Does Intermittent Fasting Help Prevent Disease?

Intermittent fasting is supposed to be a beneficial protocol to prevent disease. What does the evidence say about it though? We mustn't take it lightly. Continue reading to find out more about it and be able to make an informed decision.
Does Intermittent Fasting Help Prevent Disease?

Last update: 30 September, 2021

Intermittent fasting protocols have recently become fashionable, as some believe they can help prevent disease. There’s also evidence of effects on body composition by reducing fat mass without affecting muscle tissue. These effects are still under debate among experts.

Furthermore, there are scientific findings on the importance of maintaining a healthy and varied diet. This is to reduce the risk of developing diseases in the medium and long term. OK, but what happens when you temporarily restrict your energy intake? What are the effects of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting and metabolic diseases

Diabetes has a strong correlation to diet. In fact, this disease can develop over the years due to inadequate dietary habits. This is because the introduction of simple sugars in the diet increases the risk.

However, intermittent fasting protocols seem to be useful in both the prevention and management of the disease. According to research published in the journal Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes, their implementation helps control glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes. In addition, it reduces insulin resistance.

Similarly, healthy adults who fast have less risk of metabolic diseases, according to a study in the journal Ageing Research Reviews.

Carrying out a restriction of caloric intake manages to decrease the risk of pathologies associated with aging. Some attribute it to the promotion of greater metabolic flexibility.

A person holding out on breakfast.
Some studies determined that intermittent fasting may be useful in the management of metabolic disorders.

Cardiovascular diseases and intermittent fasting

These are another group of diseases whose rate is high in developed countries. Many cardiovascular diseases are due to poor diet and sedentary lifestyles. This is because the systemic inflammation promoted by the intake of trans fats increases the risk.

The implementation of intermittent fasting models is important to counteract this situation. You may not be aware of it but autophagy processes stimulate and positively modulate inflammation during caloric restriction. Thus, there’s an impact on the lipid profile which leads to a risk of heart (circulation) related problems.

However, current evidence suggests that the positive effects of intermittent fasting on the reduction of cardiovascular disease are more robust in animals than in humans. Nevertheless, there’s evidence on how the implementation of fasting could have positive consequences on the lipid profile.

In addition, the importance of cholesterol levels in the prevention of cardiovascular disease is another point of controversy. Increasing HDL levels suggests a good state of health though.

Three plates and a clock.
There seems to be evidence that intermittent fasting has positive effects on cardiovascular health. However, we need further research to know for sure.

Find out Intermittent Fasting for Losing Weight and Getting Healthier

Can intermittent fasting prevent disease?

Whether or not intermittent fasting can prevent disease depends on the characteristics of every individual. For now, evidence shows that the physiological effects of caloric restriction are positive in many cases. However, it should be a nutrition professional who determines whether it’s a good idea to fast.

Reducing sugar intake and considering the circadian cycles of hormone production, in the absence of food, seems to be decisive in reducing the risk of illness.

Considering this, caloric restriction may be useful to reduce the probability of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic disorders. Some even propose it as a complement to pharmacology due to its capacity to increase autophagy.

In any case, there are still no solid studies regarding all these benefits, as we mentioned above. This subject is still under investigation and we shouldn’t take it lightly.

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