Instead of cutting down on how much you eat…..what if you cut it out altogether? A new study claims fasting for just 24 hours can dramatically improve stem cells’ ability to regenerate within the body.
But why is this so anyway? A new study examining the effects of fasting in mice looks to have one answer, finding just 24 hours of calorie restriction flicks a metabolic switch that can boost the regeneration of stem cells in the gut.
These intestinal stem cells fail to regenerate as effectively when we get older, and since they’re important for helping us to maintain healthy tissue and fight off disease, this cellular kickstarter is a pretty valuable thing to know about.
According to Medical News Today, “Stem cells are immature cells that have remarkable properties. For instance, they can replicate almost indefinitely and develop into virtually any type of cell in the body, forming an essential source of new cells for growth and repair in many tissues.”
ScienceDaily.com quoted Omer Yilmaz, an MIT assistant professor of biology and one of the senior authors of the study, as saying –
“Fasting has many effects in the intestine, which include boosting regeneration as well as potential uses in any type of ailment that impinges on the intestine, such as infections or cancers. Understanding how fasting improves overall health, including the role of adult stem cells in intestinal regeneration, in repair, and in aging, is a fundamental interest of my laboratory.”
Fasting may have other health benefits as well. In fact, ‘intermittent fasting‘ has become quite popular and some claim it can help you lose weight, boost your immune system, improve heart health and lower your risk of cancer risk. Below is an excerpt from a recent article in HealthCentral.com titled, “Intermittent Fasting May Provide Significant Health Benefits.”
Intermittent fasting, which typically involves fasting for 16 hours every day or fasting for a 24-hour period twice a week, is one of the most popular health and fitness trends, especially among those who are looking to lose weight. Now, an analysis conducted at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville suggests intermittent fasting may slow the aging process and help prevent disease.
Intermittent fasting forces the body, which normally uses glucose for fuel, to convert certain types of fat into fatty acids that can be absorbed by the blood. These fatty acids then produce ketones, which the body uses for energy. Intermittent fasting alters the body’s metabolism, maintains lean muscle mass, and may put less stress on the body than other weight loss programs.
It is important to point out that fasting is not for everyone and anyone who wants to consider giving it a try should check with his or her doctor first. That said, we’d still love to hear your thoughts on the potential health benefits of fasting. We’re curious if you believe this is a fad or part of the future of health. Generating conversations around the health stories making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!