Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Periodic Fasting Boosts Health And Longevity

Read this post first: Dietary Restriction: Impact On Health And Longevity.

This is a continuation of the prior posts: Dietary Restriction: Impact On Health And Longevity, which summarized the benefits of caloric restriction (CR), and Protein Restriction Increases Longevity. This post will deal with another alternative to CR, fasting.

Alternate-Day Fasting (ADF) In Animals1
"ADF consists of alternating 24-hour periods of ad libitum intake and partial or complete restriction of caloric consumption. ... Unlike CR, ADF need not necessarily reduce overall caloric consumption or bodyweight, because subjects may compensate for the reduced caloric intake during fast periods by gorging themselves during feast periods."

"ADF has been found to extend lifespan in several animal trials."

"The ability of ADF to retard or prevent altogether the development of many morbidities, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, cancers, and diabetes, may also explain some of the observed increases in longevity."

"Many animal ADF studies have noted improvements in cardiovascular function. Both resting heart rate and blood pressure are reduced following a period of ADF. Heart rate variability, which is associated with improved cardiovascular function and a reduced probability of heart failure, has been noted to be favorably affected by ADF in rats."

"ADF can improve insulin sensitivity, which results in lower fasting glucose and insulin concentrations and improved glucose tolerance. Anson et al. noted that glucose and insulin concentrations were reduced by a similar extent (compared to a control group) in both an ADF group and a 40% CR group."
Alternate-Day Fasting In Humans
"In human ADF trials, subjects have been permitted to consume anywhere from 0% to 50% of the estimated daily energy required to maintain body mass during fast periods."

"Despite being able to consume food ad libitum during feast days, human subjects sometimes experience weight loss as a result of the ADF regimen."

"Johnson and colleagues have examined ADF regimens over the course of several years, including over 500 subjects as of 2006. The authors have noted improvements in the following: insulin sensitivity, asthma, seasonal allergies, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, infectious disease of viral, bacterial, and fungal origin, inflammatory central nervous system lesions involved with Tourette's syndrome and Meniere's disease, cardiac arrhythmias, and menopause-related hot flashes."
Even though people ate more on the days they weren't fasting, they still experienced benefits. How about that.

Next up, caloric restriction combined with exercise.

This was one in a series of 4 posts:
1 Impact Of Caloric And Dietary Restriction Regimens On Markers Of Health And Longevity In Humans And Animals: A Summary Of Available Findings, Nutrition Journal, October 2011

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