Popular 14:10 fasting protocol found to help protect long-term health

A popular intermittent fasting protocol may protect one's long-term health by helping reverse many issues caused by metabolic syndrome. According to a new study from the Salk Institute and UC San Diego School of Medicine, following a common 14:10 eating schedule was found to reduce body weight, abdominal fat, cholesterol, improve blood sugar, and more.

Fasting isn't a diet, but rather is an eating protocol; it requires regularly fasting for a certain period of time, then limiting one's eating to a specific time frame referred to as the 'eating window.' Intermittent fasting protocols are often expressed in terms like 18:6, which means to spend 18 hours fasting followed by six hours in which one is allowed to sensibly eat.

According to this latest study, limiting one's self to a 10-hour eating window (14:10 fasting protocol) was found to help reverse metabolic syndrome, a series of health conditions that greatly increases one's odds of developing type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Examples of the conditions include high blood sugar, high triglycerides or cholesterol levels, too much fat around the abdomen, and more.

The study was fairly small with a total of 19 participants, the majority of whom were women. All participants were identified as having metabolic syndrome and typically ate around a time frame of more than 14 hours daily. Most of the participants were also on some type of medication for one or more conditions, such as taking drugs to lower high blood pressure.

Over the course of three months, the participants followed the 14:10 fasting protocol, eating only during the 10-hour window. Some participants ate fewer calories as a result of the reduced time of day reserved for eating, though participants weren't explicitly told to eat less.

At the end of the three months, the participants were found to have experienced between a 3- and 4-percent drop in BMI, weight, stomach fat, and waist size. As well, insulin levels and blood sugar showed improvements, blood pressure was reduced, and sleep quality improved.