In a new study from the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute, researchers found intermittent fasting may not only be a hot dieting trend, but it also has broader health benefits, including helping to fight inflammation.
They found that intermittent fasting raises the levels of galectin-3, a protein tied to an inflammatory response.
Previous research has shown that intermittent fasting, an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating, may improve health markers not related to weight.
In the study, the team examined 67 patients aged 21 to 70 who all had at least one metabolic syndrome feature or type 2 diabetes.
Participants also weren’t taking anti-diabetic or statin medication and had elevated LDL cholesterol levels.
Of the 67 patients studied, 36 were prescribed an intermittent fasting schedule: twice a week water-only 24-hour fasting for four weeks, then once a week water-only 24 hour-fasting for 22 weeks.
Fasts could not be done on consecutive days. The remaining 31 participants made no changes to their diet or lifestyle.
After 26 weeks, researchers then measured participants’ galectin-3, and found that it was higher in the intermittent fasting group.
They also found lower rates of HOMA-IR (insulin resistance) and MSS (metabolic syndrome), which researchers believe may be similar to the reported effects of SGLT-2 inhibitors, a class of drugs used to lower high glucose levels in type 2 diabetes patients.
These results provide an interesting mechanism potentially involved in helping reduce the risk of heart failure and diabetes
The team says unlike some IF diet plans that are incredibly restrictive and promise magic weight loss, this isn’t a drastic form of fasting.
The best routine is one that patients can stick to over the long term, and this study shows that even occasional fasting can have positive health effects.
If you care about inflammation, please read studies about diets high in these foods may increase gut inflammation and findings of vitamin B may help fight COVID-19, reduce inflammation.
For more information about inflammation and your health, please see recent studies about this study shows a big cause of inflammation in common bowel disease and results showing that common drug for inflammation may increase blood pressure.
The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021. One author of the study is Benjamin Horne, Ph.D.
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