Eating meals within a 10-hour window protects against disease

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In California, Salk Institute scientists found that mice lacking the biological clocks for a healthy metabolism could still be protected against obesity and metabolic diseases by having their daily food intake restricted to a 10-hour window.

“For many of us, the day begins with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and ends with a bedtime snack 14 or 15 hours later,” said Satchidananda Panda, a professor in Salk’s Regulatory Biology Laboratory and the senior author of the new paper. “But restricting food intake to 10 hours a day, and fasting the rest, can lead to better health, regardless of our biological clock.”

The work suggests that the health problems associated with disruptions to animals’ 24-hour rhythms of activity and rest – which in humans is linked to eating for most of the day or doing shift work – can be corrected by eating all calories within a 10-hour window.