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Fasting might help you live longer
« on: December 26, 2019, 06:38:53 PM »

Eating in a 6-hour window and fasting for 18 hours might help you live longer

By Scottie Andrew, CNN
December 25, 2019

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(CNN) Abstaining from food for 16 to 18 hours a day could be key to treating a variety of health conditions -- even if you've got to train yourself to push past the hunger.

A review of past animal and human studies in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that intermittent fasting can reduce blood pressure, aid in weight loss and improve longevity.

The report functions as a road map of sorts for physicians to prescribe fasting as a method of prevention or treatment for obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

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Re: Fasting might help you live longer
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2019, 06:39:27 PM »

Study author Mark Mattson, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, hones in on two types: Daily time-restricted feeding (eating 6-8 hours a day and fasting for 16-18 hours) and 5:2 intermittent fasting (fasting two days a week, usually capping a fasting day at 500 calories).

The catch? Most Americans don't intermittently fast (the norm is three meals a day plus snacks) and thus physicians are less inclined to consider fasting a solution to a broad range of health conditions, according to the review.

Because the research is relatively new, the report advises physicians to monitor their patients throughout intermittent fasting and gradually increase the duration and frequency of fasting to guide their transition.


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Re: Fasting might help you live longer
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2019, 06:40:42 PM »

How it works

Intermittent fasting has been studied in rodents and overweight adults to improve health across the spectrum, though it's not clear if those benefits are the result of weight loss.

Alternating between fasting and eating can improve cellular health, Mattson said, most likely by triggering metabolic switching. In metabolic switching, cells use up their fuel stores and convert fat to energy -- "flipping a switch" from fat-storing to fat-saving.

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Re: Fasting might help you live longer
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2019, 06:42:16 PM »

The benefits

Findings on intermittent fasting range in the diet's effectiveness, but some studies in animals and humans have linked the practice to longer lives, healthier hearts, and improved cognition.

The article points to the residents of Okinawa, known for their extreme longevity and low-calorie, nutrient-rich diet. Their intermittent fasting might contribute to their life spans and keep obesity at bay, the authors posited.

Intermittent fasting is thought to improve insulin resistance, which can stabilize blood sugar levels. Findings from a small 2018 study found that three men with type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, were able to stop taking insulin after losing weight from intermittent fasting -- findings that clash with the widely-held belief that diabetes is incurable.

A previous study (that Mattson co-authored) showed the switch can increase resistance to stress by optimizing brain function and neuroplasticity, or the brain's ability to adapt to develop throughout one's life. And older adults who were put on a restricted-calorie diet showed improved verbal memory compared to two other groups who hadn't fasted, a 2009 study found.

Physical function even improved for some patients. A study of young men who fasted every day for 16 hours lost fat and retained muscle while resistance training for two months.

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Re: Fasting might help you live longer
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2019, 06:45:51 PM »

The limitations

The long-term effects of intermittent fasting require more research that isn't available yet, and the studies that do exist are narrow. The clinical trials focused on overweight young and middle-aged adults, so the benefits and safety can't be generalized to other groups, the authors said.

Another thing: It's a difficult diet to stick to, particularly in the United States, where the concept of three meals a day is "so ingrained in our culture" that a change in eating pattern often doesn't cross doctors' or patients' minds, Mattson wrote.

It'll almost definitely leave participants hungry, irritable and less able to concentrate, the study said.

Almost 40% of people who were assigned to a fasting diet dropped out of a 2017 JAMA study -- one of the drawbacks of intermittent fasting as a weight-loss regimen, Dr. Frank Hu, chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, noted to Harvard Health Publishing.


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Re: Fasting might help you live longer
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2019, 06:46:50 PM »

"It's human nature for people to want to reward themselves after doing very hard work, such as exercise or fasting for a long period of time," he said. "So there is a danger of indulging in unhealthy dietary habits on non-fasting days."

When the brain is deprived of food, appetite hormones in the hypothalamus, the brain's "hunger center," are released in a flurry and can trigger overeating.

But Mattson said the pain is temporary.

"Patients should be advised that feeling hungry and irritable is common initially and usually passes after two weeks to a month as the body and brain become accustomed to the new habit," he said.

https://edition.cnn.com/

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Re: Fasting might help you live longer
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2019, 06:52:45 PM »

What is intermittent fasting, and is it healthy?

By Jacqueline Andriakos, Health.com
June 8, 2016

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Story highlights

Intermittent fasting is occasional starvation done in a strategic way

Experts say it can improve your overall health, but talk to your doctor before trying it


When you hear the word "fasting," you probably think of gimmicky diets—and, um, feeling "hangry." But a growing body of research suggests that cycling super low-calorie days into your normal eating plan could potentially improve your health (more on that later). But before you skip lunch and let your gut start growling, read on for everything you need to know about intermittent fasting.

What is intermittent fasting (IF)?

In very basic terms, IF is occasional starvation done in a strategic way. The idea is to cycle between periods of regular eating and fasting, during which you severely restrict your calorie intake or don't consume any food at all. Some people fast for hours, while some may go for a full day or longer.

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Re: Fasting might help you live longer
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2019, 06:56:20 PM »

Fasting isn't one size fits all

IF may mean something different depending on who you talk to. One of the more commonly known fasting systems is the 5:2 diet, which involves restricting calories for two non-consecutive days a week and eating without calorie restraints on the other five days. (Jimmy Kimmel credited the 5:2 diet with his weight loss in a Men's Journal story last year.)

Others may fast on a day-to-day basis by eating only during a specific time window. Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging in Maryland who has researched the subject extensively, shared with the New York Times that most days he skips breakfast and lunch and eats all of his calories within a six-hour window starting in the afternoon. And, Hugh Jackman revealed that he fasted for 16 hours and ate within an 8-hour window to get in shape for his role as Wolverine in 2013.

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Re: Fasting might help you live longer
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2019, 07:04:28 PM »

The health benefits of fasting go beyond weight loss

Fasting may improve your overall health and extend your life, likely due to the ways that it affects cell and hormone function, according to several studies. In one recent study in Cell Metabolism, for example, periodic fasting was linked to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and aging.

So why does fasting have such a positive health impact? During the fasting phase, many cells die and stem cells turn on, which starts a regeneration process and gives rise to new, younger cells, study author Valter Longo, PhD, recently explained to Health. "It sounds too good to be true, but it's not," he said.

Other studies have shown that intermittent fasting may decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, as well as inflammation. Additionally, IF may improve insulin resistance, which, in turn, helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

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Re: Fasting might help you live longer
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2019, 07:07:02 PM »

It typically focuses on when to eat, not necessarily what to eat

There's no one-size-fits-all fasting diet; plans can be highly individualized. Some folks allow themselves to drink black coffee and green juice during the no-food period, while others may give themselves a cap of 500 calories on fasting days.

For instance, Kimmel told Men's Journal that on fasting days his "meals" might consist of peanut butter and an apple, the whites of hard-boiled eggs, or possibly a bowl of oatmeal. "The rest of the week I'm a glutton—pizza and pasta and steak," he told the mag.

But here, Kimmel reveals one of the issues with fasting diets, says Libby Mills, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "The focus isn't always on nutrition," she says. "A lot of the time it's just about calories."

"Some people may also interpret the normal eating time as free rein to go calorie crazy," Mills adds, "which can backfire."

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Re: Fasting might help you live longer
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2019, 07:09:26 PM »

It can help with weight loss, but it may not work for everyone

Hey, it helped Kimmel and Jackman shape up. But Mills warns that while a fasting program may aid weight loss, it's not a plan that is practical or sustainable for everyone.

"It's not something that I personally recommend in my practice because I think there are lots of ways to get a jumpstart on weight loss without going cold turkey with food," she explains. "You can instead focus on eating more vegetables and fruits. That way you're focusing on picking healthy calories and adding nutrients. It's a positive change as opposed to an all-or-nothing mindset."

You also don't know how you will react physically and mentally to calorie restriction, she adds. "You may not know how your body will respond to, say, low blood sugar," Mills says. "Or, some people find that fasting seems like a piece of cake until around 3 o'clock, and then suddenly cravings come on and you end up eating all sorts of things you normally wouldn't."

The bottom line? "You have to consider how you personally are affected by restriction," she says.

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Re: Fasting might help you live longer
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2019, 07:12:38 PM »

You should talk to a doctor before trying a fasting diet

Your personality is just one factor to consider before you try IF; your overall health is another.

"Whether you're thinking about trying a fasting system for preventive reasons or as a treatment, the doctor should be involved," Longo says. "There are many factors that must be considered, like your current diet, or whether you have diabetes or a metabolic disorder."

Also, it's important to determine with a health or nutrition professional what sort of system makes sense for your lifestyle.

"An athlete with a perfect pescatarian diet may benefit from only fasting twice a year," Longo explains. "But someone with high cholesterol and excess abdominal fat may see more improvement by doing it more regularly."

The long-term effects of fasting diets aren't well understood. Much of the research on the topic has been done across short time frames. And while experts have done some studies in humans and are doing more, a lot of the current info is from animal samples.

A lot more research needs to be done, Mills says. But if you are curious about incorporating fasting into your eating plan, you should ask a health professional to help you design a plan that ensures you are eating the right foods on both fasting and non-fasting days to guarantee you stay in good health.

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