Time-restricted eating (TRE) is a type of intermittent fasting that involves limiting the time period during which a person eats each day.
It is typically practiced by eating during an 8- to 12-hour window and fasting during the remaining 12 to 16 hours. This eating pattern has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits.
Studies have shown that TRE can lead to weight loss and improved metabolic health, including lower blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation.
It has also been associated with improved heart function and enhanced aerobic capacity, without requiring any changes in diet quality or quantity.
A recent study from the University of Adelaide focused on the effects of TRE on glucose tolerance in men at risk for type 2 diabetes.
In this study, 15 middle-aged men wore a continuous glucose monitor for 7 days before and during two 7-day time-restricted eating periods, with meals taken in either an early or late time-restricted window.
The glucose tolerance test measures the body’s response to sugar and can be used to screen for type 2 diabetes.
The researchers found that TRE improved glucose tolerance, which suggests that it could be a useful intervention for preventing or managing type 2 diabetes.
In addition to the study from the University of Adelaide, other research has shown that TRE may have other health benefits as well.
For example, a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found that TRE improved metabolic health in mice, even when the animals were fed a high-fat diet.
The mice in the study had lower levels of inflammation and improved insulin sensitivity, which suggests that TRE could be a useful intervention for preventing or managing metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Another study, published in the journal Cell Reports, found that TRE improved cognitive function in mice.
The researchers found that the mice that followed a TRE eating pattern had better memory and learning abilities than the mice that ate whenever they wanted.
The researchers believe that this effect is due to the fact that TRE increases the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which plays a key role in the growth and maintenance of nerve cells.
While TRE has shown promising results in both animal studies and human trials, more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits and risks.
It is important to note that TRE may not be appropriate for everyone, particularly individuals with certain health conditions or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Additionally, it is important to approach TRE with caution and consult with a healthcare professional before starting this eating pattern.
It is essential to ensure that individuals are still getting enough nutrients and calories during the eating window to support their overall health and well-being.
In conclusion, the potential benefits of time-restricted eating are promising, particularly in the areas of metabolic health, cognitive function, and glucose tolerance.
However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and whether it is an appropriate eating pattern for everyone.
Individuals should approach TRE with caution and seek guidance from a healthcare professional before making any changes to their eating habits.
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The research is published in Obesity and was conducted by Amy T Hutchison et al.
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