Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern in which you alternate between eating and fasting intervals. Numerous studies have shown that it can have significant health and cognitive benefits to the body. In this article, I will be sharing some of the health benefits of intermittent fasting that have been scientifically proven to be effective.
1/ It can aid in weight loss and the reduction of belly fat.
Many people who attempt intermittent fasting do it in order to lose weight. In general, it will cause you to eat fewer meals. You will consume fewer calories when doing intermittent fasting.
It also improves hormone activity, which aids in weight loss. Lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels, and higher norepinephrine (noradrenaline) levels all help the body break down fat and utilize it for energy. As a result, fasting for a brief period of time improves your metabolic rate by 3.6-14 percent, allowing you to burn even more calories.
To put it another way, it affects both sides of the calorie equation. It raises your metabolic rate (calories expended) while decreasing the amount of food you consume (reduces calories taken).
Intermittent fasting, according to a 2014 review of scientific literature, can result in weight loss of about 3 to 8 percent over 3 to 24 weeks. This is a massive amount. The participants also dropped 4 to 7 percent of their waist circumference, indicating that they shed a lot of belly fat, the disease-causing fat in the abdominal cavity. It was found out in the review study that intermittent fasting helped induce less muscle loss than constant calorie restriction. All things considered, it has the potential to be a very effective weight-loss tool.
It helps you eat fewer calories while modestly increasing your metabolism. It’s a powerful tool for losing weight and tummy fat.
2/ Intermittent fasting alters cell, hormone, and gene functions
When you don’t eat for a while, your body goes through a number of changes. To make stored body fat more accessible, your body, for example, launches crucial cellular repair activities and adjusts hormone levels. Here are some of the physiological changes that occur during fasting:
- Important cellular repair activities, such as the removal of waste material from cells, are induced by the body.
- Gene expression: There are favorable alterations in a number of genes and substances that are linked to longevity and disease protection.
- Human growth hormone: Growth hormone levels in the blood can rise by up to fivefold. Increased levels of this hormone promote fat burning and muscular building, among other things.
- Insulin levels: Insulin levels in the blood drop dramatically, allowing fat to be burned more efficiently.
3/ It can lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance.
In recent decades, type 2 diabetes has grown extremely common. High blood sugar levels in the setting of insulin resistance are its most prominent feature. Anything that lowers insulin resistance and protects against type 2 diabetes should help lower blood sugar levels.
It has been demonstrated to offer significant benefits for insulin resistance as well as a significant reduction in blood sugar levels. Intermittent fasting has been shown to lower fasting blood sugar by 3-6 percent and fasting insulin by 20 to 31 percent in human studies.
According to one study, it also protected diabetic rats against kidney damage, which is one of the most serious effects of diabetes. This means it could be extremely beneficial to people who are at risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes. There may, however, be some gender disparities. After a 22-day intermittent fasting plan, blood sugar control in women actually decreased.
It can lower blood sugar levels and lessen insulin resistance, at least in men.
4/ It can help the body reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
Oxidative stress is one of the factors that contribute to aging and the development of many chronic diseases. It involves unstable chemicals known as free radicals, which react with and destroy other essential molecules such as protein and DNA. It has been shown in several studies to improve the body’s tolerance to oxidative stress. In addition, research shows that intermittent fasting can help reduce inflammation, which is a major cause of a variety of ailments.
Bottom Line: It has been shown in studies to lower oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. This should help prevent aging and the onset of a variety of ailments.
5/ Intermittent fasting might be good for your heart.
Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death worldwide. Various health markers (also known as “risk factors”) have been linked to an increased or decreased risk of heart disease. Intermittent fasting has been proven to improve blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory indicators, and blood sugar levels, among other risk factors.
Studies show that it can lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammatory indicators, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
6/ Intermittent fasting triggers a variety of cellular repair mechanisms.
When we fast, our bodies’ cells begin a cellular “waste elimination” process known as autophagy. Broken and malfunctioning proteins that accumulate inside cells over time are broken down and metabolized by the cells. Increased autophagy has been linked to a reduction in the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Fasting activates autophagy, a physiological mechanism that eliminates trash from cells.
7/ It may aid in the prevention of cancer.
Cancer is a horrible disease that is characterized by uncontrollable cell development. Fasting has been found to have a number of metabolic benefits, including a lower risk of cancer. Intermittent fasting may help prevent cancer, according to promising findings from animal studies. Human trials are needed though.
Fasting reduced many side effects of chemotherapy in human cancer patients, according to some research.
In animal experiments, it has been proven to help prevent cancer. In humans, one study found that it can minimize chemotherapy side effects.
8/ It’s Beneficial to Your Mental Health.
What is excellent for the body is frequently also good for the intellect. Fasting enhances a number of metabolic aspects that are known to be beneficial to brain function. Reduced oxidative stress, inflammation, blood sugar levels, and insulin resistance are all part of this. Fasting occasionally has been demonstrated in several experiments in rats to enhance the creation of new nerve cells, which should benefit brain function.
It also boosts levels of a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), whose lack has been linked to depression and other mental illnesses. Intermittent fasting has also been proven to protect against brain damage caused by strokes in animals.
The Bottom Line:
It has the potential to be beneficial to brain health. It has the potential to promote the creation of new neurons while also protecting the brain from injury.
9/ It Has the Potential to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.
The most common neurodegenerative disease in the world is Alzheimer’s disease. Because there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, preventing it from developing in the first place is crucial. According to research on mice, it may help to prevent or delay the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to a series of case reports lifestyle strategy, that included daily short-term fasts was able to dramatically alleviate Alzheimer’s symptoms in 9 out of 10 patients. Fasting may also protect against other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, according to animal research. However, further human study is required.
10/ It may help you live longer by extending your life span.
One of the most intriguing applications of intermittent fasting is its potential to prolong life span. Intermittent fasting extends lifespan in rats in the same manner that chronic calorie restriction does. The results of some of these investigations were extremely spectacular. Rats that fasted every other day lived 83 percent longer than rats that didn’t. Despite the fact that this has yet to be confirmed in humans, it has grown quite popular among anti-aging enthusiasts. It makes sense that it could help you live a longer and healthier life, given the established benefits for metabolism and a variety of health markers.
From the discussions so far, it can be seen that intermittent fasting has a lot of benefits. What do you think? Is it something you would want to try? Let me know your thoughts on the subject of the health benefits of intermittent fasting.