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by Narkissos 10-07-2009, 11:02 PM

A controlled trial of reduced meal frequency without caloric restriction in healthy, normal-weight, middle-aged adults



Background:Although consumption of 3 meals/d is the most common pattern of eating in industrialized countries, a scientific rationale for this meal frequency with respect to optimal health is lacking. A diet with less meal frequency can improve the health and extend the lifespan of laboratory animals, but its effect on humans has never been tested.


Objective:A pilot study was conducted to establish the effects of a reduced-meal-frequency diet on health indicators in healthy, normal-weight adults.

Design:The study was a randomized crossover design with two 8-wk treatment periods. During the treatment periods, subjects consumed all of the calories needed for weight maintenance in either 3 meals/d or 1 meal/d.

Results:Subjects who completed the study maintained their body weight within 2 kg of their initial weight throughout the 6-mo period. There were no significant effects of meal frequency on heart rate, body temperature, or most of the blood variables measured. However, when consuming 1 meal/d, subjects had a significant increase in hunger; a significant modification of body composition, including reductions in fat mass; significant increases in blood pressure and in total, LDL-, and HDL-cholesterol concentrations; and a significant decrease in concentrations of cortisol.

Conclusions:Normal-weight subjects are able to comply with a 1 meal/d diet. When meal frequency is decreased without a reduction in overall calorie intake, modest changes occur in body composition, some cardiovascular disease risk factors, and hematologic variables. Diurnal variations may affect outcomes.



Intermittent fasting dissociates beneficial effects of dietary restriction on glucose metabolism and neuronal resistance to injury from calorie intake



Abstract

Dietary restriction has been shown to have several health benefits including increased insulin sensitivity, stress resistance, reduced morbidity, and increased life span. The mechanism remains unknown, but the need for a long-term reduction in caloric intake to achieve these benefits has been assumed. We report that when C57BL/6 mice are maintained on an intermittent fasting (alternate-day fasting) dietary-restriction regimen their overall food intake is not decreased and their body weight is maintained. Nevertheless, intermittent fasting resulted in beneficial effects that met or exceeded those of caloric restriction including reduced serum glucose and insulin levels and increased resistance of neurons in the brain to excitotoxic stress. Intermittent fasting therefore has beneficial effects on glucose regulation and neuronal resistance to injury in these mice that are independent of caloric intake.

Aging refers to the biological changes that occur during a lifetime that result in reduced resistance to stress, increased vulnerability to disease, and an increased probability of death. The rate at which aging occurs is species-specific, suggesting a strong genetic influence. The only environmental variable that has been shown to markedly affect the rate of aging in a wide range of species is caloric intake: Restricting food intake to a level below that which would be consumed voluntarily results in a decrease in the rate of aging and an increase in average and maximum life span (1, 2). Dietary restriction (DR) reduces cancer formation (3, 4) and kidney disease (5) and increases the resistance of neurons to dysfunction and degeneration in experimental models of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases as well as stroke (69). Two different DR paradigms have proven effective in increasing life span and disease resistance in rats and mice. In one paradigm animals are provided a daily food allotment that is typically 3040% less than the ad libitum (AL) consumption of a control population; this limited daily feeding (LDF) paradigm involves a controlled caloric restriction and a corresponding reduction in body weight. In the second paradigm animals are subjected to intermittent (alternate-day) fasting (IF), which in rats results in reduced food intake over time and decreased body weight (10).
Restricting caloric intake causes the restricted population to weigh proportionally less than the AL-fed group. Indeed, weight reduction typically slightly exceeds the degree of food restriction, so that food intake per gram of body weight is reported consistently to be slightly higher in LDF animals than in their AL-fed counterparts (11). Rats and mice usually lose weight when maintained on an IF regimen, although some strains such as C57BL/6 mice may lose little or no weight (12). Both the IF and LDF paradigms are reported to result in dramatic increases in life span in comparison to AL-fed animals (13), but little else is known concerning the similarities and differences in their effects.
It seems reasonable to assume that both LDF and IF paradigms of DR extend life span through a common mechanism. To gain insight into the nature of the underlying mechanism, we compared the effects of LDF and IF diets on several parameters that have been postulated to play a role in the protective effects of DR including body weight, food intake, and fasting levels of serum insulin, glucose, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). In addition, recent studies have shown that rats and mice maintained on an IF regimen exhibit increased resistance of neurons in their brains to insults relevant to the pathogenesis of several different human neurological disorders including epileptic seizures and stroke (6, 8, 14). We therefore performed an experiment to determine whether LDF and IF diets exert similar beneficial effects on neurons in the brain.



See full study/article here: http://www.pnas.org/content/100/10/6216.full#F2

Skipping Meals Might Offer Health Gains
By Ben Harder



People assume that the ideal meal schedule spreads calorie intake over the course of the day: Never skip breakfast, keep your blood sugar on an even keel, and all that. But Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, suspects that conventional wisdom may be due for an overhaul.

While many doctors encourage people to eat three square meals a day, there aren't data to indicate that it's important, he says.

In fact, says Mattson, "it may be healthy to have reduced meal frequency." In other words, skipping some meals or occasionally fasting for the day might be beneficial, even if overall calorie consumption remains unchanged.

Recent studies on lab animals seem to support that notion.
In one set of experiments, Mattson and his colleagues fed some mice on alternating days and forced them to fast on the days in between. They allowed other mice to eat daily. Both groups of animals were given unlimited access to food when they were permitted to eat. The mice that fasted intermittently gorged themselves when they could and so consumed as many calories on average and gained as much weight during the 20-week study as did their counterparts that ate daily.


Past studies have established that animals tend to age more slowly and live longer when they consistently consume fewer calories (SN: 11/25/00, p. 341: http://sciencenews.org/20001125/fob3.asp; 5/11/02, p. 291: http://sciencenews.org/20020511/fob2.asp).



Researchers are still working to understand how calorie restriction slows aging, but they've observed that calorie-restricted animals have improved insulin sensitivity. In people, this change protects against diabetes.


See full article here: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/gene...r_Health_Gains
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2010
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BUMP!
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Old 07-01-2010
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Interesting!
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Old 07-02-2010
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i found this to be a very interesting article/concept.

considering i eat at least 6 times a day. usually 8. and i pretty much forcefeed myself for some of those meals.

i may take a break and fast.
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Yeah eating 5+ times a day is really a chore in the long run. I stick to it when I am very motivated, but when motivation drops I back down to 3-4 meals a day.

If meal frequency really doesn't matter as much that would make things A LOT easier.
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I'm a fan of the concept.

Not sure how applicable it would be for someone whose goal is to get huge and ripped though.
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Old 02-01-2011
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bump!
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Old 04-08-2011
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To. The. Top!
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I have fasted on and off most of last fall... and loved it.

No decrease in muscle mass but def stayed more lean then I would normally have.

Plus it helped save on my grocery bill and gave me a mental break from having to be strict with my diet.

Both of which are huge benefits in my book.

I am starting to cut now for summer (aka beach!) and will probably be incorporating fasting into my routine again.
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^^Wicked Bish :)

How are you planning on laying it out?
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