Intermittent fasting seems to be all the rage today but as with all trends it pays to dig down and find out if there are any real benefits associated with the practice and what is involved.
Intermittent fasting can be explained as the adoption of an eating cycle that incorporates set periods of fasting. These periods can range from twelve right through to thirty six hours.
Scientific research has shown that there are indeed some benefits associated with intermittent fasting; these include weight loss, improved general health, lowered risk of chronic disease and an improvement in brain health.
In this short article we will discuss the top 5 potential health benefits of intermittent fasting as well as review any research that supports the potential benefit.
It does this as insulin levels lower during the fasting period. The body is thought to respond by causing cells to release glucose stored as energy. Regular repetition of the intermittent fasting process may lead to weight loss.
There is also some suggestion that intermittent fasting encourages the consumption of less calories overall which in turn would lead to possible weight loss.
A systematic review in 2015 by the Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology journal concluded that intermittent fasting can help to reduce body weight.
as one of the key factors in the cause of type 2 diabetes is being overweight; the potential weight loss benefits can help to reduce the risk of this disease.
It’s an obvious conclusion to reach; however, there is some conflicting research on the matter. In 2014 the Translational Research Journal concluded that there were promising indicators suggesting that intermittent fasting could help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Their research clearly demonstrated reductions in insulin sensitivity among overweight and obese adults.
However a subsequent study on rats has cast doubt on these findings and more research is required.
– there is a body of anecdotal evidence to suggest that heart health can be improved by following the intermittent fasting model.
Science for the large part has acknowledged that there does seem to be some correlation between reduced cardiovascular risk and intermittent fasting. Studies are still being done to determine why.
while there is no conclusive evidence that intermittent fasting improves the cognitive functions of humans, there have been plenty of studies on animals that show improved brain function.
The research in this area also has found that intermittent fasting could potentially reduce the risk of such disorders as Alzheimer’s disease and Stroke.
again there is no conclusive proof in this area but studies on animals have consistently shown that intermittent fasting can delay the development of tumors.
A key point worth noting here is that a key risk factor in cancer is obesity. As intermittent fasting can help with weight loss – there may well be a flow on effect here.
The buzz surrounding intermittent fasting may well be justified, however, it is worth stating that while the indications are quite positive, science has yet to conclusively prove most of the stated benefits of Intermittent fasting.
It is also worth remembering that fasting can have harmful side effects for some people, particularly those with eating disorders and people on diabetes medication. Before commencing a program of intermittent fasting it may be wise to consult with your doctor first.
Remember that a healthy balanced diet full of protein could be just as beneficial. Check out the Formulite difference here