Fasting intermittently has been linked to increase in a certain gene that helps in promoting longevity and protecting cell responses.
A new study has found that intermittent fasting may actually help people to live longer and healthier. The study tested fasting on mice and the results showed an extension to their life span and an improvement in age-related diseases.
Michael Guo, student at Harvard Medical School, said that they found that intermittent fasting caused slight increase in SIRT3, which is a well-known gene responsible for promoting longevity. This gene is also responsible for protecting cell responses.
The SIRT3 gene encodes a protein called SIRT3, which belongs to a class of proteins that are known as sirtuins.
When sirtuins was increased in mice, it extended their lifespans.
If the body is intermittently exposed to low levels of oxidative stress, it can help in the build-up of a better response to it. Intermittent fasting also helps in decreasing levels of insulin in the participants, implying that diet can have an anti-diabetic effect too. For the study, 24 participants were recruited in clinical trial.
The study was conducted over a period of three weeks, during which the participants alternated one day of eating 25 percent of their daily calorie intake with one day of eating 175 percent of their daily calorie intake.
So as to test the antioxidant supplements, the participants repeated their diet and also included vitamin E and vitamin C. As a result of the diet, the beneficial sirtuin proteins, namely, SIRT3 and SIRT1 increased.
But, when the antioxidants were supplemented along with the diet, these increases had vanished.
Most of the participants acknowledge that fasting was easier than feasting, which came as a surprise to the researchers.
Future studies must examine a greater cohort of participants and must also include a greater number of genes in the participants.
The study was published in the journal Rejuvenation Research.
Image courtesy: Getty Images
News source: Times of India
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