Timing calorie intake, according to studies conducted at Salk, synchronizes circadian rhythms in several mouse systems. Time-restricted feeding has been found to have several positive health effects, including a statistically significant increase in life expectancy in animal and human studies. As a result, concepts like intermittent fasting have been widely discussed in the health and fitness world. There has been a lack of insight into the molecular level effects and the cross-organ system interactions of this substance. Now, researchers at the Salk Institute have shown in mice that time-restricted feeding alters gene expression in more than 22 organ systems. Gene expression is the activation of a gene’s potential to produce a protein as a response to its surroundings.
The results, which were reported in Cell Metabolism on January 3, 2023, are significant for a variety of diseases and situations where time-restricted feeding has showed promise. The researchers used two groups of mice that were given the same high-calorie diet. All of the food was made available to one group without any restrictions. Those in the other group were only allowed to eat within a nine-hour timeframe twice a day. A total of 22 organ systems, including the brain were sampled during the day and night over the course of seven weeks, and the resulting genetic alterations were evaluated. The scientists discovered that timed meal schedules had an effect on 70% of mouse genes.
Time-restricted feeding altered about 40% of genes in the adrenal gland, the brain, and the pancreas. When it comes to hormone control, these organs are crucial. Hormones are chemical messengers that help the body and brain work together, and an imbalance in these hormones has been linked to everything from diabetes to anxiety. Certain findings suggest that time-restricted eating might be useful in the treatment and management of these conditions.
What’s interesting is that it wasn’t a uniform impact throughout the whole digestive system. Time-restricted feeding stimulated gene expression in the duodenum and the jejunum of the small intestine, but not in the ileum. This result may pave the way for further studies into the effects of shift work on digestive disorders and malignancies, which disturbs our natural 24-hour biological cycle. Panda and colleagues have previously shown that shift workers, including firemen, may benefit from time-restricted meals. Time-restricted feeding synchronized the circadian cycles of many physiological systems, the researchers discovered.