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Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. There are many different types of intermittent fasting, such as the 16/8 or 5:2 methods.

Numerous studies show that it can have powerful benefits for your body and brain.

What are some health benefits of intermittent fasting? Call us now!

Intermittent Fasting Changes The Function of Cells, Genes and Hormones. When you don’t eat for a while, several things happen in your body. For example, your body initiates important cellular repair processes and changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible.

What changes occur in your body during fasting?

  • Insulin levels: Blood levels of insulin drop significantly, which facilitates fat burning
  • Human growth hormone: The blood levels of growth hormone may increase as much as 5-fold
  • Higher levels of this hormone facilitate fat burning and muscle gain and have numerous other benefits 
  • Cellular repair: The body induces important cellular repair processes, such as removing waste material from cells
  • Gene expression: There are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease 
  • Many of the benefits of intermittent fasting are related to these changes in hormones, gene expression and function of cells.

When you fast, insulin levels drop and human growth hormone increases. Your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes and change which genes they express. Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Image

Can Intermittent Fasting Help Lose Weight and Belly Fat?

Many of those who try intermittent fasting are doing it to lose weight. Generally speaking, intermittent fasting will make you eat fewer meals. Unless if you compensate by eating much more during the other meals, you will end up taking in fewer calories. Additionally, intermittent fasting enhances hormone function to facilitate weight loss. Lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels and increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy. For this reason, short-term fasting increases your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories.

In other words, intermittent fasting works on both sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolic rate (increases calories out) and reduces the amount of food you eat (reduces calories in). The people who use IF as a method of weight loss also lost 4-7% of their waist circumference, which indicates that they lost lots of belly fat, the harmful fat in the abdominal cavity that causes disease. One review study also showed that intermittent fasting caused less muscle loss than continuous calorie restriction. Intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories while boosting your metabolism slightly. It is a very effective tool to lose weight and belly fat. IF 4 Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Can Intermittent Fasting Reduce Insulin Resistance, Lowering Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes? Recommendations.

Type 2 diabetes has become incredibly common in recent decades. Its main feature is high blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance. Anything that reduces insulin resistance should help lower blood sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, intermittent fasting has been shown to have major benefits for insulin resistance and lead to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels In human studies on intermittent fasting, fasting blood sugar has been reduced by 3-6% while fasting insulin has been reduced by 20-31%.

One study in diabetic rats also showed that intermittent fasting protected against kidney damage, one of the most severe complications of diabetes  What this implies, is that intermittent fasting may be highly protective for people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, there may be some differences between genders. One study in women showed that blood sugar control worsened after a 22-day long intermittent fasting protocol. Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels, at least in men.

Can Intermittent Fasting Reduce Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in The Body? Meet the team!

Oxidative stress is one of the steps towards ageing and many chronic diseases  It involves unstable molecules called free radicals, which react with other important molecules (like protein and DNA) and damage them. Several studies show that intermittent fasting may enhance the body’s resistance to oxidative stress. Additionally, studies show that intermittent fasting can help fight inflammation, another key driver of all sorts of common diseases.  Studies show that intermittent fasting can reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the body.

This should have benefits against ageing and the development of numerous diseases. Studies show that intermittent fasting can improve numerous risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides and inflammatory markers. Intermittent Fasting Induces Various Cellular Repair Processes When we fast, the cells in the body initiate a cellular “waste removal” process called autophagy. This involves the cells breaking down and metabolizing broken and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells over time.

Can Intermittent Fasting Help with Alzheimer’s disease?

IF 3 Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Increased autophagy may protect against several diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Fasting triggers a metabolic pathway called autophagy, which removes waste material from cells.

Can Intermittent Fasting May Help Prevent Cancer?

Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells. Fasting has been shown to have several beneficial effects on metabolism that may lead to a reduced risk of cancer. Although human studies are needed, promising evidence from animal studies indicates that intermittent fasting may help prevent cancer.  There is also some evidence on human cancer patients, showing that fasting reduced various side effects of chemotherapy. Intermittent fasting has been shown to help prevent cancer in animal studies. One paper in humans showed that it can reduce side effects caused by chemotherapy.

Is Intermittent Fasting is Good For Your Brain?

What is good for the body is often good for the brain as well. Intermittent fasting improves various metabolic features known to be important for brain health. This includes reduced oxidative stress, reduced inflammation and a reduction in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Several studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting may increase the growth of new nerve cells, which should have benefits for brain function.  It also increases levels of a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) a deficiency of which has been implicated in depression and various other brain problems. Animal studies have also shown that intermittent fasting protects against brain damage due to strokes. Intermittent fasting may have important benefits for brain health.

It may increase the growth of new neurons and protect the brain from damage. Intermittent Fasting May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease Alzheimer’s disease is the world’s most common neurodegenerative disease. There is no cure available for Alzheimer’s, so preventing it from showing up in the first place is critical. A study in rats shows that intermittent fasting may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or reduce its severity  In a series of case reports, a lifestyle intervention that included daily short-term fasts was able to significantly improve Alzheimer’s symptoms in 9 out of 10 patients. Animal studies also suggest that fasting may protect against other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease  However, more research on humans is needed. Studies in animals suggest that intermittent fasting may be protective against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

Can Intermittent Fasting Extend Lifespan, Helping You Live Longer?

One of the most exciting applications of intermittent fasting may be its ability to extend lifespan. Studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting similarly extends lifespan as continuous calorie restriction. In some of these studies, the effects were quite dramatic. In one of them, rats that fasted every other day lived 83% longer than rats who didn’t fast. Although this is far from being proven in humans, intermittent fasting has become very popular among the anti-ageing crowd. Given the known benefits for metabolism and all sorts of health markers, it makes sense that intermittent fasting could help you live a longer and healthier life.

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