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fasting and caloric restriction

It is regrettable that we do not hear about something in the field of medicine unless it can make a profit. That is what appears to be happening right now. You would think that something like fasting and caloric restriction, would make me more mainstream by far, but it is not. There are a lot of physicians who have been entirely unaware of the research, as well as the results that clinical trials have yielded.

Below, we can see a great quote used many times when writing about fasting. It comes from Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging. He is also a professor of Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University and one of the leading researchers of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are underlying multiple neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. His research has shown that fasting can also have some tremendous benefits on the brain, especially for those people who have neurodegenerative disorders.

The quote goes like this:

“Why it is that the normal diet is three meals a day plus some snacks? It is not that it is the healthiest eating pattern, now that is my opinion, but I also think that there is a lot of evidence to support that. There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern, and there is a lot of money involved too. The food industry – will they make some money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they will probably not – they are going to lose money. If people fast, the industry is going to lose money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do some intermittent fasting, exercise periodically, as well as be very healthy?  Is the pharmaceutical industry going to make some money on healthy people?”

A brief overview of what is going on in the world of fasting and caloric restriction

“Caloric restriction (CR) is nowadays the most robust environmental intervention that is known to increase healthy life and prolong lifespan in several models, from yeast to mice. Even though the protective effect of CR on the incidence of cancer is well established, its effects on tumor cell responses to chemotherapeutic treatment are currently being investigated. The interesting thing is that the molecular mechanisms required to extend lifespan upon reduced food intake are actually being evaluated, and these mechanisms may offer some new opportunities for therapeutic intervention. Additionally, new findings also suggest a beneficial effect of CR in enhancing the efficiency of tumor cell killing by chemotherapeutic drugs, as well as including anticancer immune response.”

Fasting and caloric restriction have numerous benefits. This is precisely why the Ketogenic diet is trendy nowadays. It turns out that our body is meant to burn fat. If we are eating all the time, we are continually supplying our body with glycogen. This is the body’s primary fuel source for most people. When these reserves run out, the body is going to run off ketones. This has some health benefits, including the destroying of cancer. Nowadays, a lot of people with cancer are having success with the Ketogenic diet. There is no shortage of studies of what fasting does to cancer cells when it is combined with chemotherapy treatment. However, it is quite odd how there have been no studies or clinical trials for fasting, without chemotherapy treatment.

Prolonged fasting

Also, according to some studies, extended fasts can regenerate immunity, repair damaged DNA and even more. It severely limits the process of age-related diseases and prolongs life in a variety of ways.

There is also a lot of science on this subject. One crucial thing to do is to make your research.

For instance, a recent study published in the Cell journal shows how a fasting diet can trigger the pancreas to regulate itself. In this case, fasting will control blood sugar levels and reverse symptoms of diabetes.


Image Credit: Shutterstock (licensed)/By chaoss

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