LONDON – Working night shifts is, totally, detrimental to the human health, as it speedily damages DNA equilibrium in human bodies. According to a mega research study conducted by the University of Surrey, U.K., not only does irregular shift work have a similar effect to severe jet lag or repeatedly missing sleep, it has a damaging impact right down to the level of our DNA.
Associated with School of Biosciences and Medicine, University of Surrey, U.K., Mr. Derk-Jan Dijk and Mr. Simon Archer said that the severe effects of disrupting a person’s natural body clock take hold “surprisingly quickly”, and over 97% of rhythmic genes in human bodies become out of sync with mistimed sleep, especially when we have to work irregular shifts.
During the research, blood samples of different night shift workers were taken to assess the impact on genes which are normally fine-tuned to a daily pattern. The results showed that the change threw the subjects’ DNA into “chaos”. As per the lead researcher Mr. Dijk: “It’s chrono-chaos. It’s like living in a house. There’s a clock in every room in the house and in all of those rooms those clocks are now disrupted, which of course leads to chaos.”
He, also, added that shift work and jet lag is associated with negative side effects and health consequences. “They show up after several years of shift work. We believe that these changes in rhythmic patterns of gene expression are likely to be related to some of those long-term health consequences”, Mr. Dijk concluded.
This research has been recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, United Kingdom.