How Good a Diet Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) has its roots in decades of studies showing that if you feed rodents only every other day, they not only remain lean but develop fewer aging-related diseases and live 30 to 40 percent longer. In a 2019 review article in the New England Journal of Medicine, gerontologist Rafael de Cabo of the National Institute on Aging and neuroscientist Mark Mattson of Johns Hopkins University summarized a wealth of findings in animals and a more limited number in people. In rodents and to some degree in monkeys, IF is a veritable fountain of youth, lowering body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improving glucose control, reducing systemic inflammation, maintaining brain health, and even boosting endurance and coordination. In humans, studies have shown that various forms of IF can be effective ways to lose weight, control blood sugar and lower blood pressure. There are hints that the more stringent forms—those with longer or stricter fasts—offer additional benefits. “But to be honest, a lot of the benefits that we see in animals are not really translating to humans,” says Krista Varady, a professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It’s not a magic diet.”

Source: How Good a Diet Is Intermittent Fasting? | Scientific American

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