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Circadian rhythms are biological systems that synchronize cellular circadian oscillators with the organism's daily feeding-fasting or rest-activity cycles in mammals. Circadian rhythms regulate nutrient absorption and utilization at the cellular level and are closely related to obesity and metabolic disorders. Bile acids are important modulators that facilitate nutrient absorption and regulate energy metabolism. Here, we provide an overview of the current connections and future perspectives between the circadian clock and bile acid metabolism as well as related metabolic diseases. Feeding and fasting cycles influence bile acid pool size and composition, and bile acid signaling can respond to acute lipid and glucose utilization and mediate energy balance. Disruption of circadian rhythms such as shift work, irregular diet, and gene mutations can contribute to altered bile acid metabolism and heighten obesity risk. High-fat diets, alcohol, and gene mutations related to bile acid signaling result in desynchronized circadian rhythms. Gut microbiome also plays a role in connecting circadian rhythms with bile acid metabolism. The underlying mechanism of how circadian rhythms interact with bile acid metabolism has not been fully explored. Sustaining bile acid homeostasis based on circadian rhythms may be a potential therapy to alleviate metabolic disturbance.


Yunxia Yang, Jianfa Zhang. Bile acid metabolism and circadian rhythms. American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology. 2020 Nov 01;319(5):G549-G563

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PMID: 32902316

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