Intermittent fasting protects kidneys of obese mice
New research in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity finds that time-restricted feeding improves markers of kidney and vascular health. The research will be presented this week at the American Physiological Society (APS) and American Society for Nephrology Control of Renal Function in Health and Disease conference in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A research team based out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham fed mice either a high-fat or normal diet. After the mice developed obesity, the researchers split the high-fat diet animals into two groups. Half maintained continuous access to food while the other half had access restricted to the 12 hours they were most active—7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The time-restricted mice showed a number of improvements to their kidney health compared to the other high-fat diet mice. They excreted less of a key marker of kidney damage. They showed less damage to two different parts of the tissue and reversed damage in the space between cells. The small blood vessels in their kidneys had increases in the metabolic coenzyme, NAD+, and activation of the key metabolic enzyme, AMPK, was similar to that of normal-diet mice.
"These data indicate that restricting timing of high fat intake reduces renal damage and increases renal vascular metabolism, perhaps associated with increased AMPK activation, during diet-induced obesity," the researchers concluded.