Intermittent fasting for aging women

by - April 28, 2019

Intermittent fasting has stormed the worlds of diet and nutrition, but is it right for you if you are a woman in your post-menopausal stage?

The latest study to explore the impact of fasting on the human body concludes that it increases metabolic activity more than previously believed and may even provide anti-aging benefits.

Recent studies on aging have shown that caloric restriction and fasting have a prolonged effect on the lifespan of model animals. In particular, scientists at the Graduate Institute of Science and Technology of Okinawa in Japan examined its impact on metabolism.

By understanding the metabolic processes involved, the team hopes to find ways to take advantage of the benefits of fasting without the need to go without food for long periods.

To investigate, four volunteers fasted for 58 hours. Using metabolomics, or measurement of metabolites, the researchers analyzed whole blood samples at intervals during the fasting period.

In women, a two-day nervous system activity quickly changed to the sympathetic domain. Although their cognitive function was not affected, they were stressed. In men, a two-day nervous system changed rapidly in the other direction, toward the parasympathetic domain. They were well rested and relaxed. Their blood pressure went down. Their cognitive performance improved.

Calorie restriction, including intermittent fasting, time-restricted eating, and prolonged fasting, is valuable in achieving life span in the organisms studied, but has not yet been proven in humans or in the duration of health.

It is common within the aging and longevity space (at least via media depictions) to focus on lifespan to the detriment of quality of life.
In contrast, the length of time that a person is healthy and functional is correlated with higher quality of life. Health span can be mediated by dietary interventions, exercise as an example, but also social interaction, community, and family.

A recurring theme from the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) conference that was held mid-December 2018 was the reminder that starvation (i.e., fasting) primes the system for rejuvenation, but it is the refeeding that rebuilds the new cells and organelles to increase health. Masochistic semi-starvation because it is “good” may be folly when cycles of moderate fasting interventions will do.

Belly fat is a concern for many post-menopausal women, not only for appearance, but also for health.
The reduction of abdominal fat caused by intermittent fasting has helped women reduce their risk of metabolic syndrome, a set of health problems that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in a postmenopausal woman.

Intermittent fasting for different durations has also helped middle-aged women reduce their risk of serious illness through much of the research focused on the positive effects of fasting on cancer.
The study indicates that fasting seems to inhibit some of the pathways that lead to cancer and may also slow the growth of tumors.

In general, the results are very positive and the researchers concluded that fasting is a safe medical intervention for women before and after menopause.

Intermittent fasting mimics caloric restriction, which is the most effective way we know to increase shelf life. When you fast, your cells have the opportunity to detoxify and re-train, which allows your body to slow down aging and even prevent age-related diseases.

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