According to a recent study conducted by doctors at the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, intermittent fasting is beneficial in the battle against inflammation.
“Inflammation is associated with a higher risk of developing several chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart problems. We are encouraged to find that intermittent fasting causes the body to fight inflammation and reduce these risks,” says Benjamin Horne, the study’s lead author. He added that the study included 67 individuals ranging in age from 21 to 70, all of whom had at least one indication of metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes, according to the findings. None of the subjects were on diabetic medicines or statins, and they all had high levels of LDL cholesterol in their blood.
Of the 67 patients who participated in the study, 36 were required to undergo intermittent fasting for a month, during which they drank only water for 24 hours twice a week. In the following weeks, they continued to fast once a week for the next 22 weeks. Fasting could not be done on two consecutive days. The remaining 31 members of the cohort did not make any dietary or lifestyle changes.
Researchers assessed the levels of galectin-3 in all individuals after 26 weeks and discovered that this protein, which has been associated to inflammation, was much greater in the intermittent fasting group. A decreased level of HOMA-IR (insulin resistance) and MSS (metabolic syndrome) was also detected in this group, which researchers think may be comparable to the effects of SGLT-2 inhibitors, a class of medications used to lower excessive glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
In the words of Dr. Horne, “These findings highlight an intriguing mechanism that may be useful in lowering the risk of heart failure and diabetes.” However, we should remain cautious: intermittent fasting should not be undertaken in any manner, shape, or fashion without the advice of a professional.