novelties of the research carried out is that it was possible to identify the relationship between the functioning of the insulin in the pancreas and melatonin, thus concluding which situations this communication between parts of the body can cause.

Therefore, it is recommended that the last meal of the day be eaten at least three hours before bedtime. In this way, the risks of developing diabetes are considerably reduced, in addition to the fact that this action also facilitates digestion and the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.
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