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Nutrient sensing pathways

Fasting and time-restricted feeding can activate nutrient-sensing pathways


Research in the field of nutrient sensing pathways and circadian rhythms has revealed that the time of day when food is ingested affects body composition, inflammation, the gut microbiome, sleep, and overall health. 


Molecular clocks are present in almost every cell, anticipating changes in nutrient availability and adapting their cellular functions accordingly.


​​​​​​​A 2019 comprehensive nutritional review showed that daily cyclic fluctuations in nutrient assimilation and utilisation are altered during intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding. These alterations stimulate cellular adaptation, producing metabolic health benefits.

This review found that adhering to specific times of feeding and fasting activates nutrient-sensing pathways which regulate metabolism at the cellular level. Cellular transcription factors that modulate the expression of genes involved in nutrient utilisation were up-regulated during time of intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding. There were also behavioural benefits, including regulation of hunger and improved satiety.

Integrating the concept of nutrient-sensing pathways into clinically relevant treatment programs offers wide-ranging benefits, including:
•    Improved metabolic profile and body composition
•    Better utilisation of nutrients from food
•    Reduced inflammation
•    Prevention of chronic disease
•    Slowed cellular ageing

Reference: Chaix, A., Manoogian, E. N., Melkani, G. C., & Panda, S. (2019). Time-Restricted Eating to Prevent and Manage Chronic Metabolic Diseases. Annual review of nutrition, 39.


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Chris Sarandis


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