Adhering to a 10-hour meal window, also known as intermittent fasting, is associated with a reduction in abdominal fat, stable blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and more health benefits, according to a recent study. The findings were recently published in an article in the journal Cell Metabolism and may provide a way to use intermittent fasting to treat type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
"We have found that the combination of time-limited medication with medications can give patients with metabolic syndrome the opportunity to better treat their disease," said Satchidananda Panda, one of the authors of the study, in a statement.
For the study, 13 men and six women diagnosed with metabolic syndrome – an accumulation of conditions such as high blood pressure, excess body fat and high triglyceride levels – were asked to eat only within 10 hours a day and only drink water for the others 14. Of the participants, 84 percent took medication for their metabolic syndrome. During the three-month study period, they recorded their food intake in an app.
Most participants skipped breakfast and ate dinner earlier in the day to make sure they were up to the 10-hour mealtime. Overall, participants saw a 3-4 percent drop in body weight and abdominal fat – belly fat has been identified as the deadliest type of fat and has been linked to a range of illnesses.
"Adjusting this 10-hour mealtime is a simple and inexpensive way to alleviate the symptoms of metabolic syndrome and improve health," Panda added.
This is not the first study to link intermittent fasting with improved health, but the researchers in this study believe the method works so well because it says that irregular eating behavior or "traditional eating" disturbs the circadian rhythm of the body This increases the risk of metabolic syndrome. The same scientists want to do another study, but with more participants to see if the same changes are reflected.[RELATED1]