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J Transl Med. 2019 Aug 19;17(1):272. doi: 10.1186/s12967-019-2007-z.

Recurrent circadian fasting (RCF) improves blood pressure, biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk and regulates inflammation in men.

Author information

1
Department of Community Health Sciences, Clinical Nutrition Program, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, King Abdullah Street, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
2
Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Bacha Khan University, Charsaddah, KPK, Pakistan.
3
Biology of Aging Laboratory, Singapore Immunology Network, Agency for Science Technology and Research, 8A Biomedical Grove, Singapore, 138648, Singapore.
4
SURVEN (Nutrition Surveillance and Epidemiology in Tunisia) Research Laboratory, National Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INNTA), Tunis, Tunisia.
5
Biology of Aging Laboratory, Singapore Immunology Network, Agency for Science Technology and Research, 8A Biomedical Grove, Singapore, 138648, Singapore. anis_larbi@immunol.a-star.edu.sg.
6
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore. anis_larbi@immunol.a-star.edu.sg.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The effects of fasting on health in non-human models have been widely publicised for a long time and emerging evidence support the idea that these effects can be applicable to human practice.

METHODS:

In an open label longitudinal follow-up, a cohort of 78 adult men (aged 20 to 85 years) who fasted for 29 consecutive days from sunrise to sunset (16 h fasting-referred to as recurrent circadian fasting) in Pakistan, were studied. The primary outcomes of the fasting study was weight loss/recovery and the associated changes in blood pressure and circulating levels of surrogate markers linked to organ and system functions-including cardiovascular, metabolic and inflammation. Post-fasting outcomes include the regulation of physiological biomarkers.

RESULTS:

Recurrent circadian fasting with weight loss reduced blood pressure (140.6 vs. 124.2 mmHg) and markers of cardiovascular risk (~ 4-fold for resistin; triglycerides: p < 0.0001). Reduced glycemia (p < 0.0001) and the associated changes in the regulation of ketosis (β-hydroxybutyrate) were accompanied by a metabolic shift (PPARβ, osteoprotegerin), suggesting the involvement of the different physiological systems tested. Elevated orexin-A levels (p = 0.0183) in participants indicate sleep disturbance and circadian adaptation. All participants had CRP level < 2 mg/l during the fasting period and a similar trend was observed for TNFα. While most SASP molecules were decreased after the fasting period, heightened levels of IL-8 and IL-6 suggest that some inflammatory markers may be elevated by recurrent circadian fasting. Importantly, older adults reveal similar or more substantial benefits from fasting.

CONCLUSIONS:

Recurrent circadian fasting is beneficial at the cardiometabolic and inflammatory levels, especially for at-risk individuals-this is contingent on compliance towards the recommended dietary behaviour, which controls carbohydrate and caloric intake. These benefits from fasting may be particularly beneficial to older adults as they often exhibit abnormal cardiovascular, metabolic and inflammatory signatures.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Health benefits; Inflammation; Recurrent fasting

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