Diabetes is a common metabolic disorder that is afflicting millions across the globe currently. Hence, it gets imperative for diabetics to take ample measures to ensure their blood sugar levels are stable. The ones who are at high risk of developing diabetes also need to be careful. A recent study, published in the journal cell Metabolism, found out that time-restricted eating may benefit the people who fall under this category. The findings of the study suggested that those who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome improved their health when they consumed all of their meals over a span of just 10 hours, or less over a period of 12 weeks. The study participants reduced abdominal fat, lost weight, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol and enjoyed more stable blood sugar and insulin levels, as per the researchers from University of California in US.
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels that increase the risk for adverse health issues, from diabetes, heart disease to stroke.
"Time-restricted eating is a simple dietary intervention to incorporate, and we found that participants were able to keep the eating schedule," said study co-author Satchin Panda from the University of California in US.
"Eating and drinking everything (except water) during a 10-hour window allows your body to rest and restore for 14 hours at night. Your body can also anticipate when you will eat, so it can prepare the body to optimize metabolism," Panda added.
Time-restricted eating allows individuals to eat in a manner that supports their circadian rhythms and their health. Erratic eating patterns can disrupt this system and induce symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including increased abdominal fat and abnormal cholesterol or triglycerides.
About 19 participants who were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome were part of the study. Out of them, 16 took at least one medication, like a statin. The participants used an app to log when and what they ate during an initial two-week baseline period followed by three months of 10-hour time-restricted eating per day.
As per the findings of the study, participants averaged a four per cent reduction in abdominal/visceral fat and a three per cent reduction in weight and body mass index (BMI) at the end of the 12-week period. Other than this, many also experienced improvements in fasting glucose and reductions in cholesterol. About 70 % of participants reported an increase in sleep satisfaction or in the amount they slept.
"Patients also reported that they generally had more energy, and some were able to have their medications lowered or stopped after completing the study," said study researcher Pam Taub from University of California.