Fasting and its effects on anti-aging have become one of the fastest-growing debates and researched subjects under the radars of biological science. Until now, fasting was either part of religious practices or a form of diet. Research is shining light on fresh new insights, providing evidence that fasting correlates with the increase of our lifespan and so much more.
Our bodies, under normal circumstances and an average balanced diet, use available carbs for fuel. Once this is gone, our bodies start searching elsewhere. In the process called gluconeogenesis that occurs while fasting, our bodies will begin deriving glucose from non-carbohydrate sources, for example, in amino acids.
The different types of fasting:
What is nightly fasting?
Nightly fasting and time-restricted eating are the most critical factors in lowering the risk of cancer reoccurring.
As you might have heard somewhere through the grapevine, breakfast is called breakfast, because we break our fast after a night’s sleep. Nightly fasting is a practice we all more or less follow, although, adequately supported nightly fasting, should last about 13 hours to reap the benefits you would expect.
Intermittent Fasting entails restricting yourself from consuming any calories between 16-20 hours at a time.
Intermittent fasting supports the following:
- Glycemic Control
- Lowering of insulin levels
- Body weight control
- Maintaining physical strength
- Cardiovascular Health
Prolonged fasting takes your body to an entirely new level by stimulating different physiological changes within the functional areas of your body by strengthening your immune system, expanding the longevity of your life, and promoting healthy aging. Fasting increases the white blood cells in our bodies and was found to be a useful therapy for killing cancer cells in animals.
Calorie restriction is an effective intervention, supporting the five main mechanisms to combat aging that all interrelate in a healthy aging body.
The five main mechanisms supported by calorie restrictions, according to science are:
- Cell proliferation – balances growth in the human system while in the anabolic state with the presence of calories.
- Inflammation – in the worst instances, accumulated damage caused by inflammation becomes chronic, which accompanies and contributes to numerous age-related diseases
- Mitochondrial physiology – aging impairs the overall quality of the mitochondrial network and decreases the destruction of dysfunctional mitochondria as well as the generation of new mitochondria.
- Antioxidants – as we age, our natural antioxidant defences decrease.
- Autophagy – the cleaning mechanisms to remove old cell membranes, organelles, and other “cellular junk” that has accumulated as you age.
Fasting primes our bodily systems for rejuvenation, but eating after fasting is what rebuilds the new cells and organelles within our bodies to increase our overall health.
The mechanisms involved with aging and longevity is valuable beyond just the context of fasting, and there are different ways besides fasting to activate these responses.
Fasting and the research behind it, has given science the light at the end of the tunnel to figure out exactly how to find ways to trigger the responses of fasting without calorie restrictions. For now, fasting remains the most excellent form of dieting as a way to refresh and boost healthy aging.