If you thought that intermittent fasting was just another weight loss method, think again! It turns out the it also helps you to defeat the effects of aging.
Intermittent Fasting affects the body in three key ways:
- It optimizes your body’s hormonal response
- It boosts growth hormone release
- It allows the body to detoxify
Intermittent fasting is an extremely effective way to lose excess body fat. In this article, however, we will focus on the extra benefits that IF provides in terms of anti aging, and longevity. (1)
Intermittent Fasting and Aging: The Science Speaks
There is a lot of research going on regarding slowing down the aging process. The shining star of all of this research was undoubtedly intermittent fasting. One of the most interesting facts to emerge from this research was that the body reacts to fasting the same way that it does to exercise. Both of them place stress on the body. But the stresses that come from fasting and exercise are considered as positive stressors.
When cells are put under mild positive stress, they respond by adapting in order to cope with the stress. This increased resistance to stress allows the body to better cope with the aging process. According to Mark Mattson of the National Institute of Aging (2)
Intermittent fasting increases lifespan and protects various tissues against disease, in part by Hormesis mechanisms that increase cellular stress resistance. A primary reason that intermittent fasting promotes longevity has to do with the switch to a fat burning energy system.
Fat is a far cleaner form of energy than glucose. As a result, it improves insulin sensitivity. There is a lot less free radical stress than when your body is burning glucose for energy. That means a huge reduction in cellular damage.
How Fat Energy Keeps You Younger and Smarter
Our bodily organs operate more efficiently when they receive their energy from fat as opposed to glucose. So, as we’ve already discovered, does the brain. When you are in the fat burning state of ketosis, the liver produces a compound called beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). This is an efficient source of fuel for the brain. BHB is also great for the immune system. This results in a reduced inflammatory response. What’s more, research out of the Yale School of Medicine also showed the BHB has the effect of recycling damaged immune cells and regenerating new healthy immune cells. (3)
Intermittent fasting was shown to improve a number of age-related factors, shown in a study that was published in the journal Cell Metabolism. These include rejuvenating the immune system and reducing the cancer risk. It also promotes neurogenesis of the hippocampus and boosts overall cognitive enhancement. (4)
Studies on both mice and humans have shown that intermittent fasting improves longevity by:
- Reducing visceral body fat
- Lowering the incidence of inflammatory disease
- Enhancing brain function
- Increasing bone density
- Improving memory
Of course, all of these benefits come without any of the usual side effects that are associated with prescribed medications.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Achieve Such Incredible Results?
A study that was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell revealed that intermittent fasting elicits particular pathways in the body that enable cells to become stronger and more able to resist toxins. This was seen to reduce immune system weakness and help to alleviate age-related diseases. (5)
Intermittent fasting has also been shown to increase the regeneration of stem cells. It actually activates stem cells to promote self-renewal. In other words, they are able to divide and make more stem cells. As a result, the body is able to regenerate. At the same time there is immunosuppression of cancer cells and decreased autoimmunity.
Intermittent fasting has also been shown to bring about positive changes to the gut biome. Your digestive system consists of some 100 trillion cells. Bacteria outnumber other cells by a ratio of 10:1. Your gut biome is constantly changing in accordance with your dietary and lifestyle choices. The healthier your choices, the greater the ratio of good versus bad bacteria. (6)
Not surprisingly, your eating habits have the greatest impact upon your gut biome. Intermittent fasting is one of the best things you can do to positively alter your gut bacteria balance. Your gut microflora makes up 80 percent of your immune system. As a result, the positive changes to your gut bacteria will have a profound effect upon your immune system. A healthier gut biome will also allow you to sleep more soundly, have greater energy and better concentration.
Intermittent fasting provides the means to cleanse and clear out your system. In the process, over time, it may eliminate the causes of a whole host of diseases from the body. And, unlike some medications which may cause unintended damage over time, it does all of this with very low risk of harmful side effects.
We have only scratched the surface of the research showing how beneficial an intermittent fasting lifestyle is to the health and well-being of the human body. Intermittent fasting has remarkable curative ability and a powerful anti-aging effect.