Health

Eating Within a 10-Hour Window May Prevent Chronic Disease

Dec. 30, 2019
By Mary West

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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.- Satchidananda Panda, pro­fes­sor at the Salk Institute

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 more: 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.

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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.

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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.”

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“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.