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Increasing the gap between meals can prolong life
The experiment showed that mice live longer if the time between meals is increased and the snack is not allowed in between.
Photo: Cosmopolitan / Katie Buckleitner /
Increasing the time between meals makes male mice healthier and live longer compared to mice that eat more often. This is evidenced by a new study published in the new issue of the journal Cell Metabolism on September 6, 2018. American scientists from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health, together with colleagues from other scientific organizations, reported that the health of the mice improved, and their lifespan increased as the intervals increased. time between meals, regardless of what the mice ate or how many calories they consumed.
“The study found that mice that ate once a day and therefore had the longest fasting period lived longer and better tolerated age-related common liver disease and metabolic disorders. Animal studies show that more research needs to be done on the interactions between calorie intake and the length of eating and fasting periods,”said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes.
Scientists divided 292 male mice into two groups, which were given food in different modes. One group received a natural diet that contained less refined sugar and fat and more protein and fiber. The mice in each group were then divided into three subgroups based on how often they had access to food. The first group of mice had access to food around the clock. The second group of mice were given 30% fewer calories per day than the first group. The third group was fed only once a day, but was given the same number of calories as the first group. The mice in the second and third groups learned to eat quickly while food was available, which resulted in an increased fasting period between meals.
Scientists tracked the metabolic health of the mice and then studied them after death. The mice from the second and third groups showed an improvement in overall health, as evidenced by delayed age-related damage to the liver and other organs, as well as a relatively long life span. The mice in the second group also showed significant improvements in blood glucose and fasting insulin levels compared to other groups.
Interestingly, the researchers found that diet composition did not significantly affect life expectancy in groups 2 and 3. For more than a century, scientists have studied the beneficial effects of calorie restriction for over a century, according to lead study author Rafael de Cabo, but the effects of prolonging fasting periods are only now being scrutinized.
“Increasing daily fasting periods without reducing calories and regardless of the type of diet consumed has resulted in an overall improvement in health and vitality in male mice. Perhaps a longer daily fasting period allows for certain mechanisms to maintain health and recovery that would not be possible with constant access to food,”said de Cabo.
The researchers say their findings are a stimulus for future research to investigate how timing options can help people maintain a healthy weight and reduce some of the common age-related metabolic disorders.