How To Gain Limiting The Hours Of The Day We Eat Could Be A New Way To Fight Obesity And Diabetes
Hours Of The Day We Eat People with obesity, hyperglycemia, hypertension or high cholesterol are often advised to eat less and move more, but our new research suggests that there is another simple way to combat these diseases: eat only for a period of 10 hours a day.
Studies in mice and fruit flies suggest that limiting the range of animal food intake to 10 hours a day can prevent, or even reverse, metabolic diseases that affect millions of people in the US. As scientists (a cell biologist and a cardiologist) we are dedicated to exploring the health effects of eating at the right time. The results in flies and mice led us to test the idea of eating with temporary restrictions in healthy people. Studies conducted over more than a year showed that time-restricted eating (TRE) was safe among healthy individuals.
Subsequently, we tested the same type of study in patients with diseases of the metabolic syndromes group. We were curious to know if this change in diet, which had a great impact on obese and diabetic laboratory rats, could help millions of people with signs of diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels.
It is not easy to count calories or find out how much fat, carbohydrates and protein each meal has. Therefore, eating the same, but within a limited period of hours is a new way to combat obesity and metabolic disorders that affect millions of people around the world. Several studies have suggested that this type of feeding tactics is a lifestyle that healthy people can adopt and that can reduce the risk of future metabolic disorders.
However, restricting feeding times is rarely tested in people diagnosed with a metabolic disorder. In addition, most patients with metabolic diseases usually take medication and it was not entirely clear if it was safe for these patients to fast for more than 12 hours a day (as many experiments require) or if this type of diet can offer some benefit beyond what you already get with the medication.
Thanks to a unique collaboration between our scientific laboratories and several clinical laboratories, we verified whether restricting the diet to a period of 10 hours a day improved the health of people with metabolic syndrome under medication to lower blood pressure and cholesterol as a way of Control your disease
We selected several patients from the clinics of the University of California, San Diego that met at least three of five metabolic syndrome requirements: obesity, hyperglycemia, high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol and low levels of good cholesterol.
The patients used a special application for research called myCircadianClock, developed in our laboratory to record each calorie consumed for two weeks, which helped us find patients who were more likely to distribute their meals over a period of 14 hours a day and who could benefit of a restriction of his feeding to 10 hours a day.
We monitor your physical activity and your sleeping hours using a wrist watch. Because some patients have poor blood glucose management and may experience low blood glucose levels at night, we also put a glucose control system in their arm to measure blood glucose levels every few minutes for two weeks.
We found 19 patients who were fit for the study and most had already tried to make changes in their normal lifestyle to reduce calorie intake and get more physical activity. As part of this study, the only change to follow was the selection of the 10-hour daily interval to ingest all of your calories that best suited your work and family life (for example, from 9 in the morning to 7 in the afternoon ). They were allowed to drink water and take medication outside these hours.
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During the next 12 weeks they used the myCircadianClock application and during the last two weeks of the study their glucose and physical activity levels were also continuously monitored. After twelve weeks, the volunteers returned to the clinic for a complete medical examination and a blood test, comparing these results with the results prior to the initial visit. The results of the study, published in the specialized journal Cell Metabolism, were pleasantly surprising. We found that most patients lost a modest amount of body weight, particularly in the form of fat in the abdominal region.
Those who had high blood glucose levels during fasting also reduced those blood levels. Similarly, most patients were able to reduce their blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels. All these benefits were produced without making any changes in physical activity.
Reducing daily hours of calorie intake also had other unexpected benefits. On average, patients decreased their daily caloric intake by a modest 8%. However, statistical analyzes found no close correlation between calorie reduction and improvement in health. We also found benefits of restricted time feeding on blood pressure and blood glucose control in those healthy adults who did not change caloric intake.
Nearly two-thirds of the patients also indicated that they slept better at night and were less hungry at bedtime, something similar to the comments in other studies on restricted time feeding conducted in relatively healthier age groups. While a total restriction of food intake to a period of only 6 hours a day was difficult for participants to implement and involved some negative consequences, patients noted that they could easily adapt to restricting meal times to 10 hours a day. .
Although it was not necessary after carrying out the study, almost 70% of the patients continued feeding in a restricted time for at least one year. As their health status improved, many said they had reduced their medication or even stopped taking it.
Despite the success of this study, restricted time feeding is not currently recommended within the standard guidelines of doctors to patients with metabolic syndrome. This study is a small feasibility study; more rigorous randomized control trials and studies in multiple populations are needed. With a view to reaching that goal, we have initiated a larger study in patients with metabolic syndrome.
Although none of our patients experienced dangerously low glucose levels during nighttime fasting, it is important that temporary restricted feeding be done under medical supervision. Given that these practices can improve the regulation of metabolism, it is also necessary for the doctor to pay close attention to the patient’s health and adapt the medications accordingly. Although we are cautious, we hope that restricting daily time on calorie intake can be a simple but effective method for treating people with metabolic diseases.
Satchin Panda. Professor of regulatory biology at the Salk Institute for biological studies. Adjunct professor of cell boilogy and development at UCSD, University of California San Diego. Pam Taub Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California San Diego. This article has originally been published in The Conversation. You can read the original article here.