Intermittent fasting may seem like another fad in the diet, but researchers have conclusively found that the practice of not eating and drinking routinely for short periods of time has resulted in longer life in heart patients.
In the study by the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, researchers found that heart patients who practiced regular intermittent fasting lived longer than patients who did not.
In addition, they found that patients who practice intermittent fasting are less likely to be diagnosed with heart failure.
"It's another example of how we found that regular fasting can lead to better health and longer life outcomes," said Benjamin Horne, the study's lead investigator.
Although the study does not show that fasting is the causal effect for better survival, these real-world results in a large population suggest that fasting may be having an effect and encourage continued study of behavior.
In the study, the researchers asked 2,001 mountain patients undergoing cardiac catheterization from 2013 to 2015 on a series of lifestyle questions, including whether or not to practice routine intermittent fasting.
The researchers then followed these patients 4.5 years later and found that routine fasts had a higher survival rate than those who did not.
Fasting affects a person's hemoglobin levels, red blood cell count, human growth hormone, sodium and bicarbonate levels, and activates ketosis and autophagy – factors that lead to better heart health and specifically reduce risk. of heart failure and coronary heart disease. .
"This study suggests that routine low-frequency fasting above two-thirds of life is activating the same biological mechanisms that fasting diets propose to activate rapidly," Horne said.
Researchers speculate that fasting routinely over a period of years and even decades conditions the body to activate the beneficial mechanisms of fasting after a shorter than usual period.
Normally, it takes about 12 hours of fasting for the effects to activate, but long-term routine fasting can reduce the time, so that the daily / night fasting period of each routine is faster between dinner and dinner. Breakfast produces a small daily amount. benefit, they noted.
Fasting is not for everyone. The researchers warned that pregnant and lactating women should not fast, as well as young children and frail older people.
People diagnosed with chronic illnesses – especially those taking medications for diabetes, blood pressure or heart disease – should not fast unless under the care and supervision of a doctor.
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