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Time-restricted feeding and risk of metabolic disease: a review of human and animal studies

Jeff Rothschild, Kristin K Hoddy, Pera Jambazian, Krista A Varady
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nure.12104 308-318 First published online: 1 May 2014


Time-restricted feeding (TRF), a key component of intermittent fasting regimens, has gained considerable attention in recent years. TRF allows ad libitum energy intake within controlled time frames, generally a 3–12 hour range each day. The impact of various TRF regimens on indicators of metabolic disease risk has yet to be investigated. Accordingly, the objective of this review was to summarize the current literature on the effects of TRF on body weight and markers of metabolic disease risk (i.e., lipid, glucoregulatory, and inflammatory factors) in animals and humans. Results from animal studies show TRF to be associated with reductions in body weight, total cholesterol, and concentrations of triglycerides, glucose, insulin, interleukin 6, and tumor necrosis factor-α as well as with improvements in insulin sensitivity. Human data support the findings of animal studies and demonstrate decreased body weight (though not consistently), lower concentrations of triglycerides, glucose, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and increased concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. These preliminary findings show promise for the use of TRF in modulating a variety of metabolic disease risk factors.

  • coronary heart disease
  • intermittent fasting
  • metabolic syndrome
  • time-restricted feeding
  • weight loss
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