Intermittent fasting can help extend lifespan



A new study in the US suggests that intermittent fasting for 16-18 hours a day could be the key to curing many diseases and extend lifespan.  How true is it?

A group of American scholars have studied extensively in human and animal over the years and suggested that intermittent fasting can help lower blood pressure, aid weight loss and improve longevity.

This report can become a guide for doctors to recommend intermittent fasting as a method of preventing / treating many diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease.

Intermittent fasting can help extend lifespanIntermittent fasting can help extend lifespan / ph: pexels

The main author of the report is Mr. Mark Mattson - professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University (USA).  In research, he focused on 2 main diets:

 - Intermittent fasting according to the time frame of the day (eating 6-8 hours a day, intermittent fasting 16-18 hours).

 - The 5: 2 intermittent fasting regimen (Intermittent fasting fasting 2 days per week, only loading up to 500 calories in the intermittent fasting day.

1. How does intermittent fasting affect the body?

Studies on rodents and overweight adults show that intermittent fasting improves overall health, but it's unclear whether this is an indirect benefit from weight loss or the diet itself.

 Alternating between intermittent fasting and normal eating can improve cellular health through metabolic activation, according to Prof. Mattson.  Accordingly, cells will use up their stored energy, converting fat into energy instead of storing fat.

 A small 2018 study found that 3 male patients with type 2 diabetes were able to stop insulin intake after losing weight through intermittent fasting - contrary to the belief that diabetes is incurable.

 In another study, also involving Prof. Mattson, they observed that metabolic changes also improve stress resistance by optimizing brain function and neurological variability in adults.

 It should be noted that the effectiveness of intermittent fasting depends on the quality of nutrition (when eating).  The research suggests that a low-calorie, nutrient-rich diet plus intermittent fasting helps Japanese islanders of Okinawa live a long life.

2. Difficulties and limitations

 The long-term effects of intermittent fasting need to be studied further, and the available data are relatively limited.

 Clinical studies focus primarily on overweight young, middle-aged adults, so the benefits cannot be said to be similar for other groups, according to the scientists.

 Besides, Prof. Mattson explained that the habit of most Americans (and many countries around the world) is to eat 3 meals a day, even snacks, so doctors rarely consider intermittent fasting solution to cure illness.

 Since this research is still relatively new, the scientific team recommends that doctors closely monitor the patient during the intermittent fasting, so slowly switch to familiarize the body instead of intermittent fasting immediately.

 In the beginning, the person will feel hungry, uncomfortable, and difficult to concentrate.  Up to 40% of participants gave up in a 2017 American Medical Association intermittent fasting study.

 "Instinctively, people often reward themselves after a hard job. They run the risk of falling into unhealthy eating habits during non-intermittent fasting days" - noted Dr. Frank Hu, School of Public Health (Harvard University).

Intermittent fasting can help extend lifespan

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