Numerous research studies have proven the advantages of intermittent fasting, and now Harvard scientists have carefully inspected its influence on the process of aging.
Intermittent fasting points to an eating ritual that switches between periods of fasting and eating. The most common intermittent fasting methods include daily 16 hour fasts, or fasting for 24 hours, two times a week.
Advocates of intermittent fasting claim that throughout the past humans have often fasted, whether it was due to a lack of food or because of a larger religion such as Islam, Christianity and Buddhism.
The Harvard study was released in the journal Cell Metabolism and claims that intermittent fasting slows down the process of growing old.
That’s correct. If you wish to live longer, adjust your eating patterns to have periods of fasting and eating.
It’s all about your mitochondria
The research study inspected the general biology concerning our cells’ losing power to process energy over time, which is what leads to aging and age-related disease, and how embracing periods of fasting promotes healthy aging.
Mitochondria are organelles or parts of a eukaryote cell. They make most of the cell’s supply of adenosine triphosphate, a molecule that supplies the cells with energy. Their ability to do so weakens with age, however before this research the influence on metabolism and cellular function was previously ambiguous.
Throughout the study, the researchers highlighted a causal connection between dynamic changes of mitochondrial networks and longevity. They did this by studying C. Elegans (nematode worms) which live only two weeks, making the examination of the aging process quite possible. They restricted the worms’ diets and found this restriction maintained the mitochondrial networks in a fused or “youthful” state.
“Low-energy conditions such as dietary restriction and intermittent fasting have previously been shown to promote healthy aging. Understanding why this is the case is a crucial step toward being able to harness the benefits therapeutically,” stated Heather Weir, the man behind the study. “Our findings open up new avenues in the search for therapeutic strategies that will reduce our likelihood of developing age-related diseases as we get older.”
“Although previous work has shown how intermittent fasting can slow aging, we are only beginning to understand the underlying biology,” claims William Mair, associate professor of genetics and severe diseases at Harvard Chan School and main author of the study. “Our work shows how crucial the plasticity of mitochondria networks is for the benefits of fasting. If we lock mitochondria in one state, we completely block the effects of fasting or dietary restriction on longevity.”
Supporting a natural approach to health
Intermittent fasting has thoughts benefits along with the power to slow down the aging process, in addition to losing weight, lowering the blood pressure and reducing the cholesterol levels.
Which might make you ask this question: Why aren’t the food and pharmaceutical industries studying it?
You’ll get your answer in the TED talk video below.
If you are unable to watch the video right now, here’s a cool excerpt from the talk:
“Why is it that the normal diet is three meals a day plus snacks? It isn’t that it’s the healthiest eating pattern, now that’s my opinion but I think there is a lot of evidence to support that. There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern, there’s a lot of money involved. The food industry — are they going to make money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they’re going to lose money. If people fast, the food industry loses money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do some intermittent fasting, exercise periodically and are very healthy, is the pharmaceutical industry going to make any money on healthy people?”
If you’re hungry, don’t worry about it
Having three meals per day is kind of a habit for us, along with the additional snacks when hunger strikes. However it looks like hunger is good for you. Being hungry is assisting your body to maintain its youthful state.
If you still haven’t tried it, give intermittent fasting a chance. It’s an organic way to increase your life expectancy.