Intermittent Fasting on Human Health and Disease

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2024 | Viewed by 8615

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 020956 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: effects of natural/synthetic compounds on cellular pathways; oxidative stress; cardiometabolic disease
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Dear Colleagues,

Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern in which individuals alternate between periods of fasting and non-fasting. This type of nutritional approach has gained interest in recent years due to its potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and the reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Intermittent fasting has been shown to modulate metabolic pathways, through the activation of adaptive cellular stress responses, which may play an important role in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, inducing DNA repair and authophagy and improving mitochondrial function; all of these processes are interlinked with the occurrence and development of a plethora of pathologies, such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, etc., and therefore intermittent fasting has the potential to reduce their frequency in large populations. Additionally, it has been demonstrated to increase the production of neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory factors, improving cognitive function, and protecting against age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

In conclusion, intermittent fasting has been shown to have potential health benefits in the prevention and management of chronic diseases and in the process of biological aging. However, more profound research is needed to determine the efficacy and safety of intermittent fasting in humans and to fully understand the underlying mechanisms by which this nutritional approach exerts its effects on human health and disease.

The purpose of this Special Issue on “Intermittent Fasting on Human Health and Disease” is to aggregate studies that examine the mechanisms through which intermittent fasting may enhance health and longevity, as well as to provide an overview of the clinical significance of this dietary pattern for the prevention and treatment of cancer, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases.

The Special Issue welcomes contributions from a broad range of fields and invites researchers and nutrition experts to submit their original research studies, review articles, and communications that relate to this important health domain.

Dr. Cristina Manuela Drăgoi
Prof. Dr. Denisa Marilena Margină
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • intermittent fasting
  • cancer
  • cardio-metabolic diseases
  • oxidative stress
  • diabetes
  • insulin resistance
  • age-related diseases
  • metabolism
  • autophagy
  • inflammation
  • neurologic protection

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 237 KiB  
Editorial
Intermittent Fasting on Human Health and Disease
by Denisa Marilena Margină and Cristina Manuela Drăgoi
Nutrients 2023, 15(21), 4491; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15214491 - 24 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1587
Abstract
Chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, but most of all in industrialized countries, and are fundamentally correlated to improper nutrition and impaired lifestyle behaviours [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermittent Fasting on Human Health and Disease)

Research

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11 pages, 414 KiB  
Article
A Mediterranean Eating Pattern Combining Energy and Time-Restricted Eating Improves Vaspin and Omentin Concentrations Compared to Intermittent Fasting in Overweight Individuals
by Spyridon N. Karras, Theocharis Koufakis, Djordje S. Popovic, Lilian Adamidou, Paraskevi Karalazou, Katerina Thisiadou, Pantelis Zebekakis, Kali Makedou and Kalliopi Kotsa
Nutrients 2023, 15(24), 5058; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15245058 - 09 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1923
Abstract
Athonian Orthodox fasting (AOF) is characterized by energy- and time-restricted eating (TRE) and is based on the Mediterranean diet. We aimed to investigate the impact of AOF compared to another TRE model on vaspin, omentin, nesfatin, and visfatin levels. We included 25 individuals [...] Read more.
Athonian Orthodox fasting (AOF) is characterized by energy- and time-restricted eating (TRE) and is based on the Mediterranean diet. We aimed to investigate the impact of AOF compared to another TRE model on vaspin, omentin, nesfatin, and visfatin levels. We included 25 individuals (mean age 50.3 ± 8.6 years, 24% men) who practiced AOF and abstained from animal products, with the exception of seafood and fish. This group adopted a 12 h eating interval (08.00 to 20.00). In total, 12 participants (mean age 47.7 ± 8.7 years, 33.3% men) who practiced 16:8 TRE (eating from 09:00 to 17:00) and were allowed to consume meat served as the controls. Anthropometric and dietary data and adipokine levels were prospectively collected at three time points: at baseline, after the end of the diets (7 weeks), and 5 weeks after the participants returned to their typical eating habits (12 weeks from baseline). Vaspin levels decreased [795.8 (422.1–1299.4) (baseline) vs. 402.7 (203.8–818.9) (7 weeks) pg/mL, p = 0.002] and omentin levels increased [568.5 (437.7–1196.5) (baseline) vs. 659.0 (555.7–1810.8) (12 weeks) pg/mL, p = 0.001] in the AOF group, while none of the analyzed adipokines changed significantly in the TRE group. The variations observed in vaspin and omentin concentrations in the AOF group were independent of age, sex, changes in anthropometry and fat intake. In conclusion, AOF can significantly reduce vaspin and increase omentin, whose levels are known to increase and decrease, respectively, in obesity and type 2 diabetes. The implications of these findings for cardiometabolic health warrant further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermittent Fasting on Human Health and Disease)
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19 pages, 4952 KiB  
Article
Effects of Regular Exercise and Intermittent Fasting on Neurotransmitters, Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Cortex of Ovariectomized Rats
by Tarfa Albrahim, Raghad Alangry, Raghad Alotaibi, Leen Almandil and Sara Alburikan
Nutrients 2023, 15(19), 4270; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15194270 - 06 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1998
Abstract
A collection of metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases linked to oxidative stress and neuroinflammation frequently affect postmenopausal women or estrogen deprivation. Recent research has focused on alternative therapies that can enhance these women’s quality of life. This study set out to investigate the [...] Read more.
A collection of metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases linked to oxidative stress and neuroinflammation frequently affect postmenopausal women or estrogen deprivation. Recent research has focused on alternative therapies that can enhance these women’s quality of life. This study set out to investigate the effects of physical exercise (EX) and intermittent fasting (IF) on oxidants/antioxidants, inflammatory cytokines, neurotransmitters, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the cortex of rats. Additionally, it sought to assess the response to oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in the brains of rats following ovariectomy (OVX) and the potential mechanisms of these interventions. Fifty female rats were divided into one of the following groups 30 days after bilateral OVX: Control, OVX, OVX + EX, OVX + IF, and OVX + EX + IF groups. The rats in the Control and OVX groups continued their normal activities and had unrestricted access to food and water, but the rats in the OVX + EX and OVX + EX + IF groups had a 4-week treadmill training program, and the rats in the OXV + IF and OVX + EX + IF groups fasted for 13 h each day. The rats were killed, the cerebral cortex was taken, tissue homogenates were created, and various parameters were estimated using these homogenates. The results show that ovariectomized rats had decreased levels of neurotransmitters (DA, NE, and SE), acetylcholinesterase, brain GSH (glutathione), SOD (superoxide dismutase), catalase, GPx (glutathione peroxidase), and TAC (total antioxidant capacity), as well as elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines and mediators (TNF-α, IL-1β, Cox-2). While ovariectomy-induced declines in neurotransmitters, enzymatic and nonenzymatic molecules, neuroinflammation, and oxidative brain damage were considerably mitigated and prevented by treadmill exercise and intermittent fasting, BDNF was significantly increased. These results suggest that ovariectomy can impair rat neuronal function and regular treadmill exercise and intermittent fasting seem to protect against ovariectomy-induced neuronal impairment through the inhibition of oxidative stress and neuroinflammation and increased BDNF levels in the brain cortex. However, combining regular exercise and intermittent fasting did not provide additional benefits compared to either treatment alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermittent Fasting on Human Health and Disease)
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Review

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33 pages, 986 KiB  
Review
The Beneficial Effects of Dietary Interventions on Gut Microbiota—An Up-to-Date Critical Review and Future Perspectives
by Carmen Purdel, Denisa Margină, Ines Adam-Dima and Anca Ungurianu
Nutrients 2023, 15(23), 5005; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15235005 - 03 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2411
Abstract
Different dietary interventions, especially intermittent fasting, are widely used and promoted by physicians; these regimens have been studied lately for their impact on the gut microbiota composition/function and, consequently, on the general physiopathological processes of the host. Studies are showing that dietary components [...] Read more.
Different dietary interventions, especially intermittent fasting, are widely used and promoted by physicians; these regimens have been studied lately for their impact on the gut microbiota composition/function and, consequently, on the general physiopathological processes of the host. Studies are showing that dietary components modulate the microbiota, and, at the same time, the host metabolism is deeply influenced by the different products resulting from nutrient transformation in the microbiota compartment. This reciprocal relationship can potentially influence even drug metabolism for chronic drug regimens, significantly impacting human health/disease. Recently, the influence of various dietary restrictions on the gut microbiota and the differences between the effects were investigated. In this review, we explored the current knowledge of different dietary restrictions on animal and human gut microbiota and the impact of these changes on human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermittent Fasting on Human Health and Disease)
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