Timing, Cutting Down Late Night Snack Go Long Way to Keep Your Heart Young: study

Eating habits have a great impact on heart health and now a team of Indian-American researchers says it matters when you eat so your heart doesn’t get aged early and remains young and their conclusion is based on a study of flies.

The researchers have studied fruit flies to translate what they say benefits to human heart one day. “Time-restricted feeding would not require people to drastically change their lifestyles but just the times of day they eat,” said Girish Melkani, biologist at the San Diego State University.

They found that the benefits of a time-restricted diet need necessarily be restricted to young flies. They introduced these dietary time restrictions to older flies and realized that their hearts became healthier too.

Girish Melkani

Girish Melkani

“Even if you introduce time-restricted feeding very late, you still have some benefit,” Melkani pointed out.

Melkani has partnered with other Indian-American scientists — Satchidananda Panda, circadian rhythms expert at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Shubhroz Gill from the Broad Institute in Boston — who found that by limiting the time span to eat for fruit flies, they were able to prevent aging and diet-related heart problems in flies.

Previous research has found that people who tend to eat later in the day and into the night tend to increase heart diseases than those who cut off their food consumption as early as possible. “So what is happening when people eat late? They are not changing their diet just the time,” Melkani said.

So the group of scientists examined one group of two-week-old fruit flies given a standard diet of corn-meal and allowed to eat throughout the day. Another group was allowed to eat food for only 12 hours in a day.

Three weeks later, the results showed that those who were restricted from eating after 12 hours in a day actually slept better for the rest of the day and their hearts are back to correct rhythm despite their age factor. Both had similar amounts of food.

The findings have been published in the journal Science.

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