18 May Breast Cancer Survivors: Time Restricted Eating Reduced Body Fat and Cardiovascular Risk
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Amy Kirkham, PhD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Cardiovascular Health
Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education
University of Toronto
Affiliate Scientist at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Women who have had a breast cancer diagnosis are at least two-fold and often higher risk of cardiovascular or heart disease compared to women without a history of breast cancer. Older age, higher body mass index, and receipt of chemotherapy treatment that can injure the heart are risk factors for cardiovascular death after a breast cancer diagnosis.
Time-restricted eating is a type of intermittent fasting that appears to be easy to follow and to improve some measures of metabolic health but has not been studied in populations with a cancer history. Time-restricted eating simply involves consuming all calorie intake within a specific time window, commonly 8 hours, like between 12 and 8 pm, and then only consuming water or black coffee outside of those hours.
We enrolled breast cancer survivors who were aged 60 or older, had an overweight or obese mass index, and were finished chemotherapy treatment in a single-arm trial of time-restricted eating for 8 weeks. We asked participants to restrict their calorie intake between 12 and 8 pm from Monday to Friday with no restrictions on weekend and no further instructions on what to eat.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found that participants were able to follow time-restricted on 98% of the prescribed days and experienced very minor and brief symptoms. Asking participants to only eat between 12 and 8 pm resulted in a -22% average calorie reduction on weekdays without loss of lean mass. The 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease decreased by 15% and participants also lost total body fat and fat around the abdominal organs.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: If these results can be replicated in a randomized controlled trial, time-restricted eating may be used as a simple, cost-effective and safe therapy that can be prescribed in-office as an alternative to pharmacological cardiovascular risk reduction therapy.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: The study findings are promising but require confirmation via a randomized controlled trial design. We have a randomized controlled trial starting soon that will test the efficacy of time-restricted eating during chemotherapy for breast cancer to prevent metabolic and cardiovascular toxicity. We are also hoping to secure funding to do a randomized controlled trial with a population similar to that in the current study who are completed breast cancer treatment and are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease.
Kirkham A, Ford K, Topolnyski J, et al. Time-Restricted Eating to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Among Older Breast Cancer Survivors. J Am Coll Cardiol CardioOnc. null2022, 0 (0) .https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaccao.2022.03.002
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Last Updated on May 18, 2022 by Marie Benz MD FAAD