Intermittent fasting (IF) is not just another fleeting health fad. It's a practice deeply rooted in the history of various cultures and religions.
But it's the scientific world that has recently begun unraveling its profound impact on health and disease processes. The groundbreaking study by Mark P. Mattson, Valter D. Longo, and Michelle Harvie published in "Ageing Research Reviews" offers a comprehensive look at how IF influences the human body.
Intermittent fasting involves cycles of eating and fasting periods. Unlike diet plans that specify what to eat, IF focuses on when to eat. It includes various approaches, such as alternate-day fasting, the 5:2 method (eating normally for five days and reducing calorie intake for two days), and daily time-restricted feeding windows.
The study suggests that IF induces a metabolic switch. During fasting periods, the body shifts from utilizing glucose to fatty acids and ketones as primary energy sources. This switch seems to trigger adaptive cellular stress responses, which enhance resistance to toxins and stressors.
The study also acknowledges possible side effects, particularly during the initial phase of IF. These may include hunger, irritability, and a temporary decrease in concentration.
The study by Mattson, Longo, and Harvie reveals that intermittent fasting goes beyond mere weight loss. It's a lifestyle change that potentially offers multiple health benefits, impacting how our body fights diseases and ages. However, it's essential to approach IF with consideration of individual health conditions and preferably under medical guidance.
Mattson, M.P., Longo, V.D., Harvie, M. (2016). Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Ageing Research Reviews, 39, 46-58. Source