The quantity and quality of food intake have been considered crucial for peoples’ wellness. Only recently has it become appreciated that the timing of food intake is also critical. Nondipping blood pressure (BP) is prevalent in diabetic patients and is associated with increased cardiovascular events. However, the causes and mechanisms of nondipping BP in diabetes are not fully understood.
Here, we report that food intake and BP were arrhythmic in diabetic db/db mice fed a normal chow diet ad libitum. Imposing a food intake diurnal rhythm by time-restricted feeding (TRF; food was only available for 8 h during the active phase) prevented db/db mice from developing nondipping BP and effectively restored the already disrupted BP circadian rhythm in db/db mice. Interestingly, increasing the time of food availability from 8 h to 12 h during the active dark phase in db/db mice prompted isocaloric feeding and still provided robust protection of the BP circadian rhythm in db/db mice. In contrast, neither 8-h nor 12-h TRF affected BP dipping in wild-type mice.
Mechanistically, we demonstrate that TRF protects the BP circadian rhythm in db/db mice via suppressing the sympathetic activity during the light phase when they are inactive and fasting. Collectively, these data reveal a potentially pivotal role of the timing of food intake in the prevention and treatment of nondipping BP in diabetes.