|I had many reasons but initially I wanted to
- get better abs,
- get my body back to the way it was 10 years ago and
- have more energy along with mental sharpness throughout the day.
This has led me down the road of creating The Simple Intermittent Fasting Journal along with one on one coaching programs to help others looking to change their mind and/or body.
Over the last couple of years, I keep uncovering more possible benefits of fasting and today I wanted to hit on a big one!
Does fasting make you live longer? We do know that Intermittent fasting can clean out damaged cells for cellular recycling also known as autophagy, which in the end can improve the function of aging tissues!
Since it was Halloween yesterday, let’s check out some studies relating to longevity and fasting with worms, rats, monkeys and mice:
- In 1946, a study on rats found that fasting 1 day in 3 increased lifespan in males by 20% and in females by 15% 1
- In 2009, a group of scientists from the University of Wisconsin reported improved biomarker and longevity benefits in rhesus monkeys who ate less. 2
- We do share 93% of the genes with Rhesus Monkeys.
- Caloric restriction shows increased lifespan of brain neurons in both humans and monkeys. 3
- On Oct. 26, 2017 Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Cell Metabolism, sheds light on the basic biology involved in cells’ declining ability to process energy over time, which leads to aging and age-related disease, and how interventions such as periods of fasting might promote healthy aging. 4
- The researchers found that restricting the worms’ diet, through genetic manipulation of an energy-sensing protein called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), maintained the mitochondrial networks in a fused or “youthful” state.4
- On Sept. 6, 2018, a new study published in the issue of Cell Metabolism showed that by increasing time between meals made male mice healthier overall and live longer compared to mice who ate more frequently. 5
- “This study showed that mice who ate one meal per day, and thus had the longest fasting period, seemed to have a longer lifespan and better outcomes for common age-related liver disease and metabolic disorders,” said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D.
What about humans? Does caloric restriction and intermittent fasting have a similar effect on longevity in humans?
The verdict is still out but as you can see there are promising animal studies showing that caloric restriction and intermittent fasting, may at least in some cases extend healthy lifespan and delay diseases for various species from yeast to mice to monkeys!
So the bottom line is Intermittent Fasting may improve cholesterol, help you lose weight by lowering insulin levels, reduce inflammation, and stimulate growth hormone to name a few but more research is needed on the impacts of long term fasting on increasing overall lifespan. 6
Have a great day!!
P.S. Testimonial on how IF helped Mary, “I was struggling with cholesterol issues, fatigue and weight,” Mary said. “In January 2017, I went in for my yearly check up. My blood work indicated that my total cholesterol was 276, so I was given a prescription. I did some checking on the side effects and was not satisfied. So when I heard about benefits of fasting, which include lowered lipid levels, I was very interested.”
After several months of fasting 16 hours per day with a weekly 24-hour fast, Mary’s cholesterol lowered to 219 this past February.
“My numbers are now in the low to moderate risk level. It has been years since I could say that! My glucose numbers also dropped. I have lost 28 pounds without dieting and my BMI is now within a healthy range. My body fat is now below 25 and my muscle mass has increased to 27.8. It is a wonderful feeling to have control over my health with lifestyle. This lifestyle change has improved my attitude and daily well-being. I have learned how my body acts and reacts to the foods I eat.”