Time-Restricted Eating May Reverse Diabetes & Obesity

December 3, 2019 0 By Ewald Bahringer

Satchin Panda: The obesity epidemic is going
to have a huge social and economic cost. If we can find a simple lifestyle that will not
only prevent but will also reverse obesity and diabetes, it will extend healthy life
span with very little health care spending. When it comes to diet, weight gain, and diabetes,
it’s not just what we eat, but when we eat. In our previous study, we had shown that if
we let mice eat only for 8 or 9 hours a day, those mice are protected from weight gain,
obesity, and diabetes. Amandine Chaix: After the initial discovery
there were a couple of questions. We wanted to know if 8 hours was the magic number to
maintain the beneficial effect of time-restricted feeding as this time-restricted feeding applies
to their modern diet that is both enriched in fat but also artificial sweetness. Satchin Panda: We let mice eat for 8, 9, 10,
12 or 15 hours a day, either high-fat diets or a diet that’s more similar to what we eat
which is moderately rich in fat and sucrose. We also asked, if mice eat only 8 to 9 hours
a day during the weekdays, and on the weekends they can [binge 00:01:36] it, then what happens? We were surprised to find that the benefits
of time restriction persist even if the mice take the weekends off. We were also surprised
to find the obese mice lost body weight, reduced blood sugar level to almost normal level,
and had lower cholesterol. Amandine Chaix: So time-restricted feeding
is efficient with already obese mice, it’s efficient with different diets, and it’s also
efficient with different time limits. Amir Zarrinpar: What is very exciting about
this is that it’s much easier to adopt than most of the lifestyle modifications that people
are recommended in doctors’ offices every day. With this type of therapy you don’t really
have to calorie count. What this really works on is your own biology and letting your body
use its own evolutionary-developed metabolic pathways to shuttle energy appropriately. Satchin Panda: It’s also a powerful therapeutic
way to reduce weight and reverse part of diabetes. Amir Zarrinpar: These findings are very exciting,
but they are in mice. We need to do further experiments to make sure that they also lead
to therapies in humans.