A recent study shows that intermittent fasting, which many thought to be a recent internet fad, is actually useful. Fasting not only helps in weight loss, as a previous research suggested, but also keeps the body younger. It could also extend your lifespan and improve overall health.
The research done by a team of researchers from Harvard University shows that dietary restriction or genetic manipulation that mimics it could increase lifespan and promote health.
The researchers used nematode worms that lives just for two days to conduct the test.
The new study published in Cell Metabolism found that the mitochondria stay in homeostasis better when a nematode worm was in an intermittently restricted diet. Also, they found that it increased their lifespan. Mitochondria or the organelles that work as power plants of the cells, exist in two states and homeostasis is a condition when they are alternating appropriately between these two states.
Previously, a research team led by Dr Kyoung-Han Kim at The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute found that this fasting helps in shedding fat and helps in protection against metabolic dysfunction.
The effects of intermittent fasting were tested on mice. After 16 weeks, it was found that the 'intermittent fasting' mice weighed less than the other mice, despite having the same volume of food.
This new trendy diet is reportedly popular among celebrities and has reportedly helped Beyonce to lose weight. And now, the new research from Harvard suggests that it may be helping her in staying young as well.
"Our findings open up new avenues in the search for therapeutic strategies that will reduce our likelihood of developing age-related diseases as we get older," said Heather Weir, lead author of the study, who conducted the research while at Harvard Chan School and is now a research associate at Astex Pharmaceuticals.
"Our work shows how crucial the plasticity of mitochondria networks is for the benefits of fasting. If we lock mitochondria in one state, we completely block the effects of fasting or dietary restriction on longevity," said William Mair, associate professor of genetics and complex diseases at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study.