What is the evidence from the human study of fasting?

Much of the research to date has focused on the weight loss aspect of fasting, mainly in obese people, and only a few small clinical trials have been performed. More work is needed to determine what type of fasting diet, if any, has long-term benefits.

Observational studies have been done on people who fast in one form or another. In an observational study, the investigator does not determine which treatment to offer and the subjects are not randomized into a control or experimental group. Instead, the researcher records data from real-life situations.

For example, an observational study compared people who fasted regularly (as part of religious practice or for some other reason) to those who did not. He found that people who fasted regularly were less likely to have coronary heart disease. However, the study did not examine other factors that may affect the results, such as the type of food, the quality of the food eaten, or the use of dietary supplements.

How does calorie restriction or fasting work?

After decades of research, scientists still do not know why calorie restriction increases age and delays age-related diseases in laboratory animals. Do these results come from consuming fewer calories or eating within a certain period of time? Does the combination of nutrients in the diet affect the results?

Many studies have focused on what happens inside the body when the amount of calories is limited. In laboratory animals, calorie restriction affects many of the processes that have been proposed to control the rate of aging. These include inflammation, sugar metabolism, maintenance of protein structures, ability to provide energy for cellular processes, and modification of DNA. Another process involving calorie restriction is oxidative stress, the production of toxic by-products of oxygen metabolism that can damage cells and tissues.

Many of these processes were similarly affected by calorie restriction in human calorie studies. However, we do not yet know what factors are responsible for the effects of calorie restriction on aging or if other factors contribute.

Research conducted in collaboration with the NIA has also focused on the effects of intermittent fasting. During fasting, the body uses glucose and glycogen, so it is converted into energy stores stored in fat. This stored energy is released in the form of chemicals called ketones. These chemicals help the cells, especially in the brain, to continue working to their full potential. Some researchers believe that because ketones are a more efficient source of energy than glucose, they can prevent damage to the central nervous system in old age, which can lead to dementia and other diseases.

Ketones can also stop the growth of cancer because the dead cells cannot get energy from ketones efficiently. Furthermore, studies show that ketones can help protect against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Ketones also lower blood insulin levels, which prevent type 2 diabetes

can help. This is one of the reasons why researchers want to understand more about how calorie-restricted foods work before recommending them.

fasting

What is the evidence from the human study of fasting?

Much of the research to date has focused on the weight loss aspect of fasting, mainly in obese people, and only a few small clinical trials have been performed. More work is needed to determine what type of fasting diet, if any, has long-term benefits.

Observational studies have been done on people who fast in one form or another. In an observational study, the investigator does not determine which treatment to offer and the subjects are not randomized into a control or experimental group. Instead, the researcher records data from real-life situations.

For example, an observational study compared people who fasted regularly (as part of religious practice or for some other reason) to those who did not. He found that people who fasted regularly were less likely to have coronary heart disease. However, the study did not examine other factors that may affect the results, such as the type of food, the quality of the food eaten, or the use of dietary supplements.

How does calorie restriction or fasting work?

After decades of research, scientists still do not know why calorie restriction increases age and delays age-related diseases in laboratory animals. Do these results come from consuming fewer calories or eating within a certain period of time? Does the combination of nutrients in the diet affect the results?

Many studies have focused on what happens inside the body when the amount of calories is limited. In laboratory animals, calorie restriction affects many of the processes that have been proposed to control the rate of aging. These include inflammation, sugar metabolism, maintenance of protein structures, ability to provide energy for cellular processes, and modification of DNA. Another process involving calorie restriction is oxidative stress, the production of toxic by-products of oxygen metabolism that can damage cells and tissues.

Many of these processes were similarly affected by calorie restriction in human calorie studies. However, we do not yet know what factors are responsible for the effects of calorie restriction on aging or if other factors contribute.

Research conducted in collaboration with the NIA has also focused on the effects of intermittent fasting. During fasting, the body uses glucose and glycogen, so it is converted into energy stores stored in fat. This stored energy is released in the form of chemicals called ketones. These chemicals help the cells, especially in the brain, to continue working to their full potential. Some researchers believe that because ketones are a more efficient source of energy than glucose, they can protect against the damage to the central nervous system that can lead to dementia and other diseases.

Ketones can also stop the growth of cancer because the dead cells cannot get energy from ketones efficiently. Furthermore, studies show that ketones can help protect against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Ketones also lower blood insulin levels, which prevent type 2 diabetes

can help. This is one of the reasons why researchers want to understand more about how calorie-restricted foods work before recommending them.

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