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Study: Gene expression can be reshaped when fasting

The findings, which were reported in a study conducted by Cell Metabolism on January 3, 2023, have wide impact due to implications for a variety of a dozen numbers of medical conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, where time-restricted eating has shown potential benefits.

“We found that there is a system-wide, molecular impact of time-restricted eating in mice.”

Satchidananda Panda

Our results open the door for looking more closely at how this nutritional intervention activates genes involved in specific diseases, such as cancer.”

Satchidananda Panda

The same high-calorie diet was given to two groups of mice for the study. Free food was provided to one group only. The other group was only permitted to eat during a nine-hour window each day.

After seven weeks, tissue samples were taken from 22 organ groups and the brain at various times of the day or night, and their genetic makeup was examined. The tissues used in the samples came from the liver, stomach, lungs, heart, adrenal gland, hypothalamus, various kidney and intestine parts, and various brain regions. Therefore, the study’s findings revealed that time-restricted eating affects 70% of mouse genes.

“By changing the timing of food, we were able to change the gene expression not just in the gut or in the liver, but also in thousands of genes in the brain,”

Satchidananda Panda

Time-restricted eating had an impact on nearly 40% of the genes in the hypothalamus, pancreas, and adrenal gland. Hormonal regulation depends on these organs. Hormonal imbalance is linked to a variety of diseases, from diabetes to stress disorders, as hormones coordinate functions in various parts of the body and brain. The findings provide direction for how time-restricted eating might manage these diseases. Interesting, not every part of the digestive system was impacted equally. Time-restricted eating activated the genes in the duodenum and jejunum, the upper two sections of the small intestine, but not in the ileum, which is at the bottom of the small intestine. This discovery may pave the way for new lines of investigation into the relationship between digestive disorders and cancers and shift-work jobs, which mess with our circadian rhythm, our 24-hour biological clock. Panda’s team’s earlier studies revealed that time-restricted eating enhanced the health of firefighters, who frequently work shifts. The circadian rhythms of numerous bodily organs were found to be synchronized by time-restricted eating, according to the researchers.

“We found that time-restricted eating synchronized the circadian rhythms to have two major waves: one during fasting, and another just after eating. We suspect this allows the body to coordinate different processes.”

Satchidananda Panda

More Information regarding the Study

Deota, Shaunak, et al. “Diurnal Transcriptome Landscape of a Multi-Tissue Response to Time-Restricted Feeding in Mammals.” Redirecting, 3 Jan. 2023, Link: Diurnal transcriptome landscape of a multi-tissue response to time-restricted feeding in mammals: Cell Metabolism

The Study was also given grants by the NIH or National Institutes of Health: Information about this (grants CA258221, DK115214, CA014195, and AG065993)

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