What is “intermittent fasting”?

(Part 5 of 14 in series, John Briffa's "A Good Look at Good Health")

Quelling insulin will help protect against these conditions, and will facilitate fat loss too. One way to quell insulin levels is to eat a diet largely devoid of the foods that cause surges in blood sugar such as those [of] added sugar as well as starchy ‘staples’ like bread, potatoes, rice pasta and breakfast cereals. Another way, though, to moderate insulin levels is to extend the time between eating. This, in essence, is what intermittent fasting is about.

~ John Briffa from, http://www.drbriffa.com/2012/03/01/my-times-piece-on-intermittent-fasting/


Restricting your eating times

The reasons for these health benefits relate to the fact that the human body appears to be designed to thrive in a cycle of “feast and famine.” By imitating the ancestral conditions of cyclical nourishment, your body enters into a state of optimal functioning. Three major mechanisms by which fasting benefits your health include:

Increased insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial energy efficiency. […] Reduced oxidative stress. […] Increased capacity to resist stress, disease and aging.

~ Jeff Roberts from, http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/02/05/why-restricting-your-eating-time-period-to-8-hours-will-transform-your-health-fitness/


Muscle loss during short-term fasting

(Part 2 of 3 in series, Ned Kock's "Health Correlator")

When the body is running short on glycogen, it becomes increasingly reliant on fat as a source of energy, sparing muscle tissue. That is, it burns fat, often in the form of ketone bodies, which are byproducts of fat metabolism. This state is known as ketosis. There is evidence that ketosis is a more efficient state from a metabolic perspective (Taubes, 2007, provides a good summary), which may be why many people feel an increase in energy when they fast.

~ Ned Kock from, http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/01/muscle-loss-during-short-term-fasting.html


Inflammation and intermittent fasting

(Part 12 of 25 in series, M. Eades' Blog)

These posts, particularly the one on inflammation, inspired a host of questions on whether intermittent fasting decreases inflammation. Based on my knowledge of the medical literature on inflammation and intermittent fasting I’m pretty sure that it does. A recent paper presents data indicating that it indeed does.

The April 2007 issue of Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism includes an article on the positive changes in inflammatory markers brought about by the intermittent fasting Muslims undergo during Ramadan.

~ Michael Eades from, http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/intermittent-fasting/inflammation-and-intermittent-fasting/


Fast way to better health

(Part 8 of 25 in series, M. Eades' Blog)

When researchers restrict the caloric intake of a group of lab animals to about 30 to 40 percent of that of their ad libitum (all they want to eat) fed counterparts, they find that the calorically restricted animals live 30 percent or so longer, don’t develop cancers, diabetes, heart disease, or obesity. These calorically restricted (CR) animals have low blood sugar levels, low insulin levels, good insulin sensitivity, low blood pressure and are, in general, much healthier than the ad lib fed animals.

~ Michael Eades from, http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/intermittent-fasting/fast-way-to-better-health/