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Intermittent Fasting to Enhance Health without Varying the Muscles Core Clock Genes, Study Suggests

Jan, 2021

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Several studies in the past have highlighted about time-restricted feeding also known as intermittent fasting and one of the efficient way to lose weight and regulating obesity by reducing the number of hours of eating in the day. Studies also prove that it also enhances health even prior to weight loss kicks. In spite of this there is no clear biological explanation for the phenomenon.

However, according to a new collaborative research study by the researchers of Australian Catholic University, University of Copenhagen, and Karolinska Institutet have reported to explore the body's early adaptations to intermittent fasting. Researchers also reported about identifying several vital changes in the genetic activity of muscles, including content of muscle fats and proteins, indicating about the positive impact of time-restricted feeding.

In this study, researchers evaluated the fluctuations of metabolites in skeletal muscle and blood, along with gene expression in skeletal muscle after time-restricted feeding in 11 men with overweight/obesity instructed to undergo two eating protocols for a period of five days, either unrestricted feeding, or eight-hours of time restricted feeding. Researchers aimed to extricate the signals that manage health from those associated with weight loss by focusing on the short-term and initial effects of intermittent fasting.

Leonidas Lundell from University of Copenhagen  stated, “We observe that the rhythm of skeletal muscle core clock genes is unchanged by time-restricted feeding, suggesting that any differences are driven more by diet, rather than inherent rhythms. We also see that the metabolite profile of skeletal muscle switches from being predominantly lipid based, to amino acid based, after time-restricted feeding. This coincides with changes in rhythmicity of amino acid transporters, indicating that part of the amino acid profile could be due to absorption from the blood.”

Researchers observed that intermittent fasting changed the rhythmic concentration of metabolites in blood and muscle and also impacted rhythmic expression of genes expressed by muscle, indicating that it could be responsible for the positive health impact. However this fasting did not have any effect on the muscle's core clock, which regulates its daily cycle of activity.

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