December 2, 2021

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Study says intermittent fasting improves quality of life in mice

Published 10/19/2021 06:00

The diet had a positive effect on the metabolism of the guinea pig: doubt in humans – (Credit: Saeed Khan / AFP)

Research in North America shows that intermittent fasting generates health benefits for rats. In rodents, reducing the number of meals, with long periods of time, was better for the rodents’ quality of life than simply eating less. In the study, published in the latest issue of Nature Metabolism, researchers fed the animals once a day for several months and found that guinea pigs had better metabolic activity and a longer life span compared to those following a traditional diet. Despite the positive data, the researchers suggest that the same results may not be repeated in humans.

In the experiment, experts divided mice into three groups: the first group had unlimited access to food; The second ate three meals a day, with calorie control; The third group also ate less fat, but only during the meal every 21 hours. As a result, the scientists observed that intermittently fasting mice lived six months longer than guinea pigs that ate more than one meal per day and one year longer than the first group (without calorie restrictions).

“It was a very surprising thing. In addition to a shorter life expectancy, these mice (with a free menu) were worse at certain aspects of vulnerability, like a poor coat, for example,” said Dudley Laming, researcher, in a press release. at the University of Wisconsin, in the United States and lead author of the study.

The research leader explained that the verified results confirmed the existence of an old suspicion in the medical field. “This overlap in treatment, whether cutting calories or enforcing fasting, is something everyone was betting on would be effective for health, but it has been difficult to prove biologically. Only in recent years have specialists become interested in this problem and have investigated this problem further,” he explained. As we did now.

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limited approach

The researchers explained that the study has limitations, since all the animals analyzed were males, and the analysis period was short – only about three months. The group also noted that the gains observed in mice may not be seen in humans, because the two species are very different.

“It is difficult to perform this kind of analysis in humans, we cannot limit food intake for a long time. In the future, we want to evaluate other types of diet closer to intermittent fasting, and with calorie restriction, in clinical studies,” Laming said.

Intermittent fasting diets are popular with celebrities like Hugh Jackman and Kourtney Kardashian, but Laming cautioned that the scientific community isn’t aware of the long-term benefits. “We don’t know when the best time to fast is, or how everyone will react,” he added.