BackgroundA novel line of research has emerged, suggesting that daily feeding-fasting schedules that are synchronized with sleep-wake cycles have metabolic implications that are highly relevant to breast cancer. We examined associations of nighttime fasting duration with biomarkers of breast cancer risk among women in the 2009-2010 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
MethodsDietary, anthropometric, and HbA1c data were available for 2,212 women, and 2-hour postprandial glucose concentrations were available for 1,066 women. Nighttime fasting duration was calculated using 24-hour food records. Separate linear regression models examined associations of nighttime fasting with HbA1c and 2-hour glucose concentrations. Logistic regression modeled associations of nighttime fasting with elevated HbA1c (HbA1c ≥ 39 mmol/mol or 5.7%) and elevated 2-hour glucose (glucose ≥ 140 mg/dL). All models adjusted for age, education, race/ethnicity, body mass index, total kcal intake, evening kcal intake, and the number of eating episodes per day.
ResultsEach 3-hour increase in nighttime fasting (roughly 1 SD) was associated with a 4% lower 2-hour glucose measurement [β, 0.96; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.93-1.00; P < 0.05], and a nonstatistically significant decrease in HbA1c. Logistic regression models indicate that each 3-hour increase in nighttime fasting duration was associated with roughly a 20% reduced odds of elevated HbA1c (OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.68-0.97; P < 0.05) and nonsignificantly reduced odds of elevated 2-hour glucose.
ConclusionsA longer nighttime duration was significantly associated with improved glycemic regulation.
ImpactRandomized trials are needed to confirm whether prolonged nighttime fasting could improve biomarkers of glucose control, thereby reducing breast cancer risk.