10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Fasting

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Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. Numerous studies show that it can have powerful benefits for your body and brain.

Here are 10 evidence-based health benefits of intermittent fasting.

1. Intermittent Fasting Changes The Function of Cells, Genes and Hormones

When you don’t eat for a while, several things happen in your body. For example, your body initiates important cellular repair processes and changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible.

Here are some of the changes that occur in your body during fasting:

  • Insulin levels: Blood levels of insulin drop significantly, which facilitates fat burning.
  • Human growth hormone: The blood levels of growth hormone may increase as much as 5-fold. Higher levels of this hormone facilitate fat burning and muscle gain, and have numerous other benefits.
  • Cellular repair: The body induces important cellular repair processes, such as removing waste material from cells.
  • Gene expression: There are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease.

Many of the benefits of intermittent fasting are related to these changes in hormones, gene expression and function of cells.

Bottom Line: When you fast, insulin levels drop and human growth hormone increases. Your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes and change which genes they express.

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