Time-restricted feeding for the prevention of cardiometabolic diseases in high-stress occupations: a mechanistic review

Hunter S Waldman, Liliana I Renteria, Matthew J McAllister
Nutrition Reviews 2020 June 1, 78 (6): 459-464
Factors such as shift work, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and irregular sleep patterns put men and women employed in high-stress occupations (e.g., firefighters, police officers) at risk for cardiometabolic diseases. Time-restricted feeding (TRF) is a new approach to combatting many of these diseases; it places an emphasis on when meals are consumed, rather than calorie content. By only manipulating the eating "window," and without changing the food composition of the diet, research in rodent models has shown promising results that have health implications in people, such as obesity prevention, improved insulin sensitivity, and decreased oxidative stress, inflammation, and cholesterol synthesis. Human trials remain limited and the current data are mixed with regard to TRF and improving health. Present findings suggest the timing of the feeding-fasting window, with feeding taking place in the waking hours and fasting in the evening hours, might offer the greatest benefit for improving cardiometabolic markers. Although additional human trials are needed, TRF might reset and synchronize metabolic "clocks" found throughout the body that are disturbed with obesity, shift work, and frequent eating. Therefore, TRF might offer an effective feeding-fasting paradigm with significant clinical implications for the management and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases observed in individuals in high-stress occupations in the United States and in the US population in general. This review outlines the current rodent and human evidence in these areas and the efficacy of TRF for improving human health.

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