Intermittent fasting may be beneficial to one’s health, however clinical evidence is inconclusive.
We’ll look at how intermittent fasting affects longevity in this blog.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is gaining popularity as more research shows its multiple health advantages. Intermittent fasting reduces body weight, insulin resistance, inflammation, dyslipidemia, and hypertension in humans.
Fasting causes adaptive stress in cells, which activates several pathways in the body, leading to a variety of outcomes such as improved antioxidant synthesis, DNA repair, autophagy (the elimination of damaged or dead cells), and reduced inflammation.
Some experts predict that these reactions will lead to humans living longer and healthier lives. So, how does the clinical data support this? Do these biological pathways lead to measurable changes in human longevity?
Before we get started, let’s have a look at three forms of IF that have been examined extensively in humans:
- TRF (Time-Restricted Feeding) is restricting meals to a specified time frame (e.g., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and then fasting overnight.
- Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) entails fasting or a calorie restriction of 20% every other day.
- Intermittent fasting (5:2) is a type of intermittent fasting in which you fast two days a week and eat normally the other five.
Intermittent fasting reduces oxidative stress indicators, which is a measure of lifespan
Many experts think that cellular oxidative stress has a substantial impact on our aging process.
An imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body causes oxidative stress. Both external and internal metabolic routes produce free radicals, which can harm cells, proteins, and DNA. Antioxidants are chemicals generated by the body and present in a variety of foods that assist to counteract the detrimental effects of free radicals.
We can assist slow down the aging process by restricting free radicals and raising antioxidant content in the body (thereby lowering oxidative stress), according to scientists and experts.
Humans can be protected from age-related disorders by fasting intermittently
We grow increasingly prone to sickness as we become older. The immune system weakens, metabolic activities slow down, and the generation of vital enzymes and antioxidants decreases.
Our ageing rate is also influenced by our lifestyle choices, such as nutrition and exercise. We are more prone to various ailments as a result of this combination, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
Early time-restricted eating affects sirtuins and autophagy in a good way
Researchers looked at a variety of variables associated with lifespan in a 2019 crossover study, including blood glucose, autophagy, and oxidative stress.
For four days, a group of 11 overweight people followed an eTRF schedule, eating solely between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. For the next four days, they returned to the standard TRF schedule of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. During each schedule, participants were given the same three daily meals; no other food or beverages were permitted. Participants were not allowed to exercise or consume caffeine on days three and four. eTRF considerably improved glycemic management as compared to the control schedule by lowering 24-hour glucose levels as well as fasting glucose and insulin levels.
Furthermore, the eTRF schedule increased the production of the longevity gene SIRT1 and the autophagy gene LC3A by 10% and 22%, respectively, compared to the control group.
Intermittent fasting boosts one’s chances of surviving
Intermittent fasting and its direct impacts on longevity were investigated in a 2019 article published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. Over 2,000 people between the ages of 63 and 67 who had cardiac catheterizations were tracked by the researchers. 380 people out of a total of 2000 said they were regular fasters (minimum of five years). When compared to the non-fasters, the fastest had a higher chance of surviving (-49 percent probability of mortality).
Fasting newbies (those who had fasted for less than five years) did not benefit in terms of survival. According to this study, long-term intermittent fasting is linked to increased lifespan. The form of intermittent fasting that the subjects practiced was not disclosed in the abstract.
Persons who are underweight, under 18 years old, pregnant or breastfeeding, have such a history or are presently struggling with eating issues, have diabetes, or are taking certain medicines should avoid intermittent fasting. We recommend talking to a doctor or nutritionist before starting intermittent fasting to be sure it’s right for you.
Fasting has been shown in studies to help people fight sickness and live longer.
However, in the United States and other industrialized countries, it is common to eat three square meals plus snacks each day, which may make it difficult for certain people to adjust to this eating pattern. Furthermore, in people with chronic diseases like diabetes, this eating habit might lead to specific consequences.