Research Topic

Intermittent Fasting: Mechanisms and Clinical Usefulness

About this Research Topic

Obesity is the major risk factor for the metabolic syndrome and predisposes type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle interventions like caloric restriction and increasing physical activity are well known strategies to reduce body weight, improve insulin sensitivity and other cardiovascular risk factors. Beside caloric restriction which is well known for several beneficial effects on health and longevity, intermittent fasting, time restricted eating and fasting mimicking diets have become popular and gained greater attention in the last decade as powerful tools to ameliorate and postpone the onset of obesity-related diseases.

The term intermittent fasting (IF), also called period fasting means an alternation of 24-hour fasting or consumptions of very low calories (~25% of energy needs) with a 24-hour ad libitum eating period. The term time restricted eating (TRE) is defined by a daily food consumption which is restricted to a period of 4 to 12 hours. Fasting mimicking diets (FMD) use the strategy of a reduced caloric intake (~30% of energy needs) for five consecutive days before returning to normal eating cycles once a month or every 3 to 4 months per year.

Several underlying physiological effects induced by fasting involve improvement of energy utilization, promotion of repair mechanisms, induction of autophagy, and optimizing the stress response. However, the cellular signals and molecular mechanisms mediating the observed beneficial effects and which fasting pattern is the most efficient for the different groups of patients remains largely unknown. In addition, it has not yet been clarified to what extent fasting affects different organs and whether obesity-associated epigenetic changes can be reversed through intermittent fasting.

This specific Research Topic aims to provide a comprehensive picture of current studies with the focus on intervention studies in human and animal models as well as on molecular circuits underlying the beneficial effects of the different fasting regiments. Original Research, Methods, Review, Mini Review, Perspective, and Opinion articles addressing the following topics and other similar studies aiming at the better understanding of intermittent fasting effects are welcome:
• Intervention studies
• Circadian rhythm
• Endocrine system
• Autophagy, ER stress and mitochondrial function
• Stress resistance
• Epigenetic reprogramming
• Pathways modulations


Keywords: Intermittent Fasting, Time-restricted Eating, Fasting-mimicking Diet, Molecular Mechanisms, Insulin Sensitivity, Epigenetics, Inflammation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Obesity is the major risk factor for the metabolic syndrome and predisposes type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle interventions like caloric restriction and increasing physical activity are well known strategies to reduce body weight, improve insulin sensitivity and other cardiovascular risk factors. Beside caloric restriction which is well known for several beneficial effects on health and longevity, intermittent fasting, time restricted eating and fasting mimicking diets have become popular and gained greater attention in the last decade as powerful tools to ameliorate and postpone the onset of obesity-related diseases.

The term intermittent fasting (IF), also called period fasting means an alternation of 24-hour fasting or consumptions of very low calories (~25% of energy needs) with a 24-hour ad libitum eating period. The term time restricted eating (TRE) is defined by a daily food consumption which is restricted to a period of 4 to 12 hours. Fasting mimicking diets (FMD) use the strategy of a reduced caloric intake (~30% of energy needs) for five consecutive days before returning to normal eating cycles once a month or every 3 to 4 months per year.

Several underlying physiological effects induced by fasting involve improvement of energy utilization, promotion of repair mechanisms, induction of autophagy, and optimizing the stress response. However, the cellular signals and molecular mechanisms mediating the observed beneficial effects and which fasting pattern is the most efficient for the different groups of patients remains largely unknown. In addition, it has not yet been clarified to what extent fasting affects different organs and whether obesity-associated epigenetic changes can be reversed through intermittent fasting.

This specific Research Topic aims to provide a comprehensive picture of current studies with the focus on intervention studies in human and animal models as well as on molecular circuits underlying the beneficial effects of the different fasting regiments. Original Research, Methods, Review, Mini Review, Perspective, and Opinion articles addressing the following topics and other similar studies aiming at the better understanding of intermittent fasting effects are welcome:
• Intervention studies
• Circadian rhythm
• Endocrine system
• Autophagy, ER stress and mitochondrial function
• Stress resistance
• Epigenetic reprogramming
• Pathways modulations


Keywords: Intermittent Fasting, Time-restricted Eating, Fasting-mimicking Diet, Molecular Mechanisms, Insulin Sensitivity, Epigenetics, Inflammation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2020 Abstract
31 March 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2020 Abstract
31 March 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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