In this health-conscious world, fasting is a common practice that is quick and easy for the average person to participate in. A recent study highlights how fasting and our body’s biological internal clock – the circadian rhythm – play important roles in our metabolism. According to Dr. Courtney Peterson, one of the authors of the study, the human’s body ability to control blood sugar levels is dependent on the time of day we eat. In short, our body works better in the morning than in the afternoon or evening.
In the study, men were divided into two groups – one that ate meals on a 6-hour period vs. one that ate meals on 12-hour period (the average cycle for most Americans). The first group would finish all their meals by 3 pm. Besides from the period change, the men ate as they did normally.
It was found that those who participated in the 6-hour intermittent fasting, experienced improvement in their overall cardiometabolic health. These individuals had lower blood pressure, oxidation stress, and appetite in the evening.
As fasting is quite common and can produce immediate results that can be very satisfying, it is important to keep updated and informed on studies like these. Nutrition experts also need to take into account an individual’s natural circadian rhythm when giving nutrition advice.
Sutton, E. F., Beyl, R., Early, K. S., Cefalu, W. T., Ravussin, E., & Peterson, C. M. (2018). Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes. Cell Metabolism,27(6). doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2018.04.010