Research links intermittent fasting to benefits including:
• improved markers of health
• a reduced risk of chronic health conditions
• improved brain health
While the modern world appears awash with fad diets, people seem to be giving a fair bit of attention to intermittent fasting.
As its name implies, intermittent fasting involves eating nothing for extended periods of time.
Recently, a group of scientists at the University of California, Irvine investigated the impact of fasting on our circadian clock.
Daily sleep–wake cycles, or circadian rhythms, drive the ebb and flow of human life; they control much more than just our sleepiness levels. Our 24-hour cycles involve metabolic, physiological, and behavioral changes that impact every tissue of the body.
Perhaps the most well-known way to influence the clock is via exposure to bright lights, but this isn’t the only way; food intake also impacts the clock.
Fasting is a natural phenomenon for most animals, because food is not always readily available. In times of hardship, certain metabolic changes occur to allow the body to adapt. For instance, when glucose is scarce, the liver begins to create ketones from fatty acids, which the body can use as an emergency energy source.
Fasting is able to essentially reprogram a variety of cellular responses. Therefore, optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefitting health and protecting against aging-associated diseases.
Weight Loss –
• Intermittent fasting may drive weight loss by lowering insulin levels.
• The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which cells use for energy or convert into fat and store for later use. Insulin is a hormone that allows cells to take in glucose.
• Insulin levels drop when a person is not consuming food. During a period of fasting, it is possible that decreasing insulin levels causes cells to release their glucose stores as energy.
• Repeating this process regularly, as with intermittent fasting, may lead to weight loss.
Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
• Intermittent fasting may also have benefits for diabetes prevention, as it can help weight loss and potentially influence other factors linked to an increased risk of diabetes.
• Being overweight or obese is one of the main risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.
Reduced risk of cancer
Obesity is a risk factor for many different cancers, so the weight loss aspect of intermittent fasting could be responsible for the reduced cancer risk that some studies hint at.
Intermittent fasting can also decrease several biological factors with links to cancer, such as insulin levels and inflammation.
There are signs that intermittent fasting could reduce the risk of cancer. However, further research in humans is necessary to support this claim, though positive results have been seen in respect of animal studies.
reference – medical news.