A study found that limiting eating to a 10-hour window per day may help prevent chronic diseases associated with metabolic syndrome. The discovery might lead to a new treatment option for people who are at risk of the maladies.
Approximately 30 percent of Americans have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that include excess fat around the waist, high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
Unlike counting calories, time-restricted eating is a simple dietary intervention to incorporate, and we found that participants were able to keep the eating schedule.
The syndrome is of concern because it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Doctors advise patients to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly; however, these lifestyle practices are hard to maintain, and even with medications, the illness is often difficult to manage fully.
Scientists from the Salk Institute and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine collaborated in a study and discovered that restricting eating to a 10-hour daily timeframe, when combined with medication, can help. It resulted in a reduction in all the conditions.See Also: Olive Oil Health Benefits
“Unlike counting calories, time-restricted eating is a simple dietary intervention to incorporate, and we found that participants were able to keep the eating schedule.” said Satchidananda Panda, coauthor and professor in Salk’s Regulatory Biology Laboratory.
Time-restricted eating involves consuming all calories within a limited period each day, in this case, within 10 hours. Earlier studies show the practice supports circadian rhythms, which are the 24-hour cycles of biological actions that affect most of the cells within the body. Researchers have found that erratic eating patterns adversely affect the rhythms, thus raising the risk of metabolic syndrome symptoms.
Emily Manoogian, co-first author and a postdoctoral fellow in the Panda lab, explained that limiting consumption of everything except water to 10 hours permits the body to rest for 14 hours within every 24-hour period. Consequently, it promotes better metabolism.
The study involved 19 participants with metabolic syndrome who reported eating within a daily window of more than 14 hours. Eighty-four percent of the individuals were taking at least one medication. They used an app to record the times they ate, as well as the foods they consumed within the baseline two-week period and the following three-month time-restricted experiment.
Participants reported no negative effects from limiting consumption to 10 hours per day. Moreover, they experienced a range of benefits, including a reduction in weight, body mass index and waist circumference. In addition, they slept better and had healthier blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, all of which reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
“The body’s circadian rhythm is like a central clock in the brain that responds to light,” first author Michael Wilkinson, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, told Olive Oil Times. “The responses influence activity in peripheral organs, such as the liver, which have their own clocks.”
“Aside from light, dietary intake affects the clocks. When food is eaten in the late evening or early morning, it interrupts the normal day-night metabolism cycles in the organs that otherwise follow the circadian rhythm,” he added. “Nightly fasting from food allows these metabolic processes to proceed without disturbance.
“Therefore, we hypothesized that because time-restricted eating aligns dietary intake with the circadian rhythm, metabolism is healthier and food is essentially metabolized more efficiently,” Wilkinson concluded. “The down-stream effects of a healthier metabolism are protection from obesity and related metabolic disorders.”
The study was published in Cell Metabolism.