How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
You’ve likely heard about intermittent fasting and its benefits for weight loss and improved health.
You may have also heard of some downsides of intermittent fasting. Today, we’re going to look at the science behind intermittent fasting – how to do it correctly, and how it may help improve your health.
What Most Of Our Diets Look Like
First, we need to understand the role fats play in our diets.
Most Americans eat unhealthy diets high in fats, simple carbohydrates, and sugars. Chronic amounts of too much dietary fat will overload the cells in most tissues and cause systemic metabolic gridlock.
A diet with a high fat (HFD) will produce too much fat overload in skeletal muscle, and this this leads to early tissue aging and destruction.
One of the hallmarks of ageing is altered mitochondrial metabolism.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MITOCHONDRIAL HEALTH
The mitochondria produce less and less energy and more and more reactive oxygen species that cause oxidative stress.
This happens all over the body, from the skin to the muscle to the brain. The preservation of mitochondrial function and the enhancement of biogenesis (creation of newer) mitochondria is relevant to better health and to healthy aging.
And intermittent fasting is one way to improve mitochondrial health.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR DIET FOR BETTER HEALTH
One method to limit the damage caused by a diet high in fat is to provide time-controlled periods of no fats at all, or fasting. Time-controlled fasting, or intermittent fasting, is very effective in reducing the damage caused to the mitochondria of a cell and to limit premature aging of that cell.
Sirtuins are also very important in cell signalling and in longevity and weight loss. Sirtuins regulate protein modifications and cellular pathways; they create many functional changes in the cell depending upon availability of nutrients.
Sirtuins require NAD+ as a cofactor. Mammals have 7 sirtuins. Yeast has a single sirtuin. Much of what we know about these molecules comes from yeast. For example, when knocking out the SIRT2 gene in yeast, the lifespan extension induced by dietary restriction disappeared.
Sirt1 is expressed more during dietary restriction and declines with HFD or obesity; therefore, HFD and Obesity reduce lifespan. The age-related loss of mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle is due to reduced SIRT1 activity also.
HOW TO INTERMITTENT FAST
The 16/8 method
This is one of the most popular methods of intermittent fasting. This involves fasting every day for about 16 hours, and restricting your daily eating window to approximately 8 hours.
If you decide to try intermittent fasting, always consult with your physician before trying it. Also, make sure that the foods you’re eating are healthy foods that contain the right amount of nutrients your body needs to function.