How would you like to have the physique of Hugh Jackman? Well, if you are a guy that wouldn’t be bad! And gals, you too can develop a lean, curvaceous figure through a diet and exercise routine called LeanGains. LeanGains includes a form of Calorie Restriction (CR). If you’ve read the last three posts, you’ve already begun to realize the 15 Incredible Benefits of a Life Extending Calorie Restricted Diet and viewed the validation of CR in the Twelve Scientific Studies That Confirm the Amazing Benefits of Calorie Restriction. However, CR requires denial and will power; something that is in short supply these days. So, you will probably be glad to know that you can achieve many of the same results in other ways. In today’s post we will discuss one of those, Intermittent Fasting (IF).
Dr. Michael Mosley, MD is a fascinating story teller and guides us through the video, “Eat, Fast and Live Longer”. This is a must view in terms of a wake-up call as to where your health may be heading and learning a variety of ways of living healthier, longer through CR and IF. In this video, Dr. Mosley introduces us to scientists who are on the cutting edge of life extension through CR and interesting people who restrict calories like a 101 year old marathon runner. And we get to see more of Joe Cordell’s diet and a scientist’s evaluation of his risk for disease or better yet lack of risk. What Dr. Mosley learned about his own physiology in terms of risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke and Type-2 diabetes was personally alarming. After viewing this video you may find that your diet is undermining your health and feel just as alarmed. The good thing is that you will learn what to do to avoid an early death and ill health. (Thanks to my friend Karen for sharing this video.)
I am always into validating “health claims” with the reality of science. So, here are a few studies that confirm the value of IF:
1) 2011 British Journal of Nutrition Study shows that Alternate Day Fasting was beneficial in reducing risk of Chronic Heart Disease (CHD).
2) The Gerontology Research Center (NIA) reported in 2002 that IF resulted in beneficial effects on glucose regulation and neuronal resistance thereby extending lifespan.
3) 2006 NIH Study showed that IF was beneficial in preventing or slowing down Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
4) 2013 Study on Fasting or CR for Healthy Aging (NIH) showed that IF can improve increased circulation, cardiovascular protection and modulation of inflammation, anti-bacterial effects and anti-carcinogenic effects. Positive effects on eyes, hearing, nerves and muscles.
5) 2014 Cell Metabolism reported that that lowering protein one can reduce risk of cancer and extend lifespan.
6) 2013 MD Anderson Cancer Center and University of Texas Study discussed possible mechanisms underlying the anticancer effects of CR, with emphasis on CR-associated changes in growth factor signaling, inflammation, and angiogenesis.
7) 2009 Nature Article reports on Kyoto University Study that show that IF can extend lifespan with little or no calorie decrease.
If you listened to Dr. Mosley in the video above or read the 2014 Cell Metabolism report, you know that people with exceptionally low levels of IGF-1 have less risk for cancer, CHD and diabetes and live longer. Low IGF-1 causes cell production to slow down and cellular energy is transferred to cell and DNA repair. Conversely, higher levels of IGF-1 results in hyper cellular division and there is less energy remaining to repair cells and DNA damage. CR and IF diets lower IGF-1. Also, lowering the amount of protein intake lowers IGF-1 considerably. In terms of IF, your body begins reducing glucose and IGF-1 levels within 24 hours of fasting. Surprisingly, you should see positive results within 3 days and 4 nights of fasting. Moreover, IF causes new neurons to be produced slowing down or preventing neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Dr. Mosley, as a result of his 4 day fast, saw his IGF-1 number reduced by 50% and his glucose number drop by 33%. There is no other method to experience such a reduction in metabolic numbers. However, unless one switches to a lower protein, more plant based diet and fasts for four hours every month the reduction in these health biomarkers will not last. What most people resort to are drugs to fight the ravages of the diseases of aging. And that approach is not always healthy! The good news is that there are other forms of IF which deliver the same results of a 4-day fast. Here are a few methods:
• Alternate Day Fasting: Eat anything you want one day and the next day fast or eat 600 calories for men and 500 calories for women.
• 5:2 Diet: Eat whatever for five days and reduce calories to 600 for men and 500 for women for two days in a row.
• 16-8 Diet: Eat all three meals within an 8 hour period. Eat whatever you want.
• Eat Stop Eat: Pick a day or two during the week to fast.
• LeanGains: is a combination of IF and exercise program. Click on LeanGains Guide for details.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, Alternative Physician and author of the most viewed health and wellness site in the world, discusses the many advantages of IF and several IF methods. He recommends caution when fasting and includes a section on whether fasting is right for you. And, of course, he recommends consulting your physician. Here are two of his articles on IF: Burn Away Fat Cells With Intermittent Fasting and What the Science Says About Intermittent Fasting
Next time we will share valuable information on how supplementation can mimic the life lengthening benefits of CR and IF.