Mouse Study Shows Intermittent Fasting Limits Obesity and Improves Metabolism

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Hoon-Ki Sung MD PhD Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Assistant Professor in Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology University of TorontoDr. Hoon-Ki Sung MD PhD Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Assistant Professor in Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology University of Toronto

Dr. Sung

Dr. Hoon-Ki Sung MD PhD
Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and
Assistant Professor in Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology
University of Toronto 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Despite extensive research and medical interventions, the prevalence of obesity and associated metabolic disease is increasing. More and more studies show that obesity and its associated metabolic problems are often associated with unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits, including frequent eating (non-stop) throughout the day, resulting in a shorter period of physiological fasting. As such, various dietary approaches, such as calorie restriction and intermittent fasting have gained popularity as therapeutic strategies for obesity treatment. Intermittent-fasting is when one temporarily stops eating for a period of time, returns to normal food consumption, and then temporarily stops again.

In our study we examined the effect of an intermittent-fasting regimen, without restricting caloric intake, in mice. We found that an intermittent fasting regimen not only prevented obesity in mice, but also improved metabolism by changing the quality of fat in the body.

Our findings show that the health of the mice is significantly influenced by daily eating patterns. The addition of a ‘stop eating’ period converted inflammatory fat to brown-like (or beige) fat by anti-inflammatory immune cells, meaning it changed bad fat into good fat.

The results are exciting, because they show that weight loss is not the sole benefit of fasting. Fasting also restores the dual function of fat cells, which is to store energy and to release energy.

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Dieting and Physical Activity During Pregnancy Linked To Lower C-Section Rate

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Shakila Thangaratinam Professor of Maternal and Perinatal Health Joint Director of BARC (Barts Research Centre for Women's Health) Women's Health Research Unit | Multidisciplinary Evidence Synthesis Hub (MESH) Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry  R & D Director for Women's Health Queen Mary University of London 

Prof. Thangaratinam

Shakila Thangaratinam
Professor of Maternal and Perinatal Health
Joint Director of BARC
(Barts Research Centre for Women’s Health)
Women’s Health Research Unit | Multidisciplinary Evidence Synthesis Hub (MESH)
Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
R & D Director for Women’s Health
Queen Mary University of London 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Pregnant women who are overweight or obese, or who gain excess weight gain in pregnancy are at high risk of complications. We wanted to find

  1. If healthy diet and physical activity in pregnancy reduced weight gain, and improved outcomes for the mother and baby
  2. If the effects of the interventions differed according to the characteristics of the mother such as body mass index, parity, ethnicity, and underlying medical condition

We established a network (International Weight Management in Pregnancy i-WIP) of researchers from 16 countries, and 41 institutions to answer the above.

We found that women who followed a healthy diet and moderate physical activity gained less weight in pregnancy than other women; this beneficial effect was observed irrespective of mother’s body mass index, parity, ethnicity, and underlying medical condition.

Diet and physical activity in pregnancy has a beneficial effect on weight gain in pregnancy, and lowers the odds of caesarean section, and gestational diabetes.

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Vegan Dieters Lost the Most Weight

Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., M.S., R.D. Assistant Professor University of South Carolina; Arnold School of Public Health Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Columbia, SC 29208MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., M.S., R.D.

Assistant Professor
University of South Carolina; Arnold School of Public Health
Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
Columbia, SC 29208

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Turner-McGrievy: Several observational studies have examined differences in weight-related outcomes among individuals following vegan, vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, or omnivorous diets. These studies have found lower body weights and less weight gain over time among vegans as compared to other groups. However, no randomized controlled trials have tested the relationship between these diets and body weight. So the goal of our study was to determine the effect of varying plant-based diets on weight loss. Our study found that a similar relationship of weight loss was found among the five diet groups that has been observed in epidemiological studies, with weight loss going from greatest in the vegan group followed by vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, and omnivorous. At six months, the vegan group lost significantly more weight (-7.5 ± 4.5%) than the omnivorous (-3.1 ± 3.6%, P=0.03), semi-vegetarian (-3.2 ± 3.8%, P=0.03), and pesco-vegetarian (-3.2 ± 3.4%, P=0.03) groups. Continue reading