Can a bi-weekly fast really halt dementia in its tracks? As strange as it sounds, doctors may soon indeed be giving this advice to patients.
Two Days Go Fast?
Two days of fasting per week appears to trigger all sorts of hormonal and metabolic changes. This appears to have positive benefits for brain health, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
Fasting was common as a treatment in the past, but is now apparently poised to make a comeback, having fallen out of favour for so long.
As shown by experiments on the now famous ‘Methuselah Mice’, scientist have been aware for some time that cutting back mammals calories intake, over time, can increase longevity up to fifty percent. It has been harder to generalise these finding to humans however, as few people it seems can endure this sort of suffering for long!
New evidence now suggests that occasional fasting, which is an easier ask, can also carry benefits. A fast day has been defined as consuming between 500 and 800 calories only.
This reduced intake seems to result in lowered levels of a hormone associated with cancer and diabetes, as well as harmful bloodstream fats such as LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Free radical levels are also reduced.
The most surprising result though is the apparent activation of brain protection processes by these bi-weekly fasts. Findings indicate this is not only linked to a reduction of the risk for dementia, but also conditions like Alzheimer’s and even Parkinson’s.
So: what can a person eat on 500 or 800 calories per day? A single Big Mac alone is 540 calories. Add fries and you hit 790.
With the standard daily calorie intake for women being 2000 calories, and 2500 for men, a fast of this level may represent a significant adjustment!
As Woody Allen said though, ‘you can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to.” What do you think? Is it worth it, or just one more unnecessary hardship in life?