AP newswire story about fasting benefits by #164723 ..... Master Cleanse Support Forum
Date: 4/28/2003 2:39:22 PM ( 11y ago)
After recently completing a 14 day MC, i thought this might help somebody thinking about quitting. Hang in there.
Much love and respect,
Saw this AP story and thought you might enjoy.
WASHINGTON -- Periodic fasting can be just as good for the health as sharply
cutting back on calories, even if the fasting doesn't mean eating less overall,
a new study indicates.
Researchers are now planning to see if what works in mice is also good for
Several recent studies have reported a variety of benefits from a sharply
restricted diet, including longer life span, increased insulin sensitivity and
In the new report, mice that were fed only every other day _ but could gorge
on the days they did eat _ saw similar health benefits to ones that had their
diet reduced by 40 percent, a team of researchers reports in Tuesday's online
edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The cause of health improvements from cutting back on diet isn't fully
understood, though many researchers had assumed that a long-term reduction in
calories was involved.
But the new study by Mark P. Mattson and colleagues at the National
Institute on Aging found equal benefits for mice that ate only every other day,
but didn't cut total calories because they ate twice as much on days they
Mattson said a study is in the planning stages to compare the health of a
group of people fed the normal three meals a day with a similar group, eating
the same diet and amount of food, but consuming it within four hours and then
fasting for 20 hours before eating again.
"Overeating is a big problem now in this country, it's particularly
troublesome that a lot of children are overweight. It's still unclear the best
way to somehow get people to eat less .... One possibility is skipping a meal a
day," Mattson said. "Our study suggests that skipping meals is not bad for you."
Dr. Carol A. Braunschweig of the University of Illinois at Chicago, who was
not part of the study team, said she was intrigued by the suggestion that a
drastic change in eating patterns might have benefits.
"With the current epidemic of obesity and physical inactivity facing the
U.S. today, identification of a beneficial eating pattern that could address
some of the untoward effects of excess weight would be a very significant
finding," she said.
Mattson said an earlier study found that mice that fasted every other day
had extended lifespans and the new experiment found the mice also did better in
factors involved in diabetes and nerve damage in the brain similar to
"We think what happens is going without food imposes a mild stress on cells
and cells respond by increasing their ability to cope with more severe stress,"
Mattson said. "It's sort of analogous to physical effects of exercise on muscle
He said the researchers think this stress occurs throughout the body, and
that may be the reason fasting seems to increase lifespan and the animals become
more resistant to the diseases of aging.
The dieting mice consumed 40 percent less food than mice eating normally and
lost nearly half their body weight (49 percent) in the experiment, while the
fasting mice weighed only a little less than mice eating normally.
In recent years, some nutritionists have recommended eating smaller amounts
more often, but this study did not deal with that type of eating pattern.
In the new report, the researchers said both the fasting mice and those on a
restricted diet had concentrations of blood sugar and insulin that were
significantly lower than mice allowed to eat whenever they wanted. Indeed,
insulin levels in the fasting mice were even a bit lower than the dieting ones.
At the end of the experiment all three groups of mice were injected with a
toxin that damages cells in the part of the brain called the hippocampus. It's
cell damage there that that is involved in Alzheimer's in humans.
When the mouse brains were later analyzed the scientists found that the
brains of the fasting mice were more resistant to damage by the toxin than the
brains of either dieting mice or those eating normally.
On the Net:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: http://www.pnas.org
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