Intermittent fasting relates to an eating cycle which entails fasting periods of 12-36 hours. Lots of fans of this eating pattern praise it for its role in weight management. Studies are, however, underway to uncover the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Most benefits have been learned from animal studies. However, some benefits also apply to humans. Here is a look at the research-backed health benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Greater weight loss
Intermittent fasting is viewed as one of the effective plans for weight loss. In this regard, it works to drive weight loss by reducing the levels of insulin. The body breaks down carbs into glucose.
Insulin is a hormone, which encourages cells to take in glucose. A drop in insulin levels means that a person is not having food. During fasting, a drop in the levels of insulin is possible, which causes cells to release their glucose stores as energy.
Repeating this process with fasting may assist with weight loss. Moreover, intermittent fasting correlates with the intake of few calories on the whole. This can chip in weight loss.
- Can Improve Heart Health
There is also a possibility that intermittent fasting may improve some aspects of cardiovascular health. A 2016 review report learned that intermittent fasting resulted in the reduction of heart rate, blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol among animals as well as humans. All these pointers, when disturbed, serve as risk factors for poor heart health.
- Decreased Risk Of Cancer
Recent studies in animals suggest that restrictive diets such as this one can possibly delay the onset of tumors. However, there have not been any studies on humans in this regard so far.
What’s more, obesity is a risk factor for several different cancers. Hence, the weight loss afforded by intermittent fasting may also help with the reduced risk of developing cancer. Moreover, intermittent fasting can decrease several biological factors, which are associated with cancer such as inflammation and insulin levels.
- Better Brain Health
Research learned that mice which were on intermittent fasting had better memory and learning than mice with free access of food. There is also more animal research that outlines that intermittent fasting can curtail inflammation in the brain, which connects with neurological conditions.
Other animal studies have also learned that intermittent fasting can lessen the risk of cognitive ailments such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. There is, however, more research needed to learn how this benefit of intermittent fasting applies to humans.
- Boosts Metabolism And Helps With Anti-aging
Recent research has also learned that intermittent fasting can increase the levels of several metabolites in the body. The body resorts to the use of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources when it is starved of carbs during the fasting phase. This leads to increased levels of metabolites in the body. The levels of these metabolites also go down when one ages. However, fasting takes them up, therefore, contributing to anti-aging.