Beneficial Effects of Early Time-Restricted Feeding on Metabolic Diseases: Importance of Aligning Food Habits with the Circadian Clock

Nutrients. 2021 Apr 22;13(5):1405. doi: 10.3390/nu13051405.


The importance of metabolic health is a major societal concern due to the increasing prevalence of metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and various cardiovascular diseases. The circadian clock is clearly implicated in the development of these metabolic diseases. Indeed, it regulates physiological processes by hormone modulation, thus helping the body to perform them at the ideal time of day. Since the industrial revolution, the actions and rhythms of everyday life have been modified and are characterized by changes in sleep pattern, work schedules, and eating habits. These modifications have in turn lead to night shift, social jetlag, late-night eating, and meal skipping, a group of customs that causes circadian rhythm disruption and leads to an increase in metabolic risks. Intermittent fasting, especially the time-restricted eating, proposes a solution: restraining the feeding window from 6 to 10 h per day to match it with the circadian clock. This approach seems to improve metabolic health markers and could be a therapeutic solution to fight against metabolic diseases. This review summarizes the importance of matching life habits with circadian rhythms for metabolic health and assesses the advantages and limits of the application of time-restricted fasting with the objective of treating and preventing metabolic diseases.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; circadian clock; intermittent fasting; metabolic diseases; obesity; time-restricted fasting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Clocks / physiology*
  • Fasting / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Metabolic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Diseases / physiopathology*

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