Intermittent Fasting and Metabolic Health: From Religious Fast to Time-Restricted Feeding.Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 07; 28 Suppl 1:S29-S37.O
Over the past 10 to 15 years, intermittent fasting has emerged as an unconventional approach to reduce body weight and improve metabolic health beyond simple calorie restriction. In this review, we summarize findings related to Ramadan and Sunnah fasting. We then discuss the role of caloric restriction not only as an intervention for weight control, but importantly, as a strategy for healthy aging and longevity. Finally, we review the four most common intermittent fasting (IF) strategies used to date for weight management and to improve cardiometabolic health. Weight loss is common after IF but does not appear to be different than daily caloric restriction when compared directly. IF may also provide additional cardiometabolic benefit, such as insulin sensitization, that is independent from weight loss. While no specific fasting regimen stands out as superior at this time, there is indeed heterogeneity in responses to these different IF diets. This suggests that one dietary regimen may not be ideally suited for every individual. Future studies should consider strategies for tailoring dietary prescriptions, including IF, based on advanced phenotyping and genotyping prior to diet initiation.