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Study: Fasting for 18 hrs a day could help slow down ageing and fight cancer

By: Team Ifairer | Posted: 02-01-2020
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Study: Fasting for 18 hrs a day could help slow down ageing and fight cancer
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Fasting for 16 to 18 hours a day can help reduce stress, slow down aging and decrease incidences of cancer and obesity, a new study has found. Titled 'Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease', the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) claims to have found that intermittent fasting improves blood sugar regulation, increases resistance to stress, suppresses inflammation, controls blood pressure and aids in having a healthier heart.

"Despite the evidence for the health benefits of intermittent fasting and its applicability to many diseases...a diet of three meals with snacks every day is so ingrained in our culture that a change in this eating pattern will rarely be contemplated by patients or doctors," writes researchers Mark Mattson and Rafael de Cabo, who conducted the study.

While Mattson is a neuroscientist at the Johns Hopkins Medicine in the US, Cabo is chief of the translational gerontology (study of old age) at the National Institute on Aging in America. The new research, which is a review of various other studies, has found that intermittent fasting triggers a metabolic switch where a body's source of energy changes from glucose-based to fat-based that could improve health.

Glucose, a type of simple sugar, is the main source of energy for human beings. But during periods of fasting, the liver breaks down fatty acids into ketones for fuel. Ketones are chemical substances that the body makes when it does not have enough insulin in blood.

"Preclinical studies consistently show the robust disease-modifying efficacy of intermittent fasting in animal models on a wide range of chronic disorders, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and neurological brain diseases," the study notes. It adds: "Although the magnitude of the effect of intermittent fasting on life-span extension is variable and influenced by sex, diet, and genetic factors, (other) studies in mice and nonhuman primates show consistent effects of caloric restriction on the health span."
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