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Time-restricted eating influences the activation of roughly 70 percent of all genes in mice, a new study shows. Mice that ate on a time-restricted schedule had fewer active genes involved in inflammation and oxidative stress and more active genes involved in metabolism and autophagy – a cellular defense mechanism.

Researchers fed two groups of mice a Western-style diet, which is high in fat and sugars, for seven weeks. One group was allowed to eat whenever they chose to, but the other group was allowed to eat only during a nine-hour window each day. At the end of the seven-week intervention, the researchers analyzed gene activity in the animals' tissues at different times of the day.

They found that time-restricted eating altered the activity of more than 80 percent of genes involved in protein synthesis, folding, and maintenance. They also found that time-restricted eating altered amino acid, fat, and glucose metabolism and re-aligned the circadian rhythms of the animals' organs.

These findings suggest that time-restricted eating influences gene activity in mice. If the findings translate to humans, they could have far-reaching implications for chronic metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and other diseases. Learn more about the health benefits of time-restricted eating in this episode featuring Dr. Satchin Panda, the senior investigator for this study.

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