Time-restricted eating improves glycemic control and dampens energy-consuming pathways in human adipose tissue

Nutrition. 2022 Apr;96:111583. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2021.111583. Epub 2022 Jan 4.


Objective: We sought to examine the effects of 8 wk of time-restricted eating (TRE) on glucose metabolism and the adipose tissue transcriptome during a metabolic ward stay in men with obesity.

Methods: In a single-arm, pre-post trial, 15 men (ages 63 ± 4 y, body mass index = 30.5 ± 2.4 kg/m2, waist circumference = 113 ± 4 cm) with obesity but no history of diabetes were enrolled and underwent 2 wk of baseline monitoring before they were instructed to eat their regular diets within a contiguous 10-h time frame each day for 8 wk. Metabolic testing was performed at baseline and week 8 during a 35-h metabolic ward stay, during which all food intake was strictly timed and controlled. Identical meal-tolerance tests were performed at breakfast and dinner. Blood glucose, glucoregulatory hormones, and subjective appetite score were measured. Subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies were performed and the transcriptome was assessed.

Results: The primary outcome, plasma glucose area under the curve, was altered by TRE, being unchanged at breakfast but increased at dinner. However, TRE reduced fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, body weight, and body fat, and increased glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide area under the curve at dinner. In subcutaneous adipose tissue, 117 genes were up-regulated and 202 genes down-regulated by TRE. Pathway analysis revealed down-regulation of genes involved in proteasome function and mitochondrial regulation.

Conclusions: TRE had a net effect of reducing glycemia and dampening energy-consuming pathways in adipose tissue.

Keywords: Adipose tissue transcriptome; Breakfast; Dinner; Glycemia control; Time-restricted eating; Weight loss.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • Fasting* / physiology
  • Glycemic Control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose