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New proof from a period of animal and human studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals intermittent fasting has numerous health benefits to offer. Studies show that fasting for 18 hours can cause a metabolic shift from glucose to ketone energy, which leads to greater stress tolerance, lifespan, and a lower risk of illnesses like cancer and obesity.
There are several fasting apps available to you to help you manage your fasts effectively. These apps help with tracking your fasts and measuring your overall progress. Check out a comprehensive roundup of the popular fasting apps on Health Insider.
However, it’s worth noting that further research is needed to establish if intermittent fasting offers long-standing health benefits for most people.
Benefits Of Fasting
Promotes Metabolic Health
Intermittent fasting can help obese people augment their metabolic health, according to a study by a nutrition professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, Krista Vardy, who is also the writer of the book, Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.
Numerous research & studies involving different types and variations of intermittent fasting were inspected by the researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Here is a breakdown of various fasting styles:
- Alternate-day fasting – in this method a feast-day is followed by a fast day in which a total of 500 calories are ingested in a single meal.
- The 5:2 diet – this method incorporates five-feast days along with two fast days each week, is a modified variation of alternate-day fasting.
- Time-restricted eating – this method limits your eating to a set number of hours each day, often 4 to 10 hours, without any kind of calorie restrictions.
A study conducted by the investigators in the United Arab Emirates looked at the effects of fasting on inflammatory markers during Ramadan. Researchers discovered that intermittent fasting during Ramadan cuts pro-inflammatory cytokines and immune cells in healthy people.
During Ramadan, immune cells reduced considerably but remained within normal ranges. Fasting also decreased systemic inflammation via lowering body fat and leukocyte counts in the blood, as well as reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines.
The findings proved that extended intermittent fasting in Ramadan has helpful impacts on the body’s inflammatory condition as well as cardiovascular disease risk markers.
Prevent Neurodegenerative Disease
Dietary treatments have been offered as a means of extending life and improving health.
Animal studies have revealed fresh insights into the role of sirtuin 1 (a member of the protein family that triggers cellular retort to inflammatory, metabolic, and oxidative stressors) in aging and hint at possible innovative use of this enzyme to avoid brain fragility caused by aging processes.
In animal models, fasting boosts cognitive function, delays growth-related cognitive deterioration, lowers brain impairment and improves functional recovery after stroke, and mitigates the pathological and clinical aspects of epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
Despite limited studies, fasting has shown immense promise, and according to experts, there will be a time when fasting is prescribed alongside medication-based strategies. Researchers believe fasting can help with the natural course of recovery from neurological diseases.
Cancer Treatment And Prevention
Studies have exposed that fasting cycles retard the growth of tumors and sensitize a range of cancer cell types to chemotherapy, resulting in the treatment of various cancers. Normal cells in mice and maybe people are protected against the adverse side effects of a range of chemotherapy treatments by short-term hunger (or fasting).
Fasting’s curative potential would be enhanced if it also accelerated cancer cell death. We investigated the effect of fasting on cancer cell survival in the presence and absence of chemotherapeutic drugs in this study.
Fasting may make cancer cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy, while also protecting normal cells and promoting stem cell formation, according to a 2016 study from the University of Southern California. Fasting may help the immune system rebuild, according to a 2014 study in mice conducted by the University of California, San Francisco.
Fasting For Weight Loss
A study looked at the evidence for intermittent fasting (IF), a calorie-restricted diet alternative, in treating obesity, a major public health concern in Canada with few effective medical treatment options.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to be effective in the treatment of obesity. The investigations conducted thus far have been minuscule and transitory. Longer-term studies are needed to fully comprehend the function of intermittent fasting in weight reduction.
In A Nutshell
Fortunately, different fasting styles are available for you to choose from, including fastening-on-water to intermittent fasting and going for caloric control.
Overall, fasting can be advantageous to your health, when you merge it with healthy food and an active lifestyle.
Numerous fasting apps are available to you to educate and manage your fasts successfully. These apps help with tracking your fasts and measuring weight-loss progress. You can also benefit from various meal and workout plans provided in these apps.