A study which the New England Journal of Medicine recently published summarizes decades of research on intermittent fasting. It found out that the diet regimen results in weight loss and improvement of blood pressure, cholesterol, symptoms of asthma, and risk of cardiometabolic disease.
According to Fatherly digital media, “Less definitive evidence” like clinical trials, among others, suggests fasting could improve resistance to insulin in those who have type 2 diabetes.
It could also improve surgical outcomes by reducing tissue impairments, defer the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, alleviate multiple sclerosis symptoms, interfere with growth of tumors, and brain injury.
The study indicates that when one eats regularly, his body depends on glucose, a simple sugar that exists in carbs, for energy.
And when he fasts, sugar stores are running out, obliging the body to turn to triglycerides, a fat type, for energy.
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Intermittent fasting is said to have resulted in weight loss and improvement of blood pressure, cholesterol, symptoms of asthma and risk of cardiometabolic disease.
10 to 12 Hours of No Meal
According to Johns Hopkins University Neuroscience professor Dr. Mark Mattson, every time an individual eats, he replenishes the glucose stored in his liver.
The professor, also the author of this NEJM study,added that it takes around 10 to 12 hours without a meal or of not eating anything to make this switch.
In each hour following that, fat gets broken down into ketone bodies, providing energy for the brain. More so, such a metabolic switch provides a number of impacts that are beneficial for one’s health.
Dr. Mattson explains, most cancer cells depend on glucose. Therefore, he elaborates, making the body depend on ketones “could deprive cancer cells of energy and inhibit growth of a tumor.”
Clinical trials of IF are currently being conducted in patients who have breast, prostate, colorectal, ovarian, brain, and endometrial cancers.
Intermittent Fasting Can Reduce Tumor Growth
Studies conducted in animals show that intermittent fasting can reduce tumor growth and enhance the response of the body to stress, which the author claims give reason to believe that it could enhance the side effects of procedures like chemotherapy and radiation, both of which, he says, “is enormously stressful for the body.”
In his research on rats, Mattson found, fasting stimulated the animals’ parasympathetic nervous system, the opposite of flight or fight reaction.
Such a finding then explains the positive impacts of fasting on blood pressure, risk of heart disease, and cholesterol.
According to Mattson, the parasympathetic nervous system is slowing the heart rate and lowers blood pressure, similar to anaerobic exercise.
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An investigation of men with prediabetes shows consuming a number of calories as usual but limiting meals to a six-hour window early in the day, increased sensitivity of insulin and decreased ‘blood pressure and oxidative stress.’
Intermittent Fasting for Other Health Conditions
Intermittent fasting appeared to shield too, the rat’s neurons, specialized cells passing on information in the brain, from aging, which lowered their risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and stroke.
In the future, intermittent fasting might even be practiced to treat some types of diabetes. Developing evidence recommends it helps control insulin, the hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.
Limiting Meals to a 6-Hour Window
According to Registered Dietitian and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Felicia Stager, when the body is sensitive to insulin, it can process food and quickly clear sugar out of the blood.
When it is numb to insulin, blood glucose stays high and can result in problems with the eyes and kidneys and cause type 2 diabetes.
An investigation of men with prediabetes shows consuming a number of calories as usual but limiting meals to a six-hour window early in the day increased sensitivity of insulin and decreased “blood pressure and oxidative stress,” a kind of inflammation resulting from an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals, which can cause diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer.
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