Intermittent fasting is a cyclical eating strategy that involves periods of fasting and eating. Historically, the practice of fasting has been implicit in the evolution of man as a method of survival in its beginnings and later as a practice for reasons religious; but it was not until multiple articles began to be published in recent years that the concept of intermittent fasting appeared
Intermittent fasting induces adaptive cellular responses over time and promotes the growth of cells involved in plasticity processes, as well as tissue-specific growth during the feeding period, with important metabolic effects and inhibition of inflammatory factors. Here are the top 5 scientifically proven benefits of intermittent fasting
1. It can help you lose weight
Many people try intermittent fasting to lose weight. Intermittent fasting generally reduces food intake. You will burn fewer calories unless you compensate by eating more at other meals. Additionally, intermittent fasting improves hormonal function and promotes weight loss.
Successful total calorie reduction has been shown to result in greater weight loss than a standard low-calorie diet. This means that if fasting hours are applied correctly and excess calorie intake is not offset by eating hours, fewer calories will be consumed, resulting in weight loss.
Intermittent fasting allows you to respect the rest periods of the body and promotes superior performance. For this reason, it is associated with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease, better control of diabetes, and increased sensitivity to insulin and blood pressure.
In addition, when a person fasts or does not have food, the body’s metabolism consumes its own reserves, the main source of energy being lipids. Also, not eating food or carbohydrates will block insulin and other hormones, such as leptin, that regulate appetite. So in response to this, the body quickly makes metabolic adaptations. Precisely, an increase in ketone bodies, present in intermittent fasting, will help control your appetite and when you eat, leading to control of your calories, your metabolism and your results.
2. May reduce insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
Its main characteristic is hyperglycemia as part of insulin resistance. Anything that reduces insulin resistance can help lower blood sugar levels and prevent type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, intermittent fasting has been shown to provide more benefits against insulin resistance and significantly lower levels of blood sugar.
In human studies of intermittent fasting, fasting blood glucose in prediabetes decreased by 3% to 6% over 8 to 12 weeks. Fasting insulin decreased from 20% to 31%. This means that intermittent fasting can be very protective for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
3. May be beneficial for heart health
Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the world. Certain risk factors are known to be associated with a higher or lower risk of heart disease. Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve a variety of risk factors, including: blood sugar, blood pressure, blood triglycerides, total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and markers of inflammation. However, much of this is based on animal studies. More research on the effects of fasting on cardiovascular health in humans is needed before recommendations can be made.
4. May Help Prevent Cancer
Cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of cells. Fasting has been shown to have several metabolic benefits that may reduce cancer risk. Promising evidence from animal studies indicates that intermittent fasting or diet may help prevent cancer. Human studies have shown similar results, although more research is needed. There is also evidence to suggest that fasting reduces various side effects of chemotherapy in humans.
5. It has benefits for your brain
What’s good for the body is often good for the brain. Intermittent fasting improves several metabolic functions known to be important for brain health. Intermittent fasting reduces: oxidative stress, inflammation, blood sugar and insulin resistance.
Several studies in mice and rats have shown that intermittent fasting promotes the growth of new neurons and has beneficial effects on brain function. Animal studies have also shown that intermittent fasting prevents brain damage from stroke.
There is a lot of scientific information to support the benefits of intermittent fasting. All published articles have strongly endorsed intermittent fasting as a very good tool to improve the health of the population. At the same time, everyone agrees that more studies are needed in patients with different fasting patterns and different medical conditions to confirm the theory, since most of the information and benefits of intermittent fasting are animal studies, although the results are promising in humans.
“Disclaimer: This article is just information and was not written to give any advice or replace any professional indication. Any doubt you have please consult a doctor”