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Home > Anti-aging Research > Breakfast


News & Research:

  • Is Breakfast Really Good For You? Here’s What the Science Says - Time, 1/10/19 - "A new research review published in The BMJ only adds to the debate: It analyzed 13 breakfast studies and found that eating a morning meal was not a reliable way to lose weight, and that skipping breakfast likely does not lead to weight gain."
  • Eating breakfast burns more carbs during exercise and accelerates metabolism for next meal - Science Daily, 8/15/18 - "compared to skipping breakfast, eating breakfast before exercise increases the speed at which we digest, absorb and metabolise carbohydrate that we may eat after exercise ... breakfast before exercise increases carbohydrate burning during exercise, and that this carbohydrate wasn't just coming from the breakfast that was just eaten, but also from carbohydrate stored in our muscles as glycogen. This increase in the use of muscle glycogen may explain why there was more rapid clearance of blood sugar after 'lunch' when breakfast had been consumed before exercise ... As this study only assessed the short-term responses to breakfast and exercise, the longer-term implications of this work are unclear, and we have ongoing studies looking at whether eating breakfast before or after exercise on a regular basis influences health"
  • High-energy breakfast promotes weight loss - Science Daily, 3/18/18 - "The patients were randomly assigned to consume one of two different weight-loss diets, which contained an equal number of daily calories, for three months. One group (Bdiet) ate three meals: a large breakfast, a medium-sized lunch and a small dinner. The second group (6Mdiet) ate the traditional diet for diabetes and weight loss: six small meals evenly spaced throughout the day, including three snacks ... At three months, while the Bdiet group lost 5 kilograms (11 pounds) the 6Mdiet group gained 1.4 kg (3 lb) ... Fasting glucose levels decreased 54 mg/dl (from 161 to 107) in the Bdiet group but only 23 mg/dl (from 164 to 141) in the 6Mdiet group. Overall mean glucose levels dropped in the first 14 days by 29 mg/dl (from 167 to 138 mg/dl) and 38 mg/dl (from 167 to 129 mg/dl) after three months in the Bdiet group. Overall mean glucose levels dropped only 9 mg/dl (from 171 to 162 mg/dl) in the first 14 days and only 17 mg/dl (from 171 to 154 mg/dl) in the 6Mdiet group"
  • The Surprising Secrets to Living Longer — And Better - Time, 2/19/18 - “It really is an issue of moderation,” says Peter Martin, a professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University, who runs an ongoing study of centenarians. Martin notes that while most centenarians eat different but generally healthy diets, one consistent thing he has picked up from work with his 100-plus crowd is breakfast. “They rarely skip breakfast,” he says. “It’s often at a very specific time, and the routine is important.”
  • Skipping breakfast associated with hardening of the arteries - Science Daily, 10/2/17 - "Three groups were identified -- those consuming less than five percent of their total energy intake in the morning (skipped breakfast and only had coffee, juice or other non-alcoholic beverages); those consuming more than 20 percent of their total energy intake in the morning (breakfast consumers); and those consuming between five and 20 percent (low-energy breakfast consumers). Of the 4,052 participants, 2.9 percent skipped breakfast, 69.4 percent were low-energy breakfast consumers and 27.7 percent were breakfast consumers ... Participants who skipped breakfast had the greatest waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, blood lipids and fasting glucose levels ... Participants who skipped breakfast were more likely to have an overall unhealthy lifestyle, including poor overall diet, frequent alcohol consumption and smoking. They were also more likely to be hypertensive and overweight or obese. In the case of obesity, the study authors said reverse causation cannot be ruled out, and the observed results may be explained by obese patients skipping breakfast to lose weight"
  • The Best Thing to Eat Before a Workout? Maybe Nothing at All - NYT, 4/26/17 - "these efforts obviously have focused on sports performance. Far less has been known about how meal timing and exercise might affect general health ... The implication of these results is that to gain the greatest health benefits from exercise, it may be wise to skip eating first ... our ancestors would have had to expend a great deal of energy through physical activity in order to hunt and gather food. So, it would be perfectly normal for the exercise to come first, and the food to follow"
  • Association of breakfast consumption with body mass index and prevalence of overweight/obesity in a nationally-representative survey of Canadian adults - Nutr J. 2016 Mar 31;15(1):33 - "Among Canadian adults, breakfast consumption was not consistently associated with differences in BMI or overweight/obesity prevalence"
  • Ask Well: Does Skipping Breakfast Cause Weight Gain? - NYT, 3/11/16 - "The food industry has promoted this claim for decades to sell breakfast cereal. But rigorous scientific studies have found no evidence that it’s true"
  • Is Your Breakfast Hurting Your Weight? - U.S. News, 10/16/13 - "Boiled down, it would seem that traditional breakfast foods are some variant of highly refined white flour, which in turn is quite regularly spiked with sugar"
  • Big Breakfast May Be Best for Diabetes Patients - WebMD, 9/26/13 - "randomly assigned 59 people with type 2 diabetes to either a big or small breakfast group ... after 13 weeks, blood sugar levels and blood pressure dropped dramatically in people who ate a big breakfast every day. Those who ate a big breakfast enjoyed blood sugar level reductions three times greater than those who ate a small breakfast, and blood pressure reductions that were four times greater ... About one-third of the people eating a big breakfast ended up cutting back on the daily diabetic medication they needed to take. By comparison, about 17 percent of the small breakfast group had to increase their medication prescriptions during the course of the trial ... Rabinovitz speculated that a big breakfast rich in protein causes suppression of ghrelin, which is known as the "hunger hormone."
  • Eating a big breakfast fights obesity and disease - Science Daily, 8/5/13 - "Metabolism is impacted by the body's circadian rhythm -- the biological process that the body follows over a 24 hour cycle. So the time of day we eat can have a big impact on the way our bodies process food ... 93 obese women were randomly assigned to one of two isocaloric groups. Each consumed a moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-fat diet totaling 1,400 calories daily for a period of 12 weeks. The first group consumed 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 at dinner. The second group ate a 200 calorie breakfast, 500 calorie lunch, and 700 calorie dinner ... By the end of the study, participants in the "big breakfast" group had lost an average of 17.8 pounds each and three inches off their waist line, compared to a 7.3 pound and 1.4 inch loss for participants in the "big dinner" group ... those in the big breakfast group were found to have significantly lower levels of the hunger-regulating hormone ghrelin"
  • Skipping Breakfast May Increase Coronary Heart Disease Risk - Science Daily, 7/22/12 - "Researchers analyzed food frequency questionnaire data and tracked health outcomes for 16 years (1992-2008) on 26,902 male health professionals ages 45-82. They found: ... Men who reported they skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who reported they didn't ... Men who reported eating late at night (eating after going to bed) had a 55 percent higher coronary heart disease risk than those who didn't. But researchers were less convinced this was a major public health concern because few men in the study reported this behavior"
  • Skipping Breakfast May Raise Diabetes Risk - WebMD, 6/18/13 - "The new study included only nine women. Their average age was 29, and all were overweight or obese ... measured their levels of insulin and blood sugar on two different days after the women ate lunch. On one day, they had eaten breakfast; on the other day, they had skipped it ... the women's insulin and glucose levels after lunch were much higher on the day they skipped breakfast than on the day they ate it ... There was a 28 percent increase in the insulin response and a 12 percent increase in the glucose response after skipping breakfast"
  • Protein-rich breakfasts prevent unhealthy snacking in the evening, study finds - Science Daily, 3/26/13 - "20 overweight or obese adolescent females ages 18-20 either skipped breakfast, consumed a high-protein breakfast consisting of eggs and lean beef, or ate a normal-protein breakfast of ready-to-eat cereal. Every breakfast consisted of 350 calories and was matched for dietary fat, fiber, sugar and energy density. The high-protein breakfast contained 35 grams of protein ... The consumption of the high-protein breakfast led to increased fullness or "satiety" along with reductions in brain activity that is responsible for controlling food cravings. The high-protein breakfast also reduced evening snacking on high-fat and high-sugar foods compared to when breakfast was skipped or when a normal protein, ready-to-eat cereal breakfast was consumed ...Study participants ate egg and beef-based foods such as burritos or egg-based waffles with applesauce and a beef sausage patty as part of a high-protein breakfast; Leidy also suggests eating plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or ground pork loin as alternatives to reach the 35 grams of protein"
  • Eat Breakfast, Cut Diabetes and Obesity Risk - WebMD, 6/14/12 - "Compared to people who ate breakfast three or fewer times per week, they were: ... 34% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes ... 43% less likely to become obese ... 40% less likely to develop fat around the tummy (abdominal obesity)"
  • Breakfast Decreases Type 2 Diabetes Risk - Medscape, 6/9/12 - "an analysis of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, which is a longitudinal study of 5115 black and white women between the ages of 18 and 30 years who were initially examined in 1985 through 1986. To date, participants have been reexamined at year 2, year 5, year 7, year 10, year 15, and year 20 (2005 - 2006) ... For each additional day/week of breakfast intake, there was a 5% decrease in risk of developing T2D ... Compared with participants who ate breakfast between 0 and 3 times per week, those who ate breakfast 5 times or more had a 31% reduction in T2D risk (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.54 - 0.88). They also gained less weight (0.5 kg/m2 less weight gain; P = .01) ... Those with higher diet quality had lower incidences of T2D, but breakfast frequency was more important, as it predicted T2D risk across diet quality score quartiles"
  • Eggs at Breakfast May Delay Hunger - WebMD, 5/11/12 - "researchers tracked 20 overweight or obese people, giving them either a breakfast containing eggs or cold cereal for one week. Although the breakfasts offered different protein foods, the meals themselves were equally matched in terms of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat ... people who had eggs in the morning felt fuller before lunch, and they also ate less food from the buffet compared to those who had cereal. Egg eaters also had lower levels of ghrelin and higher amounts of PYY3-36 during the three hours between breakfast and lunch. This suggests they felt less hungry and more satisfied between meals ... Long-term weight loss trials to compare the manipulation of protein quality without increasing protein quantity should be explored" - Note:  I fully agree.  I just seems very easy to keep my weight in check when I have eggs for breakfast.


  • Breakfast Skipping Is Associated with Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes among Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies - J Nutr. 2018 Nov 9 - "In total 6 studies, based on 96,175 participants and 4935 cases, were included. The summary RR for type 2 diabetes comparing ever with never skipping breakfast was 1.33 (95% CI: 1.22, 1.46, n = 6 studies) without adjustment for BMI, and 1.22 (95% CI: 1.12, 1.34, n = 4 studies) after adjustment for BMI. Nonlinear dose-response meta-analysis indicated that risk of type 2 diabetes increased with every additional day of breakfast skipping, but the curve reached a plateau at 4-5 d/wk, showing an increased risk of 55% (summary RR: 1.55; 95% CI: 1.41, 1.71). No further increase in risk of type 2 diabetes was observed after 5 d of breakfast skipping/wk"
  • The combination of daily breakfast consumption and optimal breakfast choices in childhood is an important public health message - Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Feb 11 - "Girls who have breakfast on a daily basis had lower mean BMI and BMI z-score; they were also less likely of having abnormal levels of serum triglycerides, atheromatic index (total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein-cholesterol ratio) and diastolic blood pressure after controlling for several confounding factors. Within regular breakfast consumers, of both boys and girls, those having ready to eat cereals had a superior nutrient intake profile"
  • Belief beyond the evidence: using the proposed effect of breakfast on obesity to show 2 practices that distort scientific evidence - Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep 4 - "research lacking probative value (RLPV) and biased research reporting (BRR) ... proposed effect of breakfast on obesity (PEBO) ... The belief in the PEBO exceeds the strength of scientific evidence. The scientific record is distorted by RLPV and BRR. RLPV is a suboptimal use of collective scientific resources" - Note:  So maybe eating breakfast doesn't help you lose weight.
  • Prospective Study of Breakfast Eating and Incident Coronary Heart Disease in a Cohort of Male US Health Professionals - Circulation. 2013 Jul 23;128(4):337-43 - "Eating habits, including breakfast eating, were assessed in 1992 in 26 902 American men 45 to 82 years of age from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer ... 16 years of follow-up ... Men who skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of CHD compared with men who did not (relative risk, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-1.53). Compared with men who did not eat late at night, those who ate late at night had a 55% higher CHD risk (relative risk, 1.55; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-2.29). These associations were mediated by body mass index, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes mellitus. No association was observed between eating frequency (times per day) and risk of CHD"
  • The relationship of breakfast skipping and type of breakfast consumed with overweight/obesity, abdominal obesity, other cardiometabolic risk factors and the metabolic syndrome in young adults. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES): 1999-2006 - Public Health Nutr. 2012 Oct 3:1-10 - "metabolic syndrome (MetS) ... Three breakfast groups were identified, breakfast skippers (BS), ready-to-eat-cereal (RTEC) consumers and other breakfast (OB) consumers, using a 24 h dietary recall ... Relative to the BS, the RTEC consumers were 31%, 39%, 37%, 28%, 23%, 40 % and 4 % less likely to be overweight/obese or have abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated serum total cholesterol, elevated serum LDL-cholesterol, reduced serum HDL-cholesterol or elevated serum insulin, respectively. Relative to the OB consumers, the BS were 1.24, 1.26 and 1.44 times more likely to have elevated serum total cholesterol, elevated serum LDL-cholesterol or reduced serum HDL-cholesterol, respectively. Relative to the OB consumers, the RTEC consumers were 22%, 31% and 24% less likely to be overweight/obese or have abdominal obesity or elevated blood pressure, respectively. No difference was seen in the prevalence of the MetS by breakfast skipping or type of breakfast consumed"