Fasting — essentially, putting the body into “starvation mode” — can increase metabolic activity, produce antioxidants, and possibly help reverse some effects of aging, suggests a small study conducted by researchers at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan. Published in Scientific Reports, the research identified levels of metabolites that rise during fasting and could provide a number of health benefits.
The researchers analyzed whole blood, plasma, and red blood cell samples from four individuals who had fasted for 58 hours. They monitored metabolites — substances formed during chemical processes in the body that provide energy and growth — and discovered that levels of 44 of these substances, 30 of which were previously unrecognized, were 1.5 to 60 times higher than expected.
According to the researchers, levels of many of these substances decrease with age, and maintaining higher levels — for example, through fasting — could enhance longevity. Similar results have also been observed in animal models in other studies.
Sourced from: Scientific Reports