Fasting is characterised as the denial of all or some foods or beverages for a predetermined amount of time.
In general, most fasts last between 24 and 72 hours.
Furthermore, intermittent fasting entails alternately going without food for anywhere from a few hours to a few days at a time.
Fasting has been shown to have a variety of health benefits, ranging from increased weight loss to improved brain function.
According to science, fasting has the following 8 health benefits
1.Reduces Insulin Resistance, which improves blood sugar control
Several studies have found that fasting improves blood sugar control, which could be especially beneficial for diabetics.
In fact, one study of ten people with type 2 diabetes found that short-term intermittent fasting reduced blood sugar levels significantly.
Meanwhile, another study discovered that intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting were equally effective at reducing insulin resistance as calorie restriction.
Reduced insulin resistance can increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, allowing it to transport glucose more efficiently from your bloodstream to your cells.
When combined with the potential blood sugar-lowering effects of fasting, this could help keep your blood sugar stable, preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes.
However, some studies have found that fasting affects blood sugar levels differently in men and women.
For example, one small three-week study found that alternate-day fasting harmed women’s blood sugar control but had no effect on men.
2.Improves Health by Fighting Inflammation
While acute inflammation is a normal immune response used to help fight infections, chronic inflammation can have serious health consequences.
According to research, inflammation may play a role in the development of chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Some studies have found that fasting can help lower inflammation and improve health.
One study of 50 healthy adults found that intermittent fasting for one month reduced levels of inflammatory markers significantly.
Another small study found the same effect when participants fasted for 12 hours per day for one month.
Additionally, one animal study discovered that multiple sclerosis, a chronically inflammatory condition, could be successfully treated by adopting a very low-calorie diet that mimics the effects of fasting.
3.Lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides may improve heart health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for an estimated 31.5% of all deaths.
One of the most effective ways to lower your risk of heart disease is to change your diet and lifestyle.
According to some research, including fasting in your routine may be especially advantageous for heart health.
Fasting on alternate days for eight weeks reduced levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides by 25% and 32%, respectively, according to one small study.
Another study of 110 obese adults found that fasting for three weeks under medical supervision significantly reduced blood pressure, triglyceride levels, total cholesterol, and “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Furthermore, one study of 4,629 people found that fasting reduced the risk of coronary artery disease as well as the risk of diabetes, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
4.Brain Function Enhancement and Neurodegenerative Disorder Prevention
Though most studies have been conducted on animals, several studies have discovered that fasting may have a significant impact on brain health.
According to one mouse study, practising intermittent fasting for 11 months enhanced both brain structure and function.
Other animal studies have found that fasting can protect brain health and increase nerve cell generation, which can help improve cognitive function.
Fasting may help prevent neurodegenerative disorders because it reduces inflammation.
Fasting, in particular, appears to protect against and improve outcomes in animal studies for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
More research is needed, however, to assess the effects of fasting on brain function in humans.
5.Weight loss is aided by limiting calorie intake and increasing metabolism
Many dieters begin fasting in search of a quick and easy way to lose a few pounds.
In theory, avoiding all or certain foods and beverages should reduce your overall calorie intake, potentially leading to increased weight loss over time.
Short-term fasting may increase metabolism by elevating norepinephrine levels, which may facilitate weight loss, according to some research.
In fact, one study found that fasting for the entire day could reduce body weight by up to 9% and significantly reduce body fat over the course of 12-24 weeks.
Another study discovered that intermittent fasting for 3-12 weeks was just as effective as calorie restriction and reduced body weight and fat mass by up to 8% and 16%, respectively.
Furthermore, it was discovered that fasting increased fat loss while maintaining muscle mass more effectively than calorie restriction.
6.Increases the production of growth hormone, which is essential for muscle development, metabolism, weight loss, and growth
An important part of your health is played by human growth hormone (HGH), a protein hormone.
In fact, studies have found that this important hormone affects muscle strength, growth, metabolism, and weight loss.
Several studies have shown that fasting increases HGH levels naturally.
A 24-hour fast significantly raised the levels of HGH in one study of 11 healthy adults.
Another small study of nine men discovered that fasting for just two days increased HGH production rate by fivefold.
Fasting may also help maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels throughout the day, which may help optimise HGH levels further, as some research has found that maintaining high insulin levels may reduce HGH levels.
7.Could Delay Aging and Increase Life Expectancy
Several animal studies on the potential lifespan-extension effects of fasting have yielded promising results.
In one study, rats who fasted every other day aged slower and lived 83% longer than rats who did not fast.
Similar findings have been reported in other animal studies, indicating that fasting may be effective in increasing longevity and survival rates.
However, the majority of recent research is still conducted on animals. More research is needed to understand how fasting affects human longevity and ageing.
8.May Help with Cancer Prevention and Chemotherapy Effectiveness
Fasting appears to benefit cancer treatment and prevention in animal and test-tube studies.
In fact, one rat study discovered that fasting on alternate days helped to prevent tumour formation.
Similar to this, a test-tube study revealed that subjecting cancer cells to a number of cycles of fasting was just as effective as chemotherapy at slowing the growth of tumours and improved the anti-cancer activity of chemotherapy drugs.
Unfortunately, most studies only look at how fasting affects cancer development in cells and animals.
Despite these encouraging findings, more research is needed to determine how fasting may influence cancer development and treatment in humans.