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Intermittent Fasting – Time-Restricted Eating

Intermittent fasting
Executive summary

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Many thanks to Bob Farrell for this week’s topic. It’s got nothing to do with red meat and it’s a subject in which many people are interested.

Bob spotted a paper published in the journal Nutrients at the end of May 2019. The paper is called “Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves 24-Hour Glucose Levels and Affects Markers of the Circadian Clock, Aging, and Autophagy in Humans” and it’s on open view (Ref 1).

The study

Time-restricted feeding is a popular type of intermittent fasting. It involves consuming food within a pre-determined window. The paper claimed that this was the first study to look at the effect of time-restricted feeding on a number of chosen markers of heart health. The markers chosen were: glucose in the blood over a 24-hour period; cholesterol; and triglycerides. The study also looked at a number of genes related to glucose metabolism, the circadian system, fasting, autophagy and oxidative stress. (Explanations for these terms are in Ref 2)

The study was a small, randomised cross-over trial. 11 adults (7 men and 4 women) took part in both the intervention and the control. As we’ve noted before – the crossover method is necessary with a small group of people to achieve significant results. It is also important for small groups to do both the intervention and control, so that the results aren’t affected by (say) all women, or most older people, ending up in one group.


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