Time-restricted eating may help manage diabetes better, if the findings of a latest study are to be believed. The study revealed that a 10-hour time-restricted eating intervention combined with traditional medications could be a potential treatment option for patients who are at high risk of diabetes. The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
The study conducted by researchers from the Salk Institute and the UC San Diego School of Medicine found that a 10-hour time-restricted eating intervention, coupled with traditional medications, resulted in weight loss, reduced abdominal fat, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and more stable blood sugar and insulin levels for participants.
According to the scientists, the findings of the study could lead to a new treatment option for metabolic syndrome patients who are at risk of developing diabetes.
According to Satchidananda Panda, co-corresponding author and professor in Salk’s Regulatory Biology Laboratory, “We have found that combining time-restricted eating with medications can give metabolic syndrome patients the ability to better manage their disease.”
“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 Panda.
Eating all calories within a consistent 10-hour window, supports an individual’s circadian rhythms and can maximize health benefits revealed the researchers.
Circadian rhythms are defined as the 24-hour cycles of biological processes that regulates the sleep-wake cycle of the body. It also affects every cell of the body. It has been found in various studies that erratic eating patterns could potentially disrupt this system and increase the risk for metabolic syndrome and other metabolic disorders with such symptoms as increased abdominal fat, abnormal cholesterol or triglycerides, and high blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
For the pilot study, the scientists examined 19 participants (13 men and 6 women) diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. They were made to report about their eating pattern during a time window of more than 14 hours per day.
Nearly 86 per cent of participants correctly logged their food using the app.
Participants did not report any adverse effects during the intervention. To reduce food intake to the 10-hour window, most participants delayed their first meal and advanced their last meal each day, so meals were not skipped.
While it was not recommended to cut down on calories during the intervention, some participants did report eating less, likely due to the shorter eating window, the study reported.
Overall, participants experienced improved sleep as well as a 3 to 4 per cent reduction in body weight, body mass index. Major risk factors for heart disease were averted as participants showed reduced blood pressure and total cholesterol. Blood sugar levels and insulin levels also improved overtime, the study reported.
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