Purpose of review
Time-restricted eating (TRE) entails consuming energy intake within a 4- to 10-h window, with the remaining time spent fasting. Although studies have reported health benefits from TRE, little is known about the impact of TRE on common chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. This review summarizes and critically evaluates the most recent TRE research findings relevant to managing and treating these chronic diseases.
Most recent TRE studies have been in populations with overweight/obesity or metabolic syndrome; two have been in populations with diabetes, three in cancer survivors and none in populations with cardiovascular disease. Collectively, these studies showed that participants could adhere to TRE and TRE is well tolerated. These studies also showed preliminary efficacy for improved glucose regulation and insulin sensitivity, a reduction in body fat and blood pressure, reduced cardiovascular risk scores and increased quality of life. More research is required to define the most effective TRE protocol (i.e. length and timing of eating window, intervention duration).
TRE has demonstrated benefits on cardiovascular, metabolic and clinical outcomes relevant to the underlying pathophysiology, but there are limited data on TRE implemented specifically within populations with diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular disease.