We come across the phrase intermittent fasting more and more often. What does it mean, and why do we associate it with slowing ageing?
In the last few years, quite a few dietary trends have become established, one of which is the principle of eating within a particular time frame. The literal translation describes the standard dietary protocol in IF quite well, namely fasting with interruptions.
In practice, this means that the individual divides his 24-hour daily routine into a daily fasting period and a daily feeding period.
The vast majority of supporters of such a regime typically resort to the 16-8 division; they do not consume any nutrients for 16 consecutive hours a day and eat only in a narrow window of the remaining 8 hours. Often this looks like simply prolonging the night fast and eating at a certain time interval later in the day.
When we fast, certain processes at the cellular and molecular levels begin to take place in the body. Cells begin an important recovery process: when they fast, they regenerate intensely, which involves autophagy, where cells remove old and useless proteins that form inside them.
Scientists have been studying the beneficial effects of reduced calorie intake and skipping meals for years.
Fasting has been found to prolong life and improve health. It has also been found that reducing calorie intake by 30 to 40 per cent – no matter the manner – extends your lifespan by as much as a third or more. Amazing, isn't it?
In addition, fasting greatly reduces the risk of developing certain diseases. Read more below.
How does intermittent fasting affect our body?
When we fast, certain processes at the cellular and molecular levels begin to take place in the body.
The body changes the balance of hormones so that stored fat becomes more available for “burning”, i.e. consumption.
Cells begin an important regenerative process: when they fast, they regenerate intensively, which involves autophagy, where cells remove old and useless proteins that form inside them.
Levels of the growth hormone, the one responsible for our health, energy, weight loss, muscle growth and youthful appearance, soar greatly – they can increase by as much as five times. This way, we lose extra fat and gain muscle more easily.
Insulin sensitivity is improved, and insulin levels fall sharply. Lower insulin -> less fat storage -> higher consumption of stored fat and less chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
The gene expression associated with better health, longer life and disease protection changes.
Intermittent fasting helps you lose weight and get rid of fat around the waist without having to limit calorie intake drastically.
Reduces the amount and intensity of inflammatory processes in the body, which are the root cause of modern diseases.
Lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, and lower blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which are signs of developing heart disease.
Several studies have shown that fasting prevents the onset of cancer and helps treat it.
Intermittent fasting raises the brain hormone BDNF and promotes the growth of new nerve cells.
It also protects against Alzheimer's disease.
Fasting prolongs lifespan by as much as 36 to 83%.
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. We recommend you consult a physician beforehand; however, it is not advisable for people who suffer from:
body weight that is too low, or people who have a percentage of body fat that is too low,
pregnant women and nursing mothers,
serious or chronic diseases,
You can find more about anti-ageing in our past posts and shop the best reverse-ageing products in our Shop.