Special Issue "The Implication of Intermittent Fasting on Health and Diseases"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Teresa Vanessa Fiorentino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Magna Græcia University of Catanzaro, Viale Europa, 88100 Catanzaro CZ, Italy
Interests: insulin resistance; obesity; type 2 diabetes; NAFLD; cardiovascular disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Growing evidence has suggested that intermittent fasting may increase longevity and affect the development of several diseases including cancer, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. The mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of intermittent fasting are not completely known and are in part dissociated from those mediating weight loss. Several studies have indicated that intermittent fasting can trigger a metabolic switch from glucose-based to ketone-based energy, promote stress resistance, improve glucose and lipid metabolism as well as the hormonal and pro-inflammatory profiles, and positively modulate the gut microbiome. Given the increasing worldwide diffusion of obesity, insulin resistance-related conditions such as diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cancer, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, there is an urgent need to identify novel approaches able to prevent and/or treat these major global health issues. The purpose of this Special Issue is, therefore, to collect contributions regarding the mechanisms by which intermittent fasting may promote health and longevity and the clinical implications of this diet modality for the prevention and treatment of cancer, insulin resistance-related disorders, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.  

We welcome the submission of research papers, short communications, reviews, and meta-analyses.

Dr. Teresa Vanessa Fiorentino
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Intermittent fasting
  • Cell metabolism
  • Aging
  • Cancer
  • Cardio-metabolic profile
  • Oxidative stress
  • Diabetes
  • Insulin resistance

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Ramadan Fasting Improves Body Composition without Exacerbating Depression in Males with Diagnosed Major Depressive Disorders
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2718; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13082718 - 07 Aug 2021
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Abstract
Background: Ramadan fasting (RF) is a form of intermittent fasting that generally improves body composition and related metabolic profiles. Whether RF exacerbates depressive symptomatology in individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) is undetermined. Methods: 100 men, who lived in Bahrain and were [...] Read more.
Background: Ramadan fasting (RF) is a form of intermittent fasting that generally improves body composition and related metabolic profiles. Whether RF exacerbates depressive symptomatology in individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) is undetermined. Methods: 100 men, who lived in Bahrain and were between the ages of 18 and 64 years with an established diagnosis of MDD, participated in this 4-week study. Based on preference, participants were assigned to a fasting group (FG, n = 50) and a non-fasting group (NFG, n = 50). The FG engaged in fasting from 03:40 to 18:10 (dawn and dusk timings). Changes in depressive symptoms, body mass, body composition, and components of metabolic syndrome were measured. Results: There were no significant changes in depressive symptoms within the FG vs. NFG after controlling for baseline covariates: mean difference 0.49 (SE = 0.63), p = 0.43. No adverse effects were reported in either group. The FG experienced significant reductions in body mass, 1.87 kg, p = 0.001; body mass index, 0.69 kg/m2, p = 0.001; body fat, 0.87%, p = 0.001; body surface area, 0.03 m2, p = 0.001; and lean mass, 0.77 kg, p = 0.001. Conclusions: RF did not negatively affect depressive symptoms and improved body composition, suggesting short-term intermittent fasting may be a safe dietary practice for adult males with MDD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Implication of Intermittent Fasting on Health and Diseases)
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Article
Does the Energy Restriction Intermittent Fasting Diet Alleviate Metabolic Syndrome Biomarkers? A Randomized Controlled Trial
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3213; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12103213 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3287
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of an energy restriction intermittent fasting diet in metabolic biomarkers and weight management among adults with metabolic syndrome. This randomized controlled study was performed with metabolic syndrome patients, aged 18–65 years, at an [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of an energy restriction intermittent fasting diet in metabolic biomarkers and weight management among adults with metabolic syndrome. This randomized controlled study was performed with metabolic syndrome patients, aged 18–65 years, at an academic institution in Istanbul, Turkey (n = 70). All participants were randomized to the Intermittent Energy Restriction (IER) intervention group and Continuous Energy Restriction (CER) control group. Biochemical tests including lipid profile, fasting plasma glucose, insulin, glycosylated hemoglobin Type A1c (HbA1c), homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), blood pressure, and body composition were evaluated at baseline and at the 12th week in diet interviews. Dietary intake was measured with the 24-h dietary recall method and dietary quality was evaluated with the Healthy Eating Index-2010. Changes in body weight (≈7% weight loss) and composition were similar in both groups. Blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), fasting glucose, and insulin at the 12th week decreased in both groups (p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed in metabolic syndrome biomarkers between the IER and CER groups. The energy-restricted intermittent fasting diet did not cause any deficiencies in macronutrient and fiber intake in the subjects. Healthy Eating Index (HEI) index scores were achieved similarly in both groups, and subjects’ dietary intakes were close to daily reference nutritional intake values. The technique used to achieve energy restriction, whether intermittent or continuous, appears to alleviate the metabolic syndrome biomarkers activated by weight loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Implication of Intermittent Fasting on Health and Diseases)
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Review

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Review
Intermittent Fasting and the Possible Benefits in Obesity, Diabetes, and Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3179; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13093179 - 13 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Intermittent fasting has become popular in recent years and is controversially presented as a possible therapeutic adjunct. A bibliographic review of the literature on intermittent fasting and obesity, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis was carried out. The scientific quality of the methodology and the [...] Read more.
Intermittent fasting has become popular in recent years and is controversially presented as a possible therapeutic adjunct. A bibliographic review of the literature on intermittent fasting and obesity, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis was carried out. The scientific quality of the methodology and the results obtained were evaluated in pairs. Intermittent fasting has beneficial effects on the lipid profile, and it is associated with weight loss and a modification of the distribution of abdominal fat in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes as well as an improvement in the control of glycemic levels. In patients with multiple sclerosis, the data available are too scarce to draw any firm conclusions, but it does appear that intermittent fasting may be a safe and feasible intervention. However, it is necessary to continue investigating its long-term effects since so far, the studies carried out are small and of short duration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Implication of Intermittent Fasting on Health and Diseases)
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Review
Asprosin—A Fasting-Induced, Glucogenic, and Orexigenic Adipokine as a New Promising Player. Will It Be a New Factor in the Treatment of Obesity, Diabetes, or Infertility? A Review of the Literature
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 620; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13020620 - 14 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1745
Abstract
Asprosin is a recently discovered protein released during fasting conditions mainly by adipocytes from white adipose tissue. As a glucogenic peptide, it stimulates the release of glucose from hepatic cells by binding to the OLFR734 receptor and leading to the activation of the [...] Read more.
Asprosin is a recently discovered protein released during fasting conditions mainly by adipocytes from white adipose tissue. As a glucogenic peptide, it stimulates the release of glucose from hepatic cells by binding to the OLFR734 receptor and leading to the activation of the G protein-cAMP-PKA pathway. As it crosses the blood–brain barrier, it also acts as an orexigenic peptide that stimulates food intake through activation of AgRP neurons in the hypothalamus; thus, asprosin participates in maintaining the body’s energy homeostasis. Moreover, studies have shown that asprosin levels are pathologically elevated in obesity and related diseases. However, the administration of anti-asprosin antibodies can both normalize its concentration and reduce food intake in obese mice, which makes it an interesting factor to combat obesity and related diseases. Current research also draws attention to the relationship between asprosin and fertility, especially in men. Asprosin improves age- and obesity-related decrease in fertility potential by improving sperm motility. It should also be mentioned that plasma asprosin levels can be differentially modulated by physical activity; intense anaerobic exercise increases asprosin level, while aerobic exercise decreases it. However, further research is necessary to confirm the exact mechanisms of asprosin activity and its potential as a therapeutic target. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Implication of Intermittent Fasting on Health and Diseases)
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Review
Studying the Relationship of Intermittent Fasting and β-Amyloid in Animal Model of Alzheimer’s Disease: A Scoping Review
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3215; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12103215 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1873
Abstract
We examined the evidence for intermittent fasting (IF) as a preventative tool to influence β-amyloid in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A Scopus, Ovid, PubMed, and Web of Science (WoS), search yielded 29 results using the keywords “amyloid beta”, “intermittent fasting”, “intermittent [...] Read more.
We examined the evidence for intermittent fasting (IF) as a preventative tool to influence β-amyloid in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A Scopus, Ovid, PubMed, and Web of Science (WoS), search yielded 29 results using the keywords “amyloid beta”, “intermittent fasting”, “intermittent caloric restriction”, “alternate day fasting”, “modified alternate-day fasting”, “time-restricted feeding”, “Ramadan fast”, “intermittent calori* restriction”, “intermittent restrictive diet”, and “Alzheimer*”. Five research articles addressed directly the effects of intermittent fasting on β-amyloid levels in animal models of AD: alternate day fasting (ADF) and time-restricted feeding (TRF) methods were incorporated in these studies. The study designs were found to be heterogeneous. Variations in the levels of β-amyloid peptides or plaque in either the hippocampus, cortical areas, or both in animals following dietary intervention were observed as compared to the ad libitum group. Non-significant changes were observed in three studies, while two studies interestingly demonstrated amelioration and reduction in β-amyloid levels. Given the conflicting results obtained from this study, significant care has to be taken into consideration before the protocol can be applied as a preventative approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Longitudinal research is warranted to fully grasp how dietary habits can help alleviate the disease either through upstream or downstream of AD pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Implication of Intermittent Fasting on Health and Diseases)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Intermittent fasting and longevity
Authors: Valter D Longo
Affiliation: Longevity Institute and Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA; IFOM, FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology, Via Adamello, 16, 20139 Milano, Italy

Title: Effects of Intermittent fasting on cancer development and progression
Authors: Satchidananda Panda
Affiliation: Regulatory Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

Title: Metabolic effects of intermittent fasting
Authors: Domenico Tricò
Affiliation: . Department of Surgical, Medical and Molecular Pathology and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Title: Benefic effects of intermittent fasting on insulin resistance and mitochondrial function
Authors: Antonio Brunetti
Affiliation: Department of Health Sciences, University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro, Viale Europa, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy

Title: Implications of intermittent fasting on cardiovascular diseases management
Authors: Angela Sciacqua
Affiliation: Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy

Title: Effects of intermittent fasting on brain metabolism
Authors: Giuseppe Daniele
Affiliation: Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Title: Implications of intermittent fasting in diabetes prevention and treatment
Authors: Antonio Brunetti
Affiliation: Department of Health Sciences, University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro, Viale Europa, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy

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