Routine Periodic Fasting Is Good for Your Health, and Your Heart, Study Suggests

Source: Science Daily

Fasting has long been associated with religious rituals, diets, and political protests. Now new evidence from cardiac researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute demonstrates that routine periodic fasting is also good for your health, and your heart.

Research cardiologists at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute are reporting that fasting not only lowers one’s risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes, but also causes significant changes in a person’s blood cholesterol levels. Both diabetes and elevated cholesterol are known risk factors for coronary heart disease.

The discovery expands upon a 2007 Intermountain Healthcare study that revealed an association between fasting and reduced risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death among men and women in America. In the new research, fasting was also found to reduce other cardiac risk factors, such as triglycerides, weight, and blood sugar levels.

The findings were presented on April 3, at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.

“These new findings demonstrate that our original discovery was not a chance event,” says Dr. Benjamin D. Horne, PhD, MPH, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, and the study’s principal investigator. “The confirmation among a new set of patients that fasting is associated with lower risk of these common diseases raises new questions about how fasting itself reduces risk or if it simply indicates a healthy lifestyle.”

Unlike the earlier research by the team, this new research recorded reactions in the body’s biological mechanisms during the fasting period. The participants’ low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, the “bad” cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, the “good” cholesterol) both increased (by 14 percent and 6 percent, respectively) raising their total cholesterol — and catching the researchers by surprise.

“Fasting causes hunger or stress. In response, the body releases more cholesterol, allowing it to utilize fat as a source of fuel, instead of glucose. This decreases the number of fat cells in the body,” says Dr. Horne. “This is important because the fewer fat cells a body has, the less likely it will experience insulin resistance, or diabetes.”

This recent study also confirmed earlier findings about the effects of fasting on human growth hormone (HGH), a metabolic protein. HGH works to protect lean muscle and metabolic balance, a response triggered and accelerated by fasting. During the 24-hour fasting periods, HGH increased an average of 1,300 percent in women, and nearly 2,000 percent in men.

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2 replies

  1. Correct!

    Fast is not just for faith, it is for fitness too!

    It is now being advised by many health professionals as source of health and fitness (Juice Fasting, Water Fasting, Detox Fasting, Total Fasting, Brief or Timed Fasting and Prolonged Fasting). Health professionals advocate following benefits to sell Fasting as a Remedy:

    1.Fasting is a gift to an overburdened body. It allows various systems of our body to cleanse heal and rejuvenate.
    2.During Fast our body saves up to 30% of energy. This energy is used to adjust and balance various systems of our body
    3.Fasting reduces unnecessary weight. Our liver utilizes stored sugars (Glycogen) and fats (Lipids) to provide energy in absence of food. This allows weight reduction in a natural way.
    4.Fasting regulates our Thyroid Gland function
    5.Our body detoxifies during fasting. With limited food intake the ingestion and production of toxins is reduced. Burning of fats disposes off toxins (Fats are a rich storage site for Toxins) Thus total body toxicity is reduced.
    6.The fat level in the bloodstream is lowered causing the blood to thin. This may lower the cholesterol level. It improves the oxygenation and facilitates white blood cell movement. White blood cells make the defence system of our body and help increase the immunity
    7.During a fast, a person becomes more aware of how the diet affects ones health
    8.The extra time gained can be used to meditate or worship or perform light exercise. All these have their own health benefits
    9.Fasting enhances innate wisdom, spirituality and faith;
    10.Fasting heightens the clarity of consciousness, so one can see his life in much clearer perspective and make better decisions.

    According to Benjamin Franklin,”The best of all medicines are rest and fasting. Hippocrates, Galen and Paracelsus fasted themselves and prescribed Fasting as “’ the greatest remedy. The physician within”

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