Intermittent fasting for 16 to 18 hours per day can help cure a number of health problems according to a new study.
A review of past human and animal studies, the research could possibly be a roadmap of sorts for doctors to prescribe fasting for treatment for obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
The study author, Mark Mattson and a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University states that there are two types of fasting schedule:
Daily time-restricted feeding (eating 6-8 hours a day and fasting for 16-18 hours)
5:2 intermittent fasting (fasting two days a week, usually capping a fasting day at 500 calories)
What is Intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is about choosing to embrace fasting and then feasting on purpose; similar to the traditional practice of fasting during the month of Ramadan.
For real therapeutic benefit, an intermittent fast of 12-16 hours, for 3 days in a row, twice a month is recommended.
There are two phases to IF. One is the Elimination Phase, where the body is in a state of fast and is running only on water, and the other is Building Phase, the time period that allows eating of food so as to prepare for the next day.
Also Read: How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent Fasting: Benefits
Several studies have pointed to weight loss and well-maintained muscles.
A nutrient-rich diet and fasting can also help in better resistance of insulin and stabilizing sugar levels.
A 2018 study showed that intermittent fasting helped three men with type 2 diabetes to resist and stop the regular intake of insulin.
Another study by Mattson, the study author found that fasting can also increase the resistance to stress and the brain’s ability t