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Context: Intermittent fasting (IF) is an effective strategy to the improvement of cardiometabolic health.
Objective: To examine the effects of IF on cardiometabolic risk factors and the gut microbiota in patients with metabolic syndrome (MS).
Design: Randomized clinical trial.
Patients: Adults with MS, 30-50 years of age.
Intervention: 8 weeks of “two-day” modified IF.
Main Outcome Measure: Cardiometabolic risk factors including body composition, oxidative stress, inflammatory cytokines, and endothelial function were assessed at baseline and 8 weeks. The diversity, composition, and functional pathways of the gut microbiota, as well as circulating gut-derived metabolites were also measured.
Results: 39 patients with MS were included: 21 in the IF group and 18 in the control group. On fasting days, participants in the IF group reduced 69% of the calorie intake compared to nonfasting days. The 8-week IF significantly reduced fat mass, ameliorated oxidative stress, modulated inflammatory cytokines, and improved the vasodilatory parameters. Furthermore, IF induced significant changes in gut microbiota communities, increased the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and decreased the circulating levels of lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Gut microbiota alteration attributed to the IF was significantly associated with cardiovascular risk factors and resulted in distinct genetic shifts of carbohydrate metabolism in the gut community.
Conclusion: IF induces a significant alteration of the gut microbial community and functional pathways in a manner, which is closely associated with the mitigation of cardiometabolic risk factors. The study provides potential mechanistic insights into the prevention of adverse outcomes associated with MS.
Yi Guo,Shiyun Luo,Yongxin Ye,Songping Yin,Jiahua Fan,Min Xia