A growing body of evidence suggests that meal timing is an important factor for metabolic regulation and that the circadian clock tightly interacts with metabolic functions. The proper functioning of the circadian clock is critical for maintaining metabolic health. Therefore, chrononutrition, a novel discipline which investigates the relation between circadian rhythms, nutrition, and metabolism, has attracted increasing attention in recent years. Circadian rhythms are strongly affected by obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other dietary-induced metabolic diseases. With increasing age, the circadian system also undergoes significant changes which contribute to the dysregulation of metabolic rhythms. Metabolic diseases are a major health concern, particularly in light of a growing aging population, and effective approaches for their prevention and treatment are urgently needed. Recently, animal studies have impressively shown beneficial effects of several dietary patterns (e.g., caloric restriction or time-restricted feeding) on circadian rhythms and metabolic outcomes upon nutritional challenges. Whether these dietary patterns show the same beneficial effects in humans is, however, less well studied. As indicated by recent studies, dietary approaches might represent a promising, attractive, and easy-to-adapt strategy for the prevention and therapy of circadian and metabolic disturbances in humans of different age.
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