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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

How Intermittent Fasting Reduces Inflammation?

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting involves a fast which is “intermittent”. In most intermittent fasting diet regimes, you have a smaller time window when you can only eat usually fewer than 8 hours, and you fast for the remaining day. These fasts are longer than a typical overnight fast, and range from 16 hours to a maximum of 1.5 days.

Intermittent Fasting was introduced as a more accessible diet. In Intermittent Fasting, you are restricting food intake, but only on certain days. On other days you would have the freedom to eat and meet energy requirements. This diet is a more flexible approach to dieting.

What Happens During Intermittent Fasting?

intermittent fasting

a woman with weighing machine, Credits: pexels

The focus of intermittent fasting is not on eliminating certain foods or totally abstaining from eating, but on taking long breaks of not eating between meals. More specifically, after the last meal of the day, it is recommended to abstain from food for 16 hours before eating the next meal. This means that either breakfast or dinner is omitted. More and more research suggests that our health benefits from this approach to eating.

Fewer Monocytes that Lead to Inflammation

intermittent fasting

cells in the body, Credits: pexels

A new study shows that the 16:8 method effectively counteracts the inflammation in the body that can trigger diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. Although inflammation is a useful tool when the body is fighting infections, chronic inflammation can have negative health consequences.

In the study, the participants were not allowed to eat between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. the first day and between 8 p.m. and 3 p.m. the following day. Drinking water was permitted. On both days, blood was drawn from the participants to test their white blood cell counts, which also included monocytes. Monocytes are cells that provide protection against infection and indicate inflammation in the body.

A 2013 study concluded that fasting for more than 24 hours may lower inflammation by reducing oxidative stress in cells.

A 2014 study found that both intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting were as effective as limiting calorie intake at reducing insulin resistance.

As per studies few ways that intermittent fasting reducesdifferent types of inflammation are:

Brain inflammation.

Mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and brain fog are on the rise, and studies are showing that IF improves brain function and mood, having a sort of antidepressant effect. Neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s—as well mood disorders such as depression and anxiety—are known as neuroinflammatory conditions and IF looks promising for these as well. Other studies have shown that IF may actually protect neurons from genetic and epigenetic stress factors, meaning it can essentially slow down brain aging!

Lung inflammation.

In one study, fasting every other day was shown to decrease asthma symptoms and markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.

Hormone-signaling inflammation.

Intermittent fasting decreases insulin resistance, a hormonal problem that affects a staggering 50 percent of American adults! It also increases production of beneficial enzymes that increase your body’s ability to adapt to stress and fight chronic diseases like diabetes.

Chronic pain inflammation.

Intermittent fasting improves something called neuroplasticity—or the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections in response to new information—which researchers are studying for the role it may play in managing chronic pain.

Autoimmune conditions.

Fasting every three days has been shown to reduce symptoms of autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis and lupus.

Gut inflammation.

In my practice I’ve seen what a great tool IF can be for inflammatory bowel issues like stomach pain, IBS, colitis, diarrhea, and nausea. Research also reflects the benefits of fasting therapy for gut health.

Heart inflammation.

IF has been shown to lower cardiovascular disease risk in part because of its ability to raise protective HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides and blood pressure.

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