Fast Life


When’s lunch? I’m starving!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Fasting– it’s not just for colonoscopies anymore! In fact, it’s gaining ground as a health trend! Fasting can help people lose weight. But what ELSE happens when we fast?

Takayuki Teruya and colleagues at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology wondered. They had four volunteers fast for three to six days. Meanwhile, the researchers analyzed the volunteers’ blood to look for metabolites. Those are chemicals your body produces after turning food into fuel. They’re important for things like growth and signaling within the body.

Results? During a fast, the body begins using its own energy reserves. So NOT eating also increases metabolites! In fact, some types even INCREASED after fasting!

These types are known to help you be more physically active. They also produce more antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage.

As we age, our metabolites DECREASE. The researchers believe occasional fasting could fight those effects and help us live longer!

Sounds….fun. But could science find a way to stop me from feeling so “hangry?”