Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fasting to increase the lifespan

There is an interesting post on Whole Health Source about intermittent fasting titled Horesis.

Intermittent fasting is one of the most promising forms of hormesis. It's consistent with the variable energy intake our hunter-gatherer ancestors probably experienced. As with some other forms of hormesis, it has broad-ranging effects on health and stress resistance. Alternate-day fasting, a version in which food is available for 24 hours ad libitum and then not available for the next 24 hours, increases mean lifespan in mice under some conditions without reducing calorie intake.

Although only a few studies have been performed in humans, IF looks promising for preventing or reversing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, overweight and possibly other health problems.

In poultry hens go through a process of moulting which according to the poultry site is

"shedding and renewing of feathers. During the moult the reproductive physiology of the bird is allowed a complete rest from laying and the bird builds up its body reserves of nutrients.

Force moulting is a practice adopted by some commercial egg producers to bring about a rapid moult so that all the birds come back into lay for a second time at a certain time of the year, usually in autumn."

The hens are starved for about 10-12 days to induce moulting. I have seen birds grow new feathers, there combs get redder and they look reinvigorated. There productive life span is increased from 72 weeks to about 90 weeks and more if they are molted again (alternate to moulting is slaughter.)

So it makes you think about the possibilities in human beings.


Burgess Laughlin said...

Nutrition, like the science of Psychology, seems to be an infant science. Fascinating experments and intriguing results are accumulating. Only in the decades ahead will there emerge clearer principles. Today, diet discussions -- among either laymen or supposed experts -- are akin to religious debates.

I know what diets have worked for me, for my particular medical issues:

But everyone has to search out his own solution. It is possible that one diet might not be optimal for all -- making the discussion process even more difficult!