Time-restricted diets could reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, study suggests

Thu, 04 Dec 2014
Confining calorie intake to an eight to twelve hour period may reduce the risk of high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, according to new research.

The study, published in Cell Metabolism, discovered that when people eat is as important as what people eat.

The researchers fed a high-calorie diet to a group of almost 400 mice, but only for eight hours a day. The mice were healthier and slimmer than the mice that were given 24-hour access to the same diet. The mice consumed the same number of calories.

That said, the tests have yet to be performed on humans; our hunger hormones are more complex than those of mice. The results of the study do not suggest that confining eating to a small period of time negates the effects of an unhealthy diet. The best advice is to eat as healthily as possible, ensuring that your diet is not over-reliant on processed foods.

However, the research does have the potential to reveal the initial causes of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other related conditions.

Dr. Satchidananda Panda, associate professor at the Salt institute, explained: "These days, most of the advice is, you have to change nutrition, you have to eat a healthy diet. But many people don't have access to healthy diets. So the question is, without access to a healthy diet, can they still practice time-restricted feeding and reap some benefit?

Analysing the blood metabolites in mice with time-restricted diet showed that many of the molecular pathways that go awry in metabolic disease are repaired by the diet. The study will be developed by creating a more in-depth analysis of these pathways, and then exploring the effects of the diet on humans.
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