New York, May 16 (SocialNews.XYZ) While people tend to follow new diets to get in shape and reduce weight, research has shown that in addition to weight loss, people who engage in intermittent fasting can also experience benefits like slow aging and be able to fight cancer as well as diabetes.
Intermittent fasting diets generally fall into two categories: daily time-restricted eating, which reduces mealtimes to 6-8 hours a day, and so-called 5:2 intermittent fasting, in which people are limited to one moderate sized meal two days each week.
“Intermittent fasting could be part of a healthy lifestyle,” said neuroscientist Mark Mattson, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who has studied the impact of intermittent fasting on health for 25 years. years old, and adopted it himself about 20 years ago. from.
In a review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Mattson said that an array of animal studies and some human studies have shown that alternating between fasting and feeding periods promotes cellular health, likely by triggering a centuries-old adaptation to feeding times. rarity called metabolic switching.
Such a change occurs when cells deplete their stores of readily available sugar fuel and begin to convert fat into energy in a slower metabolic process.
Mattson noted that studies have shown this switch improves blood sugar regulation, increases resistance to stress, and suppresses inflammation.
In the article, he said four studies in both animals and people found that intermittent fasting also lowered blood pressure, blood lipid levels, and resting heart rate.
Evidence is also mounting that intermittent fasting can alter risk factors associated with obesity and diabetes, Mattson said.
Two studies at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust of 100 overweight women showed that those who followed the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet lost the same amount of weight as women who restricted calories, but did better on measurements of insulin sensitivity and reduced belly. fat than those in the calorie reduction group.
Mattson added that preliminary studies have suggested that intermittent fasting may also benefit brain health.
A multicenter clinical trial at the University of Toronto in April found that 220 healthy, non-obese adults who followed a low-calorie diet for two years showed signs of memory improvement in a battery of cognitive tests.
While much more research needs to be done to prove the effects of intermittent fasting on learning and memory, Mattson said if that evidence is found, fasting — or a pharmaceutical equivalent that mimics it — may offer interventions. which can ward off neurodegeneration and dementia.
“We are at a transition point where we may soon consider adding information about intermittent fasting to medical school curricula alongside standard guidance on healthy diets and exercise,” he said. .
But some experts say intermittent fasting may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Mattson said it might take some time for the body to adjust to intermittent fasting and get over the initial hunger pangs and accompanying irritability.
“Patients should be advised that feelings of hunger and irritability are common at first and usually go away after two weeks to a month as the body and brain adjust to the new habit,” Mattson said.
To manage this obstacle, he suggests that doctors advise patients to gradually increase the length and frequency of fasting periods over several months, instead of “going cold turkey”.