Fasting consistently shows exceptional results
Krista Varady of the University of Illinois has seen cholesterol level benefits when taking people through fasting.
“We know from animal models that if we start an intermittent fasting diet at what would be the equivalent of middle age in people, we can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. If you look at an animal that’s gone without food for an entire day, it becomes more active. Fasting is a mild stressor that motivates the animal to increase activity in the brain. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense, because if you are deprived of food, your brain needs to work harder to help you find something to eat. The evidence is pretty strong that our ancestors did not eat three meals a day plus snacks. Our genes are geared to being able to cope with periods of no food”.
Mark Mattson, at the National Institute on Aging.
The National Institute of Aging fasting studies show a boost in production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor by up to 400%. This protein helps generate new brain cells and helps learning and memory while protecting brain cells from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In a really important aspect to the study, the fasting mice engineered to develop Alzheimer’s-like symptoms, delayed the onset of memory problems by about six months. This is an incredible result, perhaps equivalent to 20 years life extension in humans.
Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, has found that a 48-hour fast slowed the growth of five of eight types of cancer in mice. Even better, the effect was stronger the more fasts the animals undertook.
Mice with gliomas (very aggressive brain tumors) were more than twice as likely to survive if they underwent a 2 day fast accompanied by radiation therapy compared to those that did not fast.
High levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and glucose in the blood, high insulin levels and being overweight, are some of the risk factors for cancer. They are all dramatically and immediately improved by regular fasting. Production of IGF-1 drops and reaches very low levels by Day 3 or 4.
Benjamin Horne, of the Intermountain Heart Institute in Murray, Utah, has found that a one full day water fast, performed monthly, raises levels of human growth hormone (HGH). HGH triggers the breakdown of fat for energy use and reduces insulin levels. As a result, people lost weight, and their risk of getting diabetes and coronary heart disease was reduced.
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