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Eating early meals may lower risk of heart disease

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 4 months ago

A recent study published in Nature Communications suggests that the timing of meals may have an impact on cardiovascular risk. The study found that individuals who ate their first and last meals earlier in the day had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those who ate later. Additionally, a longer overnight fasting period was associated with a lower risk of stroke and other cerebrovascular conditions. The study included over 100,000 adults participating in the NutriNet-Santé study in France, with a mean age of around 42 years old and predominantly female participants.

Pamela Martyn-Nemeth, a professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science at the University of Illinois Chicago, commented on the study, highlighting previous research that has shown the benefits of eating earlier in the morning and evening for metabolism. However, she also noted that more research is needed before healthcare professionals can recommend shifting meal times.

The study took into account various factors that can affect cardiovascular risk, such as age, sex, smoking status, physical activity levels, and alcohol consumption. It also considered other variables like bedtime and meal times during the week. Despite these efforts to account for confounding factors, there were still some differences between earlier and later eaters that may have influenced the results.

Circadian rhythms, which regulate the body's internal clock, may play a role in the observed effects of meal timing on cardiovascular risk. The study authors suggest that the synchronization of circadian rhythms in organs like the liver, heart, kidney, and pancreas through daily eating and fasting cycles may contribute to the benefits seen with earlier meal times and longer overnight fasting.

While the study adds to our understanding of the relationship between meal timing and cardiovascular health, experts caution against making recommendations based on these findings alone. Individual preferences, lifestyles, and health characteristics should be taken into account before suggesting specific meal timing patterns. Further research is needed to confirm and expand upon these findings before any definitive conclusions can be made.

In summary, a study has found that individuals who eat their first and last meals earlier in the day have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, a longer overnight fasting period is associated with a lower risk of stroke and other cerebrovascular conditions. However, more research is needed before specific recommendations can be made regarding meal timing.

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