Intermittent fasting and its impact on health

Nov 5, 2022·

2 min read

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A. What is intermittent fasting (IF)? A variety of eating patterns in which no or few calories are consumed for prolonged time periods that can range from 12 hours to several days, on a recurring basis.

B. What are the different ways of Intermittent Fasting?

  1. Alternate-day fasting,
  2. 5:2 or 6:1 intermittent fasting (fasting 2 days or 1 day each week),
  3. Daily time-restricted feeding (Eating within 8-12 hour window and fasting during the rest of the day)

C. Definition of various types of intermittent fasting


D. Benefits of intermittent fasting

  1. Reduces the risk of #diabetes, lowers fasting blood glucose in diabetics
  2. Reduces total and LDL #cholesterol and triglycerides,
  3. Lowers systolic #BP
  4. Reduces #body #weight
  5. Improves focus, attention, concentration and #memory
  6. Reduces the rate of cognitive impairment and reduces the risk of #Alzheimers disease,
  7. Reduces the risk of #stroke,
  8. Increases the lifespan (effect on longevity seen with>5 yrs of IF)

E. Cellular, molecular & physiological responses to intermittent fasting During fasting, cells undergo adaptive stress resulting in range of effects, including increased production of antioxidants, DNA repair, autophagy (removal of damaged or dead cells)& decreased inflammation


F. Mechanisms involved in IF

  1. Metabolic switch: Body’s preferential shift from utilization of glucose from glycogenolysis to fatty acids and fatty acid-derived ketones. Ketones are the preferred fuel for both the brain and body during periods of fasting and extended exercise.

Of relevance to weight management, this switch represents a shift from lipid synthesis and fat storage to mobilization of fat in the form of free fatty acids (FFAs) and fatty-acid derived ketones.

G. Who should not attempt intermittent fasting? Those who are

  1. underweight,
  2. under 18 years old,
  3. pregnant or breastfeeding women,
  4. having a history or currently struggling with eating disorders

H. Conclusions

  1. Intermittent fasting (IF) is safe for most,
  2. IF has beneficial effects against obesity, diabetes, high BP & cholesterol,
  3. IF reduces the risk of dementia and stroke,
  4. IF increases longevity
  5. IF regimen needs to be modified as per individual goals and needs.