Intermittent fasting: method and benefits

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that means a cycle between periods of fasting and eating. (IF) = “scheduled eating”. 16hr of fasting in 24hr in a week is a common method of intermittent fasting. In fact, fasting also often for religious or spiritual reasons including Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

At the current time, it’s very popular in the health and fitness community. Intermittent fasting is one form of calorie restriction (CR), which means a dietary regimen that is based on low-calorie intake.

Recently it attracts people’s attention because. It has been seen that it enhance the weight loss process, improve metabolic health (glucose and lipid metabolism), protect against disease like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, and cancer.

The myth about  intermittent fasting 

Like everything, it has also lots of rumors regarding their side effect. but there is no authentic research is published against it. But even people carry lots of myth about it like-

  • No food consumption during intermittent fasting.
  • It is a type of starvation fasting
  • IF is not good for everyone
  • Intermittent fasting can cause hair loss and constipation
  • imbalance the sugar level in the blood

Method of intermittent fasting

There are several types of intermittent fasting. But most common is,

  • 5:2 DIET

It is the most common method of intermittent fasting, where you may take a low-calorie diet of about 500 to 600 calories for two days a week. And for the other five days, you can eat as usual.

5:2 intermittent fasting maintains glucose sensitivity and also beneficial for a reduction in waist circumference.

  • INTERMITTENT ENERGY RESTRICTION

Under this method, there is a complete restriction of energy consumption and nothing has to be eaten during the whole day. And this process has to be repeated once a week.

  • TIME-RESTRICTED FEEDING

Time-restricted feeding (TRF) is another important type of intermittent fasting in which there is no restriction to take calories or quantity of food. But time is restricted to taking it. Meanwhile, food is taking during specific time intervals. And the window period of taking food is 6 to 12 hr in a day. Apart from this, there is no food consumption for the whole day.

TRF reduces body weight, improves glucose tolerance, protects from hepatosteatosis, increases metabolic flexibility, reduces atherogenic lipids and blood pressure, and improves gut function and cardiometabolic health.

  • ALTERNATE-DAY FASTING

Alternate-day fasting (ADF) is a form of fasting that involves “fast” “feast” days, where no calories and balanced calories are consumed, respectively. Eat one day, fast the next, and repeat. Sounds simple, and it is. It also might be feasible for more people and provide lots of benefits.

IS INTERMITTENT FASTING GOOD FOR HEALTH?

To determine the answer to this question is difficult but according to some research, there were no life-threatening side effects. When you fast intermittently, many things happen at the cellular, molecular, and hormonal levels. Your cells initiate vital repair processes and alter gene expression.

Here are a few changes that are occurring while you’re fasting:

  • The levels of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) skyrocket; sometimes increasing as much as 5 times. This benefits muscle gain, and fat loss.
  • Your insulin sensitivity will improve. By fasting, your insulin levels will drop significantly, which helps make stored body fat easy to access.
  • When you fast, your cells trigger cellular repair. Autophagy is an example of cell repair. In this process, old cells are removed and digested, including dysfunctional proteins that have accumulated inside.
  • Intermittent fasting contributes to changes in gene expression which promotes longevity and protection against many diseases.
  • Due to the fasting. Changes occur at the level of the cell, hormone, and gene expression. And these changes contribute to the many health benefits.

BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

The benefits of intermittent fasting have been demonstrated in both human and animal studies. There are powerful positive effects in weight control and brain and body health as well.

1.OBESITY AND DIABETES MELLITUS

Intermittent feeding improves insulin sensitivity, prevents obesity caused by a high-fat diet, and improves diabetic retinopathy.

Six short-term studies involving overweight or obese adults have shown that intermittent fasting is as effective for weight loss as standard diets.

Two recent studies showed that daily caloric restriction or 4:3 intermittent fasting (24-hour fasting three times a week) reversed insulin resistance in patients with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

2. HEART HEALTH OR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE 

Intermittent fasting improves cardiovascular health,  including levels of high and low-density lipoprotein, blood pressure, and resting heart rate.

3. BRAIN HEALTH OR NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER 

When you doing fasting then your  BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic-factor) increases in the brain. which is helpful for promotes the survival of nerve cells by playing a role in the development, maturation, and maintenance of these cells. And also protects against Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Intermittent fasting enhances GABAergic inhibitory neurotransmission (i.e., γ-aminobutyric acid-related inhibitory neurotransmission), which can prevent seizures and excitotoxicity.

4. SURGICAL AND ISCHEMIC TISSUE INJURY OR INFLAMMATION

Intermittent-fasting regimens reduce tissue damage and improve functional outcomes of traumatic and ischemic tissue injury. Fasting reduces tissue damage and inflammation and improves the outcomes of surgical procedures.

5. CANCER

According to some researchers, Intermittent fasting plays a vital role in the prevention and treatment of cancer. In cancer treatment, during fasting there is two transcription factor is activated.

  • Forkhead box O (FOXO)
  • Nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (NRF2)

Both these transcription factors and downstream targets utilizing intermittent fasting and may protect against cancer while maintaining the stress resistance of normal cells.

 

 

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