How Intermittent Fasting Can Help to Fight Aging
The fountain of youth may be a myth, but you can turn to the next best option: the anti-aging impact of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting triggers multiple changes in your body that slow down aging by keeping cells and DNA healthy.
At BioAge Health, we offer physician-supervised intermittent fasting for those living in Eagan, Minnesota, and the Twin Cities area. You’ll receive individualized support and the opportunity to participate in the ProLon® Fasting Mimicking Diet®, if that’s the best fasting option for you.
Calorie restriction and intermittent fasting provide anti-aging benefits
While conducting studies on the impact of calorie restriction in overweight adults, researchers discovered that limiting calories enhanced energy production and lowered the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Probing deeper, they learned that restricting calories decreased cellular damage and helped maintain healthy DNA. These are two key factors in fighting aging, because damaged and inflamed cells lead to chronic disease, while aging starts when DNA wears down.
Although calorie restriction can deliver anti-aging benefits, staying on a diet that requires cutting your caloric intake by 30-40% and sticking with it every day for the long run isn’t feasible for most people.
In the search for an alternative to calorie restriction, intermittent fasting quickly emerged as an option. It produces the same life-extending benefits without imposing impossible dietary demands.
The impact of intermittent fasting on your body
Beneficial changes occur at the cellular level when your body is in a fasting state, even if the fast is temporary or intermittent. The following changes, which are triggered by intermittent fasting, work together to promote a longer and healthier life:
- Cellular repair: Cells remove more wastes that would cause cellular damage
- Gene expression: Changes occur in genes that promote longevity and prevent disease
- Hormonal changes: Drop in insulin levels prevents diabetes and may boost longevity
- Fights inflammation: Intermittent fasting decreases inflammation
- Protects against oxidative stress: Prevents cell damage due to unstable molecules called free radicals
Intermittent fasting also helps you lose weight and abdominal fat, which in turn improves your health and prevents chronic diseases that can shorten your life.
Different ways to follow an intermittent fast
Many of our patients associate fasting with a starvation plan that’s hard to follow, but that’s not how it works with intermittent fasting. This type of fasting refers to several eating plans where you cycle between eating and fasting.
Here are a few examples of intermittent fasting plans:
This plan consists of fasting for 24 hours once or twice every week.
16/8 method (Leangains protocol)
If you follow this plan, you skip breakfast, limit your eating to a period of 8 hours, then fast for 16 hours.
In this intermittent fast, you consume 500-600 calories on 2 days of the week that aren’t back to back. Then you eat a normal diet on the other 5 days.
There are many variations and styles of fasting. One intermittent fasting regimen calls for alternating eating days with fasting days. Another one modifies the 16/8 method with a 12-hour eating period followed by a 12-hour fast.
Benefits of the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet
Here at BioAge Health, we recommend an option we think is superior: the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD). Like all types of intermittent fasts, the ProLon FMD is an excellent way to lose weight. And like the rest, it also delivers anti-aging benefits.
When you follow the ProLon FMD program, you go on a 5-day fast once every 1-6 months. The difference is that during your fasting days, you get the essential nutrients you need, including minimal calories for energy, and the satisfaction of eating the ProLon FMD plant-based foods.
The prepackaged foods are scientifically designed to mimic the effect of fasting, so you get the benefits of intermittent fasting without feeling deprived. The ProLon FMD program also comes with all the food, snacks, and nutritional supplements you’ll need during your 5-day fast.
Before you start the ProLon FMD or any other type of intermittent fast, it’s important for Dr. Kodama to review your health, perform an exam, and make sure you don’t have underlying health problems that would make fasting dangerous.
If you’re interested in learning more about the anti-aging benefits of fasting, call BioAge Health or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.