Intermittent fasting has been well-received. Thanks to its many purported health benefits including weight loss, improved focus, and better cardiovascular health. Evidently, intermittent fasting can reduce the risk of many diseases, like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, to help you live a long, healthy life, according to a new review article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The study summarizes the impact of intermittent fasting at both a cellular and an organ/body system level.
The results consistently suggest the simultaneous suppression of glucose and insulin levels and upregulation of ketones induced by fasting lead to stress resistance, cellular repair, mitochondrial biogenesis, and upregulation of a variety of cellular maintenance processes, all of which may lead to improvements in a wide variety of conditions linked to poor metabolic health.
The idea might sound New Age-y, but the concept is getting some serious backing in scientific studies.
Another study by the researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) and Kyoto University examined what exactly happens when the body goes without food. Studying 4 subjects, they found 44 substances that increase in the body during fasting, and many of them are connected to health benefits.
The health trend may help slow down aging through increasing ketosis, inducing hormesis and increasing autophagy.
A common intermittent fasting schedule is 16/8 which involves eating all of your food between the hours of 12-8 pm. Therefore, you are fasting for 16 hours and feeding for 8 hours.
In intermittent fasting, our bodies release a hormone called ghrelin. Although the little agent is primarily released by the stomach, it stimulates a psychological desire in mammals to work harder.
Another study published by the Journal of Endocrinology indicates that it was determined that intermittent fasting encouraged the recruited participants to exercise more regularly by reason of increased amounts of ghrelin in their system in addition to lowering their body mass indexes.
Meanwhile, manipulating mitochondrial networks inside cells may lengthen lifespan and promote health, according to new research from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Published online in Cell Metabolism, the research sheds light on the basic biology involved in cells' declining ability to process energy over time, which leads to aging and age-related disease, and how interventions such as periods of fasting might promote healthy aging.
Another way intermittent fasting seems to slow down aging is reduced inflammation. It is linked to reduced inflammation in the brain, and other researchers have seen the effect in other tissues.
"Recent aging studies have shown that caloric restriction and fasting have a prolonging effect on lifespan in model animals but the detailed mechanism has remained a mystery," said Dr. Takayuki Teruya in the journal, Scientific Reports.