Metabolism

You are not just what, but when you eat

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Science  02 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6217, pp. 39
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6217.39-a

Avoiding nighttime eating may reduce the effects of an unhealthy diet

PHOTO: © D. HURST/ALAMY

Limiting food intake to an 8-hour window that corresponds to a time of high activity protects mice from obesity and metabolic disease caused by a diet high in fat. Chaix et al. extended such studies to examine what would happen in a regimen more adaptable to peoples' lifestyles. Promisingly, they found protective effects from fasting periods as short as 12 hours. Even better, mice showed improved metabolic fitness even when they took the weekends off. This was most likely because the changes in gene expression caused by restricting food during the week continued even when mice had full access to food on the weekends.

Cell Metab. 20, 991 (2014).

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