The health benefits of fasting have been the subject of great attention in recent years. Fasting has become a common practice not only for religious significance but also for its health-related advantages. Experts suggest that fasting can be an efficient option to lose weight and boost metabolism.
The restricted food intake offered by fasting may help to enhance metabolic activity and fight to age. In addition, research studies add to the mounting evidence that fasting can fight against obesity and its related conditions. a
The timing and duration between the meals is the key to making the most out of the benefits of fasting. Moreover, certain proteins, produced during fasting, can protect against metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and liver diseases.
Moreover, fasting adds to the gut health of an individual and strengthens circadian rhythms as well. It potentially works to boost the overall health of an organism.
Research-backed benefits of fasting
Recent research, presented at the “Digestive disease week”, adds to this body of evidence. It zooms in on a specific type of fasting and its benefits for obesity-related conditions. The research team used the Islamic spiritual practice of Ramadan to study the benefits of fasting from dawn to sunset.
It was found that practicing this type of fasting for around one complete month can raise the levels of certain proteins in the body. These proteins improve insulin resistance and stave off the adverse effects of a diet rich in fats and sugar. For your information, digestive disease week is a conference that took place recently in San Diego, CA.
The scientists employed 14 people for the study. All the participants were healthy at baseline and were asked to fast for 15 hours each day from dawn to sunset as part of Ramadan. They were strictly prohibited to consume any food or drink during the fast.
The researchers took blood samples from the participants at the start of the fast. Moreover, they tested the participants’ blood after 4 weeks of fasting and 1 week after fasting ended. The chemistry of these blood samples showed higher levels of proteins called tropomyosin (TPM) 1, 3, and 4.
TPM plays a crucial role in the regulation of contraction of skeletal muscle and the heart. Moreover, it maintains the health of the cells, important to insulin resistance. It also repairs them if they are damaged. TPM3, specifically, improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin indicating a better sugar control.
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What were the results?
The researchers found an increase in the levels of TPM1, 3, and 4 gene protein products during the baseline and 1 week after fasting had ended. Thus, they suggest that feeding and fasting can significantly impact how the body makes and uses proteins. These proteins are specifically critical for decreasing insulin resistance and maintaining healthy body weight.
The research suggests that the timing of and duration between meals is important to consider for people struggling with obesity-related conditions.
World Health Organization estimates that obesity affects over 650 million people worldwide. It places them at an increased risk for a number of health conditions. Expanded research is required to include individuals with metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease which may determine whether the results are consistent with those of the healthy individuals.
However, based on earlier and current research studies, it can be concluded that fasting from dawn-to-sunset may provide a cost-effective intervention for those struggling with obesity-related conditions.