American university professor: 18 hours of fasting is the key to longevity

Imagine not eating for 16 to 18 hours in a row in a day, it must be painful and difficult to bear. But the United States Johns Hopkins University professor found that doing so may be the answer to maintaining a healthy, long life.

Mark Mattson, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, has compiled a brief review of all the relevant papers and found that intermittent fasting can lower blood pressure, help with weight loss, and prolong life. Mattson's review was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The report suggests that perhaps physicians can use intermittent fasting as a treatment to avoid or treat obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

The first is a daily restricted diet, which means eating only 6 to 8 hours of the day and not eating for the other 16 to 18 hours. The second is the 5-to-2 intermittent fasting method, two days a week, dieting days must be less than 500 calories a day.

Most people are not doing intermittent fasting, but rather like three meals a day plus irregular refreshments, the report points out that doctors are not inclined to recommend that patients fast to improve health status.

How does intermittent fasting work?

In past studies, researchers have subjected rodents and overweight adults to intermittent fasting, and the results have indeed shown improvements in the health of both the rodents and the overweight adults, according to Mitson.

Mitson said switching between eating and fasting can improve cellular health, likely because fasting triggers a metabolic shift. In the process of metabolic conversion, the cells use up their stored energy to convert fat into energy.

Some studies have found that the benefits of intermittent fasting are in improving the efficiency of your diet, that is, in making the nutrients you eat more effective, while others point out that intermittent fasting is apparently associated with longer life, a healthier heart and enhanced cognitive ability.

In particular, Mitson cites the Okinawans, who are known for their longevity, as an example of intermittent fasting practices that have helped them live longer and stay away from obesity.

A small study in 2018 found that three men with type 2 diabetes were able to stop taking insulin after successfully losing weight through intermittent fasting. This study somewhat debunks the commonly held belief that there is no cure for diabetes.

A previous study also showed that intermittent fasting can improve stress resistance by improving brain function and neuroplasticity, and a 2009 study found that older people who restricted their calorie intake successfully improved their verbal memory.

Certain people's body functions have also improved. Studies on young adult men have found that fasting for 16 hours a day can lead to fat loss and muscle growth.

Research limitations

The long-term effects of intermittent fasting have yet to be studied, and most existing clinical trials have focused on overweight young and middle-aged adults, so it remains to be seen whether this diet will bring the same benefits to older people.

For those who wish to try it, hunger tolerance is definitely a major test, and whether one becomes irritable or less able to concentrate when hungry is also an issue that must be considered.

The low tolerance for hunger in humans is a research limitation that is difficult to overcome with intermittent fasting. For example, in the 2017 Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health intermittent fasting study, 40% of the subjects chose to quit and run to food before completing the study because they could not tolerate the hunger.

Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard University, said, "It's human nature to want to eat a lot after exercise or after completing any task that you think is difficult. So, after a period of fasting, some people may indulge in unhealthy eating patterns, and that's a problem, too.

When a person must be forced to refuse food, the hypothalamus and appetite related hormones will be secreted in large quantities, prompting overeating.

But all the pain is temporary, Mitson said. Patients should be told that when they start, they will inevitably be irritable and hungry, but usually after two weeks to a month, your body and brain will get used to your new ways.

About Jerry

There are only 24 hours in a day, so why not spend it in a healthy and happy way? So, I choose to spend it happily
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