Circadian rhythms are also apparent within our gastrointestinal tract. Two new mice studies show that circadian rhythm and clock genes may also affect intestinal immune cells by boosting the secretion of cytokines that help maintain proper balance of the intestinal barrier.

Western diets high in fats and sugars, modern lifestyles with stress and sedentarism and the indiscriminate use of antibiotics together with other frequently prescribed drugs -such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and proton pump inhibitors- are major drivers of changes in microbiota composition and gut barrier disruption. (Dr. Maria Rescigno)