Early Time-Restricted Feeding Proves Effective for Individuals With Prediabetes

Diabetes Friendly Diet

One week of early time-restricted feeding (eTRF) significantly reduced fluctuations in blood sugar levels and the duration of high blood sugar among individuals with prediabetes and high BMI, according to findings from the TRIO study.

Dr. Joanne Bruno from NYU Langone Health presented the results at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, noting that eTRF improves glycemic control by minimizing blood sugar variability and reducing the time spent with high blood sugar levels.

These benefits were observed independently of any weight loss effects. Bruno suggested that eTRF could be a beneficial dietary strategy for preventing diabetes.

eTRF involves restricting food intake to a 6-8 hour window early in the day. “We defined early time-restricted feeding as an eating window from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with 80% of calories consumed prior to 1 p.m.,” Bruno explained.

“We found that just 1 week of eTRF reduced blood sugar fluctuations and the duration of high blood sugar levels.”

While the TRIO study was conducted under controlled conditions, Bruno expressed confidence in the potential generalizability of the findings.

“There have been multiple real-world studies looking at time-restricted feeding, not specifically eTRF, that have shown feasibility of these protocols,” she added.

Early Time-Restricted Eating for Prediabetes (Photo: Getty Images)

TRIO was a randomized crossover study involving 10 participants with prediabetes and BMI >28. Participants, evenly split between genders and predominantly Black, underwent isocaloric diets of either eTRF or usual feeding for 1 week each.

Measurements taken included mean glucose levels, time in range (blood glucose 70-180%), and inflammatory marker concentrations.

Key findings from the study included:

  • Mean amplitude of glycemic excursion (MAGE) was significantly lower with eTRF (2.4 mmol/L) compared to usual feeding (2.9 mmol/L), indicating reduced blood sugar variability (P=0.001).
  • Both diets maintained similar mean glucose levels (eTRF: 5.4 mmol/L vs. usual feeding: 5.2 mmol/L) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels.
  • Participants reported no significant differences in hunger, satiety, or fullness between the two diet arms.

Dr. Joseph Henske from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences commented that while the study provided intriguing results in a prediabetic population, its small size necessitates larger confirmatory studies.

He also suggested looking into whether similar benefits could extend to individuals with diabetes.

Bruno emphasized the potential of eTRF as a feasible strategy to improve glycemic control without necessitating weight loss, based on the positive outcomes observed in the TRIO study.

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