Circadian rhythms optimize physiology and health by temporally coordinating cellular function, tissue function, and behavior. These endogenous rhythms dampen with age and thus compromise temporal coordination. Feeding-fasting patterns are an external cue that profoundly influence the robustness of daily biological rhythms. Erratic eating patterns can disrupt the temporal coordination of metabolism and physiology leading to chronic diseases that are also characteristic of aging. However, sustaining a robust feeding-fasting cycle, even without altering nutrition quality or quantity, can prevent or reverse these chronic diseases in experimental models. In humans, epidemiological studies have shown erratic eating patterns increase the risk of disease, whereas sustained feeding-fasting cycles, or prolonged overnight fasting, is correlated with protection from breast cancer. Therefore, optimizing the timing of external cues with defined eating patterns can sustain a robust circadian clock, which may prevent disease and improve prognosis.
Keywords: Aging; Circadian rhythms; Health; Metabolism; Time-restricted feeding.
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