New Study Links Intermittent Fasting to a 91% Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Death

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.20 - 2024 9:58 AM CET

A new study from the American Heart Association challenges many of the positive aspects previously associated with Intermittent Fasting.

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In a huge study presented by the American Heart Association, it has been revealed that individuals adhering to an 8-hour time-restricted eating schedule face a 91% increased risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases compared to those who spread their meals over a 12-16 hour period each day.

This dietary approach, a form of intermittent fasting, has gained popularity for its potential benefits in weight loss and heart health improvement. However, the long-term effects on cardiovascular mortality have been largely unknown until now.

Key Findings of the Study

The research, which analyzed data from over 20,000 U.S. adults, found that limiting daily eating to less than 8 hours does not correlate with increased longevity and, in fact, may pose significant risks for individuals with pre-existing heart conditions or cancer.

Specifically, the study observed a 66% higher risk of death from heart disease or stroke among people with existing cardiovascular disease who ate within a 10-hour window.

Surprising Results Prompt a Reevaluation of Dietary Recommendations

The findings challenge the previously perceived benefits of time-restricted eating and suggest a need for a more personalized approach to dietary recommendations.

"We were surprised to find that an 8-hour, time-restricted eating schedule was linked to a higher likelihood of dying from cardiovascular disease," said senior study author Victor Wenze Zhong, Ph.D.

This calls for patients, especially those with heart conditions or cancer, to consult with their healthcare providers before making significant changes to their eating patterns.

Study Limitations and Future Research

The study's reliance on self-reported dietary information and its observational nature means that it cannot definitively prove causation.

Future research is needed to explore the biological mechanisms behind the association between time-restricted eating and adverse cardiovascular outcomes and to see if these findings hold true in different populations worldwide.

Implications for Public Health

This research highlights the importance of considering long-term health impacts when adopting new dietary trends. While time-restricted eating may offer short-term benefits for cardiometabolic health, its long-term effects on mortality warrant caution.

As the scientific community continues to explore the optimal duration of daily eating, individuals are encouraged to make dietary choices that align with both their health goals and the latest research findings.

For more detailed information on the study and its implications, individuals are encouraged to consult with healthcare professionals and consider the broader context of their dietary habits and health status.