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Intermittent Fasting and its Health Benefits

by Gauri Kolhe

Intermittent fasting or you can say intermittent energy restriction is a pattern involves the cycle between eating period and fasting period.

Intermittent fasting is not related to what to eat or not but informs you about when you should have food.

There are various different methods of intermittent fasting, named as the 16/8, warrior diet, eat stop eat, spontaneous meal skipping, alternate-day fasting.

Intermittent fasting is also exists as a religious practice in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism and Judaism and has been performed for millennia.

In numerous studies, intermittent fasting has been recorded many health benefits in humans, associated with lifestyle diseases as well as brain associated diseases like blood pressure, diabetes and Alzheimer respectively. This also lowers the risk of cardio-metabolic diseases.

Here are health benefits of intermittent fasting:

Cell physiology, genes function and hormonal function are altered by Intermittent Fasting

From the morning to the evening your body performs much function consciously as well as unconsciously. When you don’t do anything there are many functions happens in your body such as hormone secretion, cellular repair processes.

Intermittent fasting drops the level of insulin, which is responsible for fat metabolism.

Growth hormone level may increase to 2-5 folds which facilitate fat metabolism and muscle building.

Removal of toxic substance and waste material from the cell is a kind of cellular repairs. It has been seen in numerous studies the intermittent fasting induces the cellular repairs.

Beneficial changes in gene expression stimulates by intermittent fasting which leads the protection against disease either by suppression or depression.

Intermittent Fasting can be helpful in case of obesity and loose belly fat

loose belly fat

When it comes to fasting, the primary goal of intermittent fasting is to lose weight. In general intermittent fasting reduced the food frequency.

Obesity is metabolic disease associated with the way you eat, the way you work and the circadian rhythm.

Visceral obesity develops the risk for hypertension, hyperlipidimics, diabetes and coronary artery diseases. Intermittent fasting increases fat oxidation, decrease triglyceride level which is primary cause of obesity results in reducing belly fat and body weight.

Insulin level drop, higher norepinephrine and increased level of groeth hormone increases metabolic rate by 3.6-14%.

In a review of scientific study, the weight loss upto 3-8% for over 3-24 weeks has been reported. Belly fat causes many diseases, is also shown reduced in many individual.

Scientific study in human showed the intermittent fasting reduced blood sugar by 3-6%.

In the comparative study between intermittent fasting and continuous calorie restriction , intermittent fasting found to be more effective lowering muscle loss.

Insulin Resistance and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes can be lowered by intermittent fasting

Diabetes is a metabolic disease happens either in the case of improper working or destruction of beta cells, responsible of insulin secretion and very common in recent years.

Insulin metabolite the blood glucose level and deficiency of insulin leads diabetes type 1 and 2.

Intermittent fasting benefits for insulin resistance follow the reduction in blood sugar level. Intermittent fasting balances equation between the uptake of calorie and metabolism of calorie by reducing and inducing them respectively.

Oxidative Stress and Inflammation can be reduced by intermittent fasting

Your body has its own system to purify the whole body. Oxidative stress is one of the toxic factors maintains by this ability of purifying. When we eat something, it breaks into nutrient and other metabolite which result production of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

 Excessive free radicals damage protein and DNA. When equation misbalances between production and accumulation and detoxifying property, oxidative stress induced and causes aging, many inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases.

In Numerous studies intermittent fasting seems to enhance the resistance against oxidative stress. Inflammation is a driving force behind the aging and longevity causes collagen destruction and DNA damage, can also be managed by intermittent fasting.

Intermittent Fasting can be a beneficial in preventing cardiac diseases  

Cardiac health is one of the most important concerns in recently decades.

 In general various risk factors are associated with cardiac diseases in the increased or decreased manner.

Blood pressure, hypertension, cholesterol and triglycerides, blood sugar level and inflammatory markers are common biomarkers which can be maintained by intermittent fasting.

In a animal study high density lipids level seems lowering. Intermittent fasting may protect various cardiac diseases such as atherosclerosis, cardiac arrhythmia heart failure.

Most of the studies are the results in animal model so effects of intermittent fasting need to be studied in human models also.

Various Cellular Repair Processes can be induces by intermittent fasting

Cellular repair is a part of physiology of human body in different manners such as removal of metabolites and production of cells.

Autophagy is one of these processes involves initiation of cellular waste removal by allowing systemic degradation of cellular components.  

During deprivation autophagy salvages the building molecules such as amino acids, lipid protein hence intermittent fasting seems positive effects on cellular repair process.

Intermittent fasting is reported to increasing autophagy which may act as prevention in several diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Intermittent Fasting may work as chemo-preventive factor.

Cancer is the most dangerous and terrible disease with minimum assurance of treatment. Daily millions of people dying from various types of cancer such as lung cancer, liver cancer, blood cancer and brain cancer.

Basically cancer is characterized as uncontrollable cell growth. These uncontrollable cells take their food from normal cells and keep growing leads formation of tumor.

Cancer has treatment if it could be detected at early state. In primary stages of cancer can be treated by using antioxidants, anticancer drugs and chemotherapy.

In a scientific study, intermittent fasting seems to have beneficial effects on cancer cells. Intermittent fasting increases metabolism of risk factors and reduce the risk of cancer.

Promising evidence shown in animal studies indicates prevention of cancer by intermittent fasting. Although there is a need of intermittent fasting studies in human models for better prevention of cancer.

Various brains related diseases can be prevented by intermittent fasting.

The fruit, vegetables, nuts, and herb whatever you eat are good for health as well as for your brain. Healthy frequent eating is necessary to maintain good health but excessive eating leads to metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

To maintain good brain health you have to follow intermittent fasting patterns. Intermittent fasting lowers the inflammation, oxidative stress and lowering I blood sugar. Intermittent fasting also maintains brain health.

Scientific studies in animal models have been reported the growth of new neurons, building unit of brain results beneficiary brain function. Brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) hormone is responsible for neuronal survival and growth.

It also has a function of neurotransmitter modulator. BDNF facilitates memory and learning. Implication in depression and several brain diseases are associated with the deficiency of BDNF.

Intermittent fasting studies in several animal model have shown protection against brain damage due to strokes.

Intermittent Fasting May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

When we talk about brain disease Alzheimer’s disease is the most problematic and most common neurodegenerative disease.

This is the progressive disorder results memory loss and mental functions. In Alzheimer’s brain cell connections degenerate, eventually leads memory loss.

 Treatment of Alzheimer’s diseases is not available so only prevention is the cure in case of Alzheimer. Treatment with drugs only can helps in this condition.

In a research study in rat model, delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or reduce its severity has been noticed as an effects of intermittent fasting.

As a result of studies of series of case reports, it has been show that a lifestyle including short term fasting significantly improvement of symptoms of Alzheimer’s 9 out of 10.

Parkinson is another degenerative disorder associated with the movement of body and tremors. Animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may protect Parkinson.

Last but not the least; Your Lifespan can also be extending by intermittent fasting

Benefit of all the benefits of intermittent fasting is the ability to extend lifespan of human in many ways either by increasing hormone secretion or sometimes increasing metabolism and preventing several vulnerable diseases.

Comparative Results of intermittent fasting and continuous calorie restriction, shows the extended lifespan of rats. In these studies, rats that were fasted lived for 83% longer duration than the rats that weren’t fasted which is quite dramatic.

Although the beneficiary effects has not studied in human, intermittent fasting become very popular concern in order to live a healthy life.

 As all the benefits include suppression of gene expression, biomarkers and hormones such as insulin, life span is surely extended.

All the studies known for benefits for metabolism, it seems fasting can help you a healthy and longer life with your beloved.

Intermittent fasting benefits vary from the basic structural and function unit, cell to the complicated functions of brain. Intermittent fasting not only protect you from various diseases but also increase your immunity and stamina.

So keep following intermittent fasting from time to time and includes healthy diets and exercise in your routine to stay healthy.

So keep  fasting and stay healthy……..

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