Daily Eating Patterns and Their Impact on Health and Disease

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Feb;27(2):69-83. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2015.11.007. Epub 2015 Dec 17.


Cyclical expression of cell-autonomous circadian clock components and key metabolic regulators coordinate often discordant and distant cellular processes for efficient metabolism. Perturbation of these cycles, either by genetic manipulation, disruption of light/dark cycles, or, most relevant to the human population, via eating patterns, contributes to obesity and dysmetabolism. Time-restricted feeding (TRF), during which time of access to food is restricted to a few hours, without caloric restriction, supports robust metabolic cycles and protects against nutritional challenges that predispose to obesity and dysmetabolism. The mechanism by which TRF imparts its benefits is not fully understood but likely involves entrainment of metabolically active organs through gut signaling. Understanding the relationship of feeding pattern and metabolism could yield novel therapies for the obesity pandemic.

Keywords: diabetes; dyssynchrony; eating; entrainment; fasting; gut; hepatic; high-fat diet; liver; microbiome; oscillation; time-restricted feeding; transcriptome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Clocks / physiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Disease / etiology*
  • Eating / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Sleep / physiology