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Intermittent Fasting – Aging

October 30, 2020


I get asked often, “does intermittent fasting have effect on aging or anti-aging?” Let’s talk about science on that. The evidence is not much clear as far as lifespan effects. Animal studies have shown mixed results with sex, food composition, age, and genetics, among the factors that can influence longevity. Human trials have mainly involved relatively short term interventions, so we don’t have enough evidence of longterm effects such as effects on lifespan. There are several theories why fasting can provide physiological benefits according to the National Institute on Aging. The theory which has been tested that during fasting periods cells are under mind stress and cells can respond to this stress adaptively by enhancing the ability to cope with it and maybe that can help resist disease. Although the word stress is often used in a negative sense, taxing the body and mind has its benefits. Consider this similar to vigorous exercise where stress – in particular, stress on muscles and on the cardiovascular system – is beneficial. As long as you give the body time to recover, it will grow stronger. There is considerable similarity between how cells respond to stress of exercise and how cells respond to stress of intermittent fasting and more research is needed in order for us to understand the effect on aging or anti-aging.

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