Healthy Living

10 Health Benefits of Fasting (Scientifically Proven)

10 Health Benefits of Fasting (Scientifically Proven)

10 Health Benefits of Fasting (Scientifically Proven)

10 Health Benefits of Fasting (Scientifically Proven)

Benefits of Fasting (Scientifically Proven)

Fasting to some believers is unnecessary, and hunger starvation, but to some like me it’s a necessity. Jesus Christ said it himself when the disciples asked why they could not do a particular miracle and he did it with ease. This they said because they have been functioning in that realm of healing, signs and wonders. But, they encountered a difficult demon and Jesus did it with ease.

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In His words, MATT 17:20-21 “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. 21: However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

This means that some issues demand fasting and prayers handle.  Although, many still believe otherwise. But for those like me that do regularly fast, here are some health benefits of consistent fasting aside from the spiritual benefits. This is article was first published in Healthline.com and expedient to note for Christians who want to know about the health benefits of fasting.

Below Are 10 Health Benefits Of Fasting.

1. Alters The Hormones, Cells, And Genetic Functionality

Fasting alters some systems and their modus operandi in the body. The body naturally responds to what goes into it but when denied for a while it reacts and responds differently.   For example, your body changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible and initiates important cellular repair processes.

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 (Source).
  • Human growth hormone (HGH) levels. The blood levels of human growth hormone (HGH) may increase dramatically. Higher levels of this hormone facilitate fat burning and muscle gain and have numerous other benefits (Source, Source45).
  • Cellular repair. The body induces important cellular repair processes, such as removing waste material from cells (6).
  • Gene expression. There are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease (7).

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

SUMMARY When you fast, insulin levels drop and human growth hormone (HGH) increases. Your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes and change which genes they express.

2. Helps In Weight Loss And Fat

Some of those who try fasting are doing it to lose weight, in addition to the spiritual angle or exercise (8Trusted Source). Generally speaking, fasting will make you eat fewer meals. Unless you compensate by eating much more during the other meals, you’ll end up taking in fewer calories.

Additionally, fasting enhances hormone function to facilitate weight loss.

Lower insulin levels, higher HGH levels, and increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy.

For this reason, short-term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate, helping you burn even more calories (7, Source).

Benefits of Fasting (Scientifically Proven)

In other words, intermittent fasting works on both sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolic rate (increases calories out) and reduces the amount of food you eat (reduces calories in).

According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of 3–8% over 3–24 weeks. This is a huge amount (10).

The study participants also lost 4–7% of their waist circumference over 6–24 weeks, which indicates that they lost lots of visceral fat. Visceral fat is the harmful fat in the abdominal cavity that causes disease (10).

One 2011 review also showed that intermittent fasting caused less muscle loss than continuous calorie restriction (11Trusted Source).

However, a 2020 randomized trial looked at people who followed the 16/8 method. In this diet, you fast for 16 hours a day and have an 8-hour window to eat.

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The people who fasted didn’t lose significantly more weight than the people who ate three meals a day. After testing a subset of the participants in person, the researchers also found that the people who fasted lost a significant amount of lean mass. This included lean muscle (12Trusted Source).

More studies are needed on the effect of fasting on muscle loss. All things considered, intermittent fasting has the potential to be an incredibly powerful weight loss tool.

SUMMARY: Intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories while boosting metabolism slightly. It’s a very effective tool to lose weight and visceral fat.

3. Lowers The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

 

Type 2 diabetes has become a very common diagnosis in recent decades. Its main feature is high blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance.

Anything that reduces insulin resistance should help lower sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes.

Interestingly, intermittent fasting has been shown to have major benefits for insulin resistance and to lead to an impressive reduction in sugar levels (10).

In human studies on intermittent fasting, fasting blood sugar has been reduced by 3–6% over the course of 8–12 weeks in people with prediabetes. Fasting insulin has been reduced by 20–31% (10).

Benefits of Fasting (Scientifically Proven)

One study in mice with diabetes also showed that intermittent fasting improved survival rates and protected against diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication that can lead to blindness (13).

What this implies is that intermittent fasting may be highly protective for people who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

However, there may be some differences between the sexes. One 2005 study in women showed that blood sugar management actually worsened after a 22-day long intermittent fasting protocol (Source).

SUMMARYIntermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels, at least in men.

4. Reduce Body Stress And Inflammation

 

Oxidative stress is one of the steps toward ageing and many chronic diseases (15). It involves unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radicals react with other important molecules, such as protein and DNA, and damage them (16).

Several studies show that intermittent fasting may enhance the body’s resistance to oxidative stress (1718). Additionally, studies show that intermittent fasting can help fight inflammation, another key driver of many common diseases (17, 19).

SUMMARYStudies show that intermittent fasting can reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the body. This should have benefits against ageing and the development of numerous diseases.

5. Good For The Heart

Heart disease is currently the world’s biggest killer (Source). It’s known that various health markers (so-called “risk factors”) are associated with either an increased or decreased risk of heart disease.

Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve numerous different risk factors, including:

  • blood sugar levels
  • |blood pressure
  • |blood triglycerides
  • total and LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • inflammatory markers

However, much of this is based on animal studies (1021Trusted Source22Trusted Source23).

The effects of fasting on heart health need to be studied more in-depth in humans before recommendations can be made.

SUMMARY: Studies show that intermittent fasting can improve numerous risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers.

6. Rapid Cellular Repairs

During fasting, the cells in the body initiate a cellular “waste removal” process called autophagy (6). This involves the cells breaking down and metabolizing broken and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells over time.

Increased autophagy may provide protection against several diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (2425).

SUMMARYFasting triggers a metabolic pathway called autophagy, which removes waste material from cells.

7. Can Prevent Cancer In The Body

Cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells. Fasting has been shown to have several beneficial effects on metabolism that may lead to a reduced risk of cancer.

Promising evidence from animal studies indicates that intermittent fasting or diets that mimic fasting may help prevent cancer. Research in humans has led to similar findings, although more studies are needed (262728Trusted Source).

There’s also some evidence showing that fasting reduced various side effects of chemotherapy in humans (2930).

SUMMARYIntermittent fasting has been shown to help prevent cancer in animal studies and some human studies. Research in humans showed that it can help reduce side effects caused by chemotherapy.

8. Good For The Brain

What’s good for the body is often good for the brain as well. Intermittent fasting improves various metabolic features known to be important for brain health.

 Fasting helps to reduce:
  • oxidative stress
  • inflammation
  • blood sugar
  • insulin resistance

Several studies in mice and rats have shown that intermittent fasting may increase the growth of new nerve cells, which should have benefits for brain function (31Trusted Source32).

Fasting also increases levels of a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). A BDNF deficiency has been implicated in depression and various other brain problems (Source, Source).

Animal studies have also shown that intermittent fasting protects against brain damage due to strokes (293235).

SUMMARYIntermittent fasting may have important benefits for brain health. It may increase the growth of new neurons and protect the brain from damage.

9. Can Help Prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the world’s most common neurodegenerative disease.

There’s no cure currently available for Alzheimer’s, so preventing it from showing up in the first place is critical.

Studies in rats and mice show that intermittent fasting may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s or reduce its severity (293637Trusted Source).

In a series of case reports, a lifestyle intervention that included daily short-term fasts was able to significantly improve Alzheimer’s symptoms in 9 out of 10 people (38).

Animal studies also suggest that fasting may protect against other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease (293940).

However, more research on humans is needed.

SUMMARY Studies in animals suggests that intermittent fasting may be protective against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

10. Can Extend Your Lifespan

One of the most exciting applications of intermittent fasting may be its ability to extend lifespan.

Studies in rodents have shown that intermittent fasting extends lifespan in a similar way as continuous calorie restriction (4142).

Intermittent fasting has also been shown to increase the lifespans of fruit flies (43).

In some of these studies, the effects were quite dramatic. In an older study, rats that were fasted every other day lived 83% longer than rats who weren’t fasted (44).

However, in a 2017 study, mice that were fasted every other day saw their lifespans increase by around 13% (Source).

Daily fasting was also shown to improve the overall health of male mice. It helped delay the onset of conditions such as fatty liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma, which are both common in ageing mice (46).

Benefits of Fasting (Scientifically Proven)

Although this is far from being determined in humans, intermittent fasting has become very popular among the anti-ageing crowd.

Given the known benefits for metabolism and all sorts of health markers, it makes sense that intermittent fasting could help you live a longer and healthier life.

SUMMARY fasting may help you live longer, according to studies in animals.

You can see that there are many health benefits of fasting aside from the spiritual benefits.

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN? IF NO

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Lord Jesus, I believe you died for my sins, Forgive me of all my iniquities. I accept you as my Lord and Saviour from today and forevermore. Come and Be the Lord of my life and I am willing to obey your command and live according to your will as you help me, Thank you for accepting me into your fold. AMEN

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The PreacherMan

A God-kind Blogger, Evangelist, Song-writer, Teacher and Soul-Winner.

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