Benefits of intermittent fasting – evidence based

BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

The benefits of intermittent fasting are very many and all these have been tested and evidenced after facilitating intermittent fasting diet procedures.

benefits of intermittent fasting

Here are all the benefits of intermittent fasting;

  • Improves brain health
  • It boosts cell growth
  • It can help in reducing blood pressure
  • It plays a bigger role in increasing longevity
  • Reduction of possibilities of suffering from heart disease
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Fasting plays a role in weight and belly fat reduction
  • Alzheimer’s disease prevention
  • Intermittent fasting can help in reducing inflammation
  • Intermittent fasting can help in cancer prevention
  • It can induce cellular repair processes

Improves brain health

This is one of the benefits of intermittent fasting. This type of fasting diet plays a big role in brain health by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor(NDNF). This is a type of protein produced by the brain and it helps in the growth of new neurons, facilitates communication between the neurons and it acts as a natural antidepressant.

Animal studies, carried out on mice showed that the mice that were put in an intermittent fasting diet had better learning and memory than those who were just on free food.

This study, however, has not been tested to determine if these particular observations occur in humans too. More needs to be done to know if this benefits of intermittent fasting are on humans too.

Intermittent fasting boosts cell growth

A study carried out on mice showed that fasting increases the growth of stem cells, in both young and aged mice. This happens because in fasting mice it was found that cells begin breaking down fatty acids and this stimulates cell regeneration.

Fasting can also increase the growth hormone levels in the body and this will facilitate fat burning and cause muscle gain.

More research has to be done to establish if these benefits are for humans too because the research was done on mice.

It can help in reducing blood pressure

Fasting reduces insulin levels in the blood. High insulin levels can cause accumulation of fluids and salt in the body and this increases blood pressure significantly.

If insulin is in high quantities, it can also cause thickening of blood vessel tissue and all this leads to an increase in blood pressure.

 Intermittent fasting helps in eliminating all these negatives by reducing insulin levels in the body.

The reduction in blood pressure is however short term as it will be witnessed only during the time intermittent fasting is practiced.

This study has been carried out in both humans and animals and both showed positive signs according to the 2019 study published in Nutrients and European journal of nutrition

It plays a bigger role in increasing longevity

Studies carried out on mice showed that intermittent fasting plays a bigger role in increasing longevity.

In some studies, mice that fasted every day were found to live 83% longer than those that never fasted.

This study is however far from testing on humans but in cardiac catheterization patients, there is a higher possibility of an increase in longevity if they get involved in an intermittent fasting diet.

More study still needs to be carried on humans in order to remove any possible doubts available.

Reduction of possibilities of suffering from heart disease

Intermittent fasting can help in reducing levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and high blood pressure. All these are risk factors for heart disease. Keeping these factors under control improves heart health and reduces the occurrence of heart diseases.

The study of the reduction of heart disease risk factors was found to be true in both humans and animals according to the 2016 review.

Reduces insulin resistance

This is also seen as one of the crucial benefits of intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting has been found to be able to reduce insulin resistance in the body. Insulin resistance can cause a build-up of blood sugar levels and this can eventually lead to high blood pressure and an increase in blood sugar levels.

In another study intermittent fasting has been seen as the perfect tool for normalizing glucose and improving glucose variability in the blood.

This is seen as the best way for type 2 diabetic people to reduce the effects of diabetes. Restricting glucose in the diet is seen as being able to reset body glucose levels.

This study was carried out in humans too but it was very small and thus more evidence still needs to be gathered.

Registered dieticians always warn people who are diabetic to approach an intermittent fasting diet with greater caution.

Fasting Plays a role in weight and belly fat reduction

Several studies carried out have found out that the intermittent diet plays a role in weight loss. This has been linked to the reduction in insulin levels, which reduces the intake of blood sugar into cells for energy production. This reduction leads to the breakdown of stored fats for energy and this leads to weight loss.

A 2017 trial also found that intermittent fasting has a role in weight loss.

Alzheimer’s disease prevention

Studies carried out on mice showed that intermittent fasting can help in improving the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Intermittent fasting also reduces cortisol levels which are usually increased due to Alzheimer’s disease infection.

The study on mice also showed that fasting can potentially protect against other diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.

This research needs to be carried out more on humans to determine the actual possibility in humans and clear out any doubts.

Intermittent fasting can help in reducing inflammation

Several studies carried out in 2013 and 2014 have shown that intermittent fasting can reduce inflammation by reducing oxidative stress.

The role intermittent fasting plays in reducing insulin resistance also helps in reducing inflammation.

The study was carried out on animals but in limited samples and in humans during the fasting month of Ramadan. In humans, during the fasting month, it was found that inflammatory risk factors were highly reduced throughout the fasting period.

This study still needs more research to clear any doubts in the public.

Reduced cholesterol levels

Intermittent fasting has also been seen to be able to contribute to the reduction of bad cholesterol levels.

More study is still needed here

 Intermittent fasting can help in Cancer prevention

The reduction in insulin resistance and inflammation levels have been seen to play a bigger role in preventing and reducing cancer infection and this makes it one of the benefits of intermittent fasting.

Some studies also argue that this type of fasting can help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy treatments.

More human study is still needed to establish the actual relationship between fasting and cancer as these benefits of intermittent fasting have not been fully established in humans.

 It can induce cellular repair processes

This is another good revelation in the benefits of intermittent fasting.

This type of fasting has been linked to cellular repair by some studies that have argued that fasting gives cells the chance to get rid of junk in the cells. 

Intermittent fasting was also found to initiate autophagy which breaks down and metabolizes broken and dysfunctional proteins.

This study was mostly carried out on mice. More study on humans is still needed.

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CONCLUSION

Most of the studies above were carried out on animals alone and there is no enough supporting evidence involving humans. Therefore, people should approach the intermittent fasting diet with greater care. More studies should should be carried out to know if the all the benefits of intermittent fasting apply to humans too

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