Introduction: Obesity is a cause of metabolic syndrome. Intermittent fasting is a method that is quite popular today, and this is an alternative method to lose weight compared to the traditional method of undergoing calorie restriction (20-40% reduction in daily calorie intake) and/or physical activity. However, the effect of intermittent fasting and physical exercise on changes in the muscle remains unclear. This study aimed to determine the changes in muscle histology in intermittent fasting and physical exercise in obese mice.
Methods: 8-weeks old mice were given a high-fat diet for two weeks and then grouped into four groups (a control group, group two as a group with a high-fat diet, group three with a high-fat diet which was given physical exercise, and group four was a high-fat diet which was given fasting for 8 hours 5 days a week, for two weeks). Histological analysis was performed to see the changes in the muscles with hematoxylin staining at 40 times magnification.
Results: The fasting and physical exercise group were significantly less weight gain. The histological results found that the muscle diameter widened in the physical exercise group compared to the high-fat diet group (p<0.05). In comparison, the fasting group was found to have almost the same muscle diameter as the control group without the high-fat diet (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Both intermittent fasting and exercise were effective in reducing body weight, whereas intermittent fasting is more effective than exercise in maintaining muscle mass by maintaining muscle diameter to prevent obesity.