Scientists from Salk Institute for Biological Studies and elsewhere found that time-restricted eating may help prevent and manage metabolic diseases.
Time-restricted feeding in animals and time-restricted eating in humans are new behavioral interventions based on the role of the body clock in metabolism.
Time-restricted eating is a popular dietary strategy that emphasizes the timing of meals in alignment with diurnal circadian rhythms, permitting ad libitum energy intake during a restricted (∼8-10 h) eating window each day.
Unlike energy-restricted diets or intermittent fasting interventions that focus on weight loss, many of the health-related benefits of time-restricted eating are independent of reductions in body weight.
Time-restricted eating reduces body weight, improves blood sugar, increases metabolic flexibility, reduces blood cholesterol and blood pressure, and improves gut function and heart and metabolic health.
In the current review, researchers aimed to summarize the origin of time-restricted eating.
The method started from the role of chronic circadian rhythm disruption in increasing the risk for chronic metabolic diseases.
Circadian rhythms are usually perceived as the sleep-wake cycle and dependent rhythms arising from the central nervous system.
However, recent studies found that using a consistent daily short feeding window can sustain a robust circadian rhythm.
Animal studies have found proof of concept and identified potential mechanisms driving time-restricted eating-related benefits.
Human studies have reported promising results in reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Other studies have shown that maintaining a consistent long overnight fast, which is similar to time-restricted eating, can strongly reduce risks for chronic diseases.
The researchers suggest that despite these early successes, more clinical studies are needed to implement time-restricted eating alone or as an adjuvant lifestyle intervention to prevent and manage chronic metabolic diseases.
The research was published in Endocrine Reviews and conducted by Emily N C Manoogian et al.
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