Humans in modern societies typically consume food at least three times daily, while laboratory animals are fed ad libitum. Over consumption of food with such eating patterns often leads to metabolic morbidities (insulin resistance, excessive accumulation of visceral fat, etc.), particularly when associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Because animals, including humans, evolved in environments where food was relatively scarce, they developed numerous adaptations that enabled them to function at a high level, both physically and cognitively, when in a food-deprived/fasted state. Intermittent fasting (IF) encompasses eating patterns in which individuals go extended time periods (e.g., 16-48h) with little or no energy intake, with intervening periods of normal food intake, on a recurring basis. We use the term periodic fasting (PF) to refer to IF with periods of fasting or fasting mimicking diets lasting from 2 to as many as 21 or more days. In laboratory rats and mice IF and PF have profound beneficial effects on many different indices of health and, importantly, can counteract disease processes and improve functional outcome in experimental models of a wide range of age-related disorders including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s disease and stroke. Studies of IF (e.g., 60% energy restriction on 2days per week or every other day), PF (e.g., a 5day diet providing 750-1100kcal) and time-restricted feeding (TRF; limiting the daily period of food intake to 8h or less) in normal and overweight human subjects have demonstrated efficacy for weight loss and improvements in multiple health indicators including insulin resistance and reductions in risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The cellular and molecular mechanisms by which IF improves health and counteracts disease processes involve activation of adaptive cellular stress response signaling pathways that enhance mitochondrial health, DNA repair and autophagy. PF also promotes stem cell-based regeneration as well as long-lasting metabolic effects. Randomized controlled clinical trials of IF versus PF and isoenergetic continuous energy restriction in human subjects will be required to establish the efficacy of IF in improving general health, and preventing and managing major diseases of aging.
Ageing Res Rev. 2016 Oct 31. Epub 2016 Oct 31. PMID: 27810402
There are many benefits in intermittent fasting. Here are my top 5.
1.) Weight loss
2.) Lowering your risk for Type 2 diabetes by lowering glucose and insulin levels.
3.) Lowering inflammation in the body.
4.) Brain health
5.) Longevity by ways of caloric restriction
I first experimented with IF for means of maintaining ideal weight. I would eat from noon to 7pm, and fast from 7pm to noon the next day. (17 hour fast) I did this for 3-4 days a week pretty consistently but I didn’t realized the true benefits, until I ran my bloodwork. All my lipid levels decreased and my A1C dropped from 5.5 to 5.0. My blood levels in the past have showed signs of insulin resistance, which I have shared with you in the past. (Increased cholesterol, increased triglycerides, increased LDL, and lower HDL) My blood levels are very sensitive to carbohydrates and sugars. Diets that are paleo or keto have always helped me maintain my “normal” numbers, but using IF has just made it that much easier. I have posted my supplement regiment in a previous blog, which I use along with IF to keep my numbers stable. See below.