IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1166: Effect of Intermittent Energy Restriction on Flow Mediated Dilatation, a Measure of Endothelial Function: A Short Report (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Intermittent energy restriction is a popular alternative to daily energy restriction for weight loss; however, it is unknown if endothelial function, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, is altered by periods of severe energy restriction. The objective of the study was to determine the impact of two consecutive very low energy intake days, which is the core component of the 5:2 intermittent energy restriction diet strategy, on endothelial function compared to consecutive ad libitum eating days. The secondary objective was to explore the effects of these dietary conditions on fasting glucose concentrations. This was a 4-week randomized, single-blinded, crossover study of 35 participants. Participants consumed a very low energy diet (500 calories for women, 600 calories for men) on two consecutive days per week and 5 days of habitual eating. In weeks 3 and 4 of the trial, participants had measurements of flow mediated dilatation (FMD) and blood samples taken following either 2 habitual eating days or 2 energy restricted days in a randomized order. FMD values were not different after the two eating states (8.6% vs. 8.3%, p = 0.7). All other outcome variables were unchanged. Endothelial function, as measured by flow mediated dilatation, was not altered by two consecutive very low energy intake days. Further investigations assessing the impact in specific population groups as well as different testing conditions would be beneficial.