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What human studies show on intermittent fasting

Studies in humans have shown promising health benefits with some intermittent fasting regimes.

  • People can't stick to eating every other day. If you do alternate-day fasting or skip breakfast every day, it's associated with negatives and very hard to do. Instead, people who want to benefit from intermittent fasting should be less extreme, such as 12-hour eating windows.
  • In the handful of studies that tested alternate-day fasts with people, more than a third dropped out, and in those who stayed, there wasn't much advantage in weight loss or heart health.

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Why studying intermittent fasting is hard

It's easy to research the diets of mice when they are in a controlled environment. However, human studies are more complicated as they need to be in a controlled environment with controlled diets.

Instead, studies track what people eat from what they report. But people underestimate their c...

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Animal studies on intermittent fasting

Animal studies on intermittent fasting

  • An early study on intermittent fasting showed that rats put on alternate-day fasting increased their lifespan by around 80 percent.
  • Feeding mice every alternate day led to better glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. It reduced the incidence of lymphoma.
  • Mice on a low ca...

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Intermittent fasting can mean different things

Intermittent fasting can mean different things

When people speak of intermittent fasthing, they can mean many different things.

Intermittent fasting refers to loosely defined regimes.

  • Time-restricted eating: It includes the 16:8 diet - eat during 8 hours, and fast the other 16.
  • Alternate-day f...

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Animal studies on intermittent fasting

Animal studies on intermittent fasting

  • An early study on intermittent fasting showed that rats put on alternate-day fasting increased their lifespan by around 80 percent.
  • Feeding mice every alternate day led to better glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. It reduced the incidence of lymphoma.
  • Mice on a low ca...

What Intermittent fasting is

What Intermittent fasting is

Intermittent fasting is based on the idea that when you reduce your calorie intake for limited stretches of time, your body will use its stored fat for energy. Intermittent fasting has many health benefits, including losing weight.

There is no one way to d...

More research is needed on intermittent fasting

While the time-restricted eating holds promise, there is a need for more research.

  • There haven't been studies with humans that lasted longer than a few months.
  • The gut microbiome actually changes in mice that restrict their eating to an eight-hour window, so they digest nutr...

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