Just last week, FoodFacts.com reported on recent research linking fasting to a renewed immune system and the rejuvenation of stem cells. We were excited by those possibilities. So many people are swearing by the benefits of a three-day fast — claiming everything from weight loss to renewed energy. It was intriguing to see research support those claims.
Today, we found new research findings from the Intermountain Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah linking fasting to lowered rates of heart disease and diabetes.
Lead author Benjamin Horne wrote in a news release: “There are a lot of books out there recommending that people fast for two or three days a week,” he added, “but there are risks with fasting and little evidence that these diets are safe.”
The researchers reported that 10-12 hours of hunger prompts the body to initiate the search for food and the body then starts utilizing the stored amounts of bad cholesterol, LDL, which is found in fat cells of the body.
The researchers claimed that this mechanism influences people suffering from diabetes directly. Horne noted that fasting can become an important diabetes intervention in the future.
“Though we’ve studied fasting and it’s health benefits for years, we didn’t know why fasting could provide the health benefits we observed related to the risk of diabetes,” Horne noted.
The study reported that after six week of fasting, the cholesterol level decreases by around 12 percent. Horne said that since we expect that the cholesterol was used for energy during the fasting episodes and likely came from fat cells, this shows that fasting can prove an effective diabetes intervention.
We’ve actually never heard of a six-week fast and don’t actually think we’ll ever find anyone condoning such a time frame. But we continue to be fascinated by the health claims connected with fasting that are coming to light. And we look forward to more research that may help substantiate the views of so many health-conscious individual who truly feel an improved sense of well-being because of the three-day fast.