Scientific evidence of the benefits of fasting

Below we will present the vision of a renowned American neuroscientist named Mark Mattson, who is currently the Head of the Neuroscience Laboratory at the National Institute of Aging, who tells us about the benefits of fasting and the benefits it brings to your brain.

Mattson is one of the best researchers in the area of ​​cellular and molecular mechanisms related to various neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. He has dedicated himself to investigating the effects of fasting and has published a series of investigations in which he points out that fasting represents a challenge for the brain, and that the brain responds by adapting the responses to stress which helps the brain cope better with the stress and the risk of suffering from diseases, in the same way as the periodic exercise practice does.

Fasting can prolong your life expectancy, but Mark Mattson also gives us another exciting insight into what happens to our brain when we fast intermittently.

   “(Fasting helps you) reduce the speed of abnormal amyloid accumulation or degeneration of dopamine neurons in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s myeloma by reducing energy consumption “

–Mark Mattson–

In addition to highlighting the fact that it helps reduce the chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, Mattson points out that fasting reduces inflammation, reduces oxidative stress in organ systems throughout the body, delays the suffering of chronic diseases related to ageing and that your energy metabolism changes starting fat burning.

But it has also been proven that fasting increases cognitive function and increases the ability of neurons to form and maintain connections between them, which improves learning and memory capacity.

   “Intermittent fasting improves the ability of nerve cells to repair DNA “

   –Mark Mattson–

   “Challenge your brain, be it intermittent fasting or strenuous exercise… it’s a cognitive challenge. When this happens the neurosurgeons are activated, the levels of neuro-tropic factors increase, this promotes the growth of neurons (and) the formation and strengthening of synapses.”

–Mark Mattson–

Without further ado here we leave Dr. Mattson’s lecture (the video allows you to activate Spanish subtitles):

Something else … 

Intermittent fasting

Michael Mosley, a BBC journalist, checked the benefits of fasting by applying it two days a week, reducing his calorie intake to see how his body responded. On fasting days, Mosley’s consumption was reduced to 600 calories daily.

Currently, a group of scientists is investigating the so-called “Fasting on alternate days” (Alternate Day Fasting, ADF), which involves reducing calories (less than 600 calories) on fasting days (fasting partial). To test its effectiveness, Krista Varady, from the University of Illinois in Chicago, USA, conducted an eight-week test in which he compared two groups of overweight people following the ADF diet, obtaining excellent results.

As it was very impractical for me to follow fasting on alternate days, I opted for a simpler version: fasting 5: 2. This means eating normally for five days a week and eating 500 calories two days a week if you are a woman and 600 if you are a man. On the days I could eat, I ate what I wanted and did not feel like choking on food. During the five weeks I practiced fasting, I was constantly monitored by a medical team. It seemed easy to do so, and it is likely that I do it again but less frequently. In my opinion, fasting, as much as eating, should be done in moderation. After following this regimen for five weeks, I lost about 6 kilos, and the blood tests I did at the end showed that glucose and cholesterol rates had improved.” Michael Mosley

Those who want to prove the benefits should do so under medical supervision since in many cases, such as pregnant women, people with diabetes or taking medication, partial or total fasting is not recommended.

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