New pill could eliminate jet lag for good

Katie Callahan Contributor
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Researchers found the key to resolve jet lag — resetting the human body clock. The answer though comes in the form of a pill, and i could be hitting stores in five years, the Daily Mail reports.

Researchers at Manchester University tested this concept on mice and found that by deleting the gene that produces enzymes, the creature’s biological clock could be reset. This pill would effectively block that gene.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer worked with the researchers to come up with a treatment before clinical development. Drug companies could use the discovery to develop a pill for easing the effects of sleep deprivation, jet lag and significant routine changes.

Dr. David Bechtold led the research and told The Daily Mail that the drugs could be manipulated for development and could “lead to human treatment.”

“Within five to ten years, the availability of drugs which can be used to target the body clock in people will start to become a reality,” Bechtold said to The Mail.

The researchers studied mice by changing light exposure to match that of a New York flight. While humans can’t have the gene deleted, the mice that could adjusted “faster to the new day-night pattern and displayed much smaller metabolic disruption,” according to the Daily Mail.

The body falls out of balance when a person stays up late, travels or changes time zone, changing light and dark perception and the skin’s adaptation to temperature changes. If not dealt with properly, the feeling of jet lag could result in greater susceptibility to depression, cancer, diabetes, and dementia.

“As this work progresses in clinical terms, we may be able to enhance the clock’s ability to deal with shift work, and importantly understand how maladaptation of the clock contributes to diseases such as diabetes and chronic inflammation,” Bechtold explained to the Daily Mail.