Cardioprotective effect of intermittent fasting is associated with an elevation of adiponectin levels in rats

J Nutr Biochem. 2010 May;21(5):413-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2009.01.020. Epub 2009 May 7.


It has been reported that dietary energy restriction, including intermittent fasting (IF), can protect heart and brain cells against injury and improve functional outcome in animal models of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke. Here we report that IF improves glycemic control and protects the myocardium against ischemia-induced cell damage and inflammation in rats. Echocardiographic analysis of heart structural and functional variables revealed that IF attenuates the growth-related increase in posterior ventricular wall thickness, end systolic and diastolic volumes, and reduces the ejection fraction. The size of the ischemic infarct 24 h following permanent ligation of a coronary artery was significantly smaller, and markers of inflammation (infiltration of leukocytes in the area at risk and plasma IL-6 levels) were less, in IF rats compared to rats on the control diet. IF resulted in increased levels of circulating adiponectin prior to and after MI. Because recent studies have shown that adiponectin can protect the heart against ischemic injury, our findings suggest a potential role for adiponectin as a mediator of the cardioprotective effect of IF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Fasting / blood
  • Fasting / physiology*
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Insulin / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Neutrophil Infiltration
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / blood
  • Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Stroke Volume
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography
  • Weight Gain


  • Adiponectin
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-6