Alternate day fasting has health benefits for healthy people

People who alter their diet to lose weight, improve their cardiovascular health, and become healthier overall. There are various ways to do fasting.

A current study appears into the alternate-day fasting to analyze whether it is a viable alternative to other methods such as intermittent fasting or caloric fasting. The researchers show that several health benefits accompanied weight loss in participants who practiced alternate day fasting.

Alternate day fasting as an option

  • Researchers from the medical university of Graz, Austria conducted randomized research. They enrolled sixty participants in the four-week trial and randomly assigned them to either an ADF group or a control group.
  • The control group participants could eat whatever they wanted and the Alternate day fasting group alternate between a 36-hour, no-calorie fast and 12 hours of unlimited eating.
  • The researchers followed the ADF group with constant glucose controlling to ensure that they did not consume any calories during their fasting time. The participants also hold dieting during their fasting days.

All of the individuals had a healthy weight and good overall health. While those in the ADF group even compensated for some of their lost calories when they were allowed to eat, they did not compensate for them all. Overall, they experienced a mean caloric restriction of around 35% and lost an average of 7.7 pounds during the 4-week trial.

There were also health benefits. The participants in the ADF group had decreased levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, a marker linked to inflammation and age-related disease. They also had lower levels of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine without experiencing any problems with thyroid function. Earlier research has associated lowered levels of this hormone with longevity.

Apart from this, the ADF group experienced an up-regulation in Ketone bodies which researchers consider a health benefit on both the fasting days and non-fasting days.

While this study uncovered the benefits of alternate-day fasting, the authors don’t recommend it as something everybody should practice. “We feel that it is a good plan for some months for overweight people to cut weight or it might even be a useful clinical intervention in diseases driven by inflammation.” Says Professor Frank Madeo.

“However, further research is required before it can be applied in daily practice.”

The experts have warned against fasting while experiencing a viral infection. They suggest consulting a dietitian before undertaking a new diet.

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