Long-lived peoples typically eat moderately and fast periodically. Caloric restriction (CR) leads to an extended life-span and less age-related health decline (senescence) and chronic degenerative diseases (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.). Intermittent fasting (IF) shows the same effect as CR – even without an overall reduction in caloric intake.
Hormesis is a hot new concept in research and medicine that studies moderate, cyclical stress – chemical, physical, mental, thermal – and it’s beneficial, stimulatory effect on body regulation. Examples include exercise, dietary restriction, cold, heat, and exposure to small amounts of irritant phytochemicals (cayenne, turmeric, garlic, coffee/tea, wine). Fasting is among the best hormetic stressors.
Benefits of Fasting – In General
Fasting increases antioxidant levels – sirtuins, superoxide dismutase (SOD) – without supplements or a change in diet! IF protects our systems from environmental and metabolic toxins. Regular use of intermittent fasting lowers serum glucose, increase insulin sensitivity, increases HDL levels, improves the cholesterol/HDL ratio (a heart disease risk factor), lowers homocysteine levels (a marker for systemic inflammation and stroke or heart attack risk), prevents hypoglycemia, and reduces diabetes.
A Fast Pain Solution
IF was found to have successful results in the control of inflammation and pain. IF facilitated the down-regulation of NF- kappaB, a primary pain moderator, increased brain serotonin, endogenous opioids, and endocannabinoids – all known to regulate pain, and markedly reduced responses to thermal and visceral pain.
Fast Your Hormones
IF balances levels and the circadian rhythm – daily cycles – of hormones. IF is one of the most effective means to increase growth hormone. Low growth hormone levels appear related to many of the signs and symptoms associated with aging.
Make Your Brain Fast
IF even enhances brain function as evidenced by improved memory, learning, and consolidation processes through long-term changes in synaptic efficiency and plasticity and protects from age-related cognitive decline. Regulation of internal organ functions via the autonomic nervous system improves from IF.
Age Less Fast
Methylglyoxal (MG) is a highly toxic glycating agent that is associated with impaired energy production, oxidative stress, and abnormal gene expression and cell signaling. IF suppresses MG formation and increases sirtuins and protects against MG effects.
How To Fast
The only hard research on fasting so far has been on water-only fasting. Experiment. A few times a week eat two meals a day. Once you’re used to that, try 24 hours once a week – from dinner until dinner the next day. The next step is a 36 hour fast – from dinner until breakfast in two days. When disciplined, I fast 36 hours once a week and go hike or work out the morning of breaking the fast.
Note: To see the full article with all 56 PubMed references, go to drforce.com/fasting
Have wonderful Holidays and New Year.