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Time Restricted Feeding on Age-Related Physiological Decline and Skeletal Muscle Function


Aging is a natural part of an organism’s life cycle. It is, however, associated with increased risks for many chronic diseases including obesity and sarcopenia. Aging is also associated with dampened functions of the circadian clock, an internal timing system that orchestrates physiological function and behavior and displays recurrent daily 24h rhythms. The circadian clock has an intricate relationship with metabolic regulators and plays a key role in the daily partitioning of energy producing/consuming processes for the efficient functioning of metabolism. Time-restricted feeding (TRF) – a feeding regime that restricts caloric intake to an 8-9 hour feeding window in the active phase of an organism – is conceptualized as a method of synchronizing feeding-fasting cycles with endogenous circadian clock. TRF is a particularly innovative dieting strategy because it does not require alterations in caloric quantity/quality, thus rendering TRF an easy to adopt and yet highly efficacious intervention. The ability of TRF to holistically improve numerous health parameters in young mice makes it an attractive candidate for the prevention (or delay) of sarcopenia and age-related metabolic decline. Here we showed that TRF prevents body weight gain, reduces fat mass, preserves lean mass, bolsters glucose regulation, improves endurance and strength, and enhances muscle clock gene expression, all without caloric restriction and irrespective of age in male C57BL/6J mice fed a western diet. Thus, TRF can delay age-related physiological decline in middle-aged mice and our results set stage for further exploration of the benefits of TRF across lifespan.

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