Impact of Intermittent Fasting on Health and Disease Processes

Mark P. Mattson, Valter D. Longo, Michelle Harvie

Humans in modern societies typically consume food at least three times daily, while laboratory animals are fed ad libitum. Overconsumption of food with such eating patterns often leads to metabolic morbidities (insulin resistance, excessive accumulation of visceral fat, etc.), particularly when associated with a sedentary lifestyle … Intermittent fasting (IF) encompasses eating patterns in which individuals go extended time periods (e.g., 16–48h) with little or no energy intake, with intervening periods of normal food intake, on a recurring basis … The cellular and molecular mechanisms by which IF improves health and counteracts disease processes involve activation of adaptive cellular stress response signaling pathways that enhance mitochondrial health, DNA repair and autophagy. PF also promotes stem cell-based regeneration as well as long-lasting metabolic effects.

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