Time-restricted eating acceptable and beneficial for people with metabolic syndrome
medwireNews: Restricting eating to within a 10-hour daily window results in weight loss and metabolic benefits for people with metabolic syndrome, report researchers in Cell Metabolism.
The 19 study participants lost an average of 3.3 kg during the 12-week intervention, from a baseline of 97.84 kg, and had significant reductions in BMI, fat mass, visceral fat, and waist circumference, report Pam Taub (University of California, San Diego, USA) and study co-authors.
There was a trend toward reduced blood glucose, insulin levels, and insulin resistance in the whole cohort, and the 12 participants who had elevated fasting blood glucose (≥100 mg/dL) or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c; ≥5.7%) at baseline had a significant average HbA1c reduction of 0.22%.
When monitored during a 2-week baseline period, the participants’ eating habits were variable, but they ate 95% of their food during an average 15.13-hour window. During the 12-week intervention, they were asked to maintain a 10-hour window for eating, and for the most part they did so, with 95% of their eating occurring within an average 10.78-hour time window.
The participants set their own 10-hour eating window, and ate more than 1 hour outside it on just 7.12% of days, and such “occasional deviation” is unlikely to have adverse effects based on studies in animals, say the researchers.
They note that the reduced eating window “was achieved through a combination of moderate delays and advances in meal timing rather than skipping meals.”
Based on information the participants inputted into an app, they delayed their first meal of the day by around 2 hours and brought forward their last meal by a similar amount of time. Information from the app also showed that “[d]espite no recommendations to change dietary quantity or quality,” the participants reduced their daily calorie intake by an average of 8.62%.
In addition, the time-restricted eating significantly improved participants’ blood pressure and several measures of cholesterol, although it had no effect on levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein.
Taub and team stress that most study participants were taking cardiovascular medications at baseline, so the benefits observed were on top of those gained from medications.
“[T]here is a critical unmet need for lifestyle interventions in metabolic syndrome that are effective, easy for clinicians to teach to patients during routine care, and intuitive for patients to adopt and maintain, either to prevent or work as an ‘add-on’ to pharmacological treatment,” they comment.
The 19 people who completed the study represented 79% of those who started it, and when these 19 were contacted around 16 months later, nearly two-thirds were still practicing time-restricted eating to some degree, with almost all having continued it for a time after the study intervention ended.
This suggests that time-restricted eating “may be feasible for patients with metabolic syndrome to adhere to over a longer period of time,” the researchers conclude.
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