Time-Restricted Fasting Improves Liver Steatosis in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease—A Single Blinded Crossover Trial

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Feehan, Jack ORCID: 0000-0002-9627-1299, Mack, Alexandra, Tuck, Caroline, Tchongue, Jorge, Holt, Darcy Q ORCID: 0000-0001-7752-6279, Sievert, William ORCID: 0000-0001-7829-0974, Moore, Gregory T ORCID: 0000-0002-3689-8858, de Courten, Barbora ORCID: 0000-0001-8760-2511 and Hodge, Alexander ORCID: 0000-0001-6680-2303 (2023) Time-Restricted Fasting Improves Liver Steatosis in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease—A Single Blinded Crossover Trial. Nutrients, 15 (23). ISSN 2072-6643


Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with visceral adiposity. We assessed the effectiveness of time-restricted fasting (TRF) for 16 h daily without calorie restrictions compared to standard care (SC; diet and lifestyle advice) in improving visceral adiposity and steatosis via controlled attenuation parameter (CAP). Methods: In a prospective single-blind randomized controlled trial, 32 participants with NAFLD were randomly assigned to TRF or SC for 12 weeks. The secondary endpoints were changes in liver stiffness, anthropometry, blood pressure, and other metabolic factors. Results: Twenty-eight participants completed the first arm of the study (TRF = 14, SC = 14), with 23 completing the crossover arm (TRF = 10, SC = 13). The baseline demographics were similar between the groups. Intermittent fasting caused a significant decrease in hepatic steatosis (p = 0.038), weight (p = 0.005), waist circumference (p = 0.001), and BMI (p = 0.005) compared to standard care. Intermittent fasting also resulted in additional within-group changes that were not seen in the standard care intervention. Conclusion: TRF offers superior improvements in patients with NAFLD, improving steatosis, weight, and waist circumference despite a lack of change in overall caloric intake. Time-restricted fasting should be considered as a primary weight loss intervention in the context of NAFLD. Trial registration: ACTRN12613000935730.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/47466
DOI 10.3390/nu15234870
Official URL https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/15/23/4870
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3202 Clinical sciences
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; metabolic syndrome; intermittent fasting; time-restricted eating; diet; fatty liver; obesity
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