If you’ve ever wondered whether intermittent fasting does any good to your body, now scientists confirm that it’s better than you could think. It not only allows your body to burn extra-stored fat, but it also keeps you healthier and slows down the aging process.
Although aging is only natural and definitely inevitable, our lifestyles determine how (and how fast) we are going to age. People age at different rates and some come to a healthy ripe age, while others end up fighting age-related illnesses.
And it all comes down to how we treat our body. Now, scientists from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reveal how intermittent fasting can affect our aging process, increasing the lifespan, and promoting health.
In a study that focused on analyzing the mitochondrial networks inside the cells and manipulating their behavior, they discovered that intermittent fasting allows the mitochondria to retain their capacity for a longer time, and thus slow down the aging process.
The mitochondria are energy-producing structures in our cells that change their shape in response to energy demand. However, their capacity to do so declines with age, and this affects the amount of energy our body consumes, bringing about the aging of the cells.
However, the researchers found that dietary restrictions allow the mitochondrial networks to remain in a “youthful” state. In this state, they are able to increase the lifespan of the cells by communicating with organelles to regulate the metabolism of fat.
“Low-energy conditions such as dietary restriction and intermittent fasting have previously been shown to promote healthy aging. Understanding why this is the case is a crucial step toward being able to harness the benefits therapeutically,” explains Heather Weir, the lead author of the study.
So, in other words, it’s good to feel hungry now and then. In fact, feeling full all the time only makes your body grow older and lose its ability to maintain its youthful state. As William Mair, associate professor of genetics and complex diseases at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study says, “If we lock mitochondria in one state, we completely block the effects of fasting or dietary restriction on longevity.”
Source: Harvard Gazette