Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Is fasting beneficial?

  1. Jul 16, 2009 #1

    daniel_i_l

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I've read in multiple places on the web that fasting for a few days a month can have all sorts of beneficial effects such as enhanced life span and lower heart attack rate. Here:
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Is-Fasting-Healthy-For-You [Broken]
    and here:
    http://www.naturalnews.com/023683_fasting_disease_heart_disease.html
    for example.
    Is this true? Can anyone point me to research on the subject?
    I'm not actually thinking of fasting, I just want to get my facts straight.
    Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2009 #2

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: is fasting beneficial

    I believe that maintaining a sensibly low calorie, healthy, balanced diet is the most beneficial.
     
  4. Jul 16, 2009 #3

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Re: is fasting beneficial

    I have a friend who fasts for religious observances, but he is terribly overweight, has developed sleep apnea, and is a risk for heart disease and diabetes.

    The problem with the fasting is what one eats afterward. The body can go into a storage mode such that food gets stored away as fat.


    I concur with Evo's comment: "a sensibly low calorie, healthy, balanced diet is the most beneficial".

    Eat lean meats and/or fish, complex carbohydrates (not processed food or starch) and whole grains, fruits and vegetables (fresh as much as possible), and eat in balance with one's caloric requirements, i.e. eat according to one's activity.

    My grandfather ate a lot of chicken and pork, some fish, and grains, fruits and vegetables. He was quite lean and lived to 103.
     
  5. Jul 18, 2009 #4

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Here is a recent article published in Nature:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v457/n7230/abs/nature07583.html
     
  6. Jul 18, 2009 #5

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What I never hear mentioned is the effect on quality of life due to caloric restriction. It seems to me you're essentially starving the body into a lower metabolic rate. That's got to impact long-term energy levels.

    Lab rats won't complain about feeling weak and tired but what kind of life is it for a human?
     
  7. Jul 18, 2009 #6

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I don't hear complaints from lean people, but instead, the complaints I here about health issues or feeling tired invariably come from overweight people.
     
  8. Jul 18, 2009 #7

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I was thinking about the documentary with Alan Alda showing the calorie restricted study on the rhesus monkeys. Wwo, the study was just published in Science July 10th.

    Science 10 July 2009:
    Vol. 325. no. 5937, pp. 201 - 204
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1173635

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/325/5937/201

    and the article about it

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/science/10aging.html
     
  9. Jul 18, 2009 #8

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Frankly, neither of these address my point. I think the fallacy is called false dichotomy.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is fasting beneficial?
  1. Fast brain growth? (Replies: 2)

Loading...