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Long Period of Daily Fasting Improves Metabolism, Lifespan in Mice

November 9, 2021 – According to new findings in mice, eating just one meal per day can lead to longevity and metabolic benefits similar to those seen with calorie restriction.

Previous studies in mice have linked calorie restriction with healthier aging and long daily fasting to changes in metabolism associated with longer lifespan. Since the mice in these studies typically ate only once a day, the results reflected the effects of both calorie restriction and daily fasting. For the new experiment, published in Natural metabolism, scientists sought a clearer picture of how fasting itself might affect the health benefits associated with calorie restriction.

To do this, the scientists separated the male mice into four different diet groups for 4 months, mirroring the fasting and calorie restriction together and individually. The mice in the totally free group ate what they wanted when they wanted during the day, as a control. A second group represented fasting without calorie restriction, eating as much as possible within 3 hours each day and fasting for the remaining 21 hours.

The other two groups of mice saw their calories reduced by about 30%. One group, representing only calorie restriction, received three equally sized meals distributed evenly throughout the day. The other group combined the two factors; the mice were trained to eat all of their calorie-restricted food in one meal for breakfast, with no more food for the rest of the day.

Mice that ate all of their food in one morning meal, whether low-calorie or not, had lower blood sugar levels, better use of fat stores for energy, less brittleness as they got older, and a longer life span. longer life.

Although blood sugar levels decreased in non-fasting calorie-restricted mice, these animals also died about 8 months earlier on average than their fasting calorie-restricted counterparts.

In other words, these results in mice suggest that an extended daily fasting period provides similar calorie-reducing benefits. But it is not known if these models apply to people.

WebMD Health News


Natural metabolism: “Fasting induces the metabolic, molecular and goprotective effects of a low-calorie diet in mice.”

Press release, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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