Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fasting - keep it intermittent

I've posted quite a bit on this blog about intermittent fasting - periods of underfeeding, fasted periods. And there seem to be some positive health benefits to the practice. As I've said before Brad Pillon's Eat Stop Eat is a great introduction and explains much of the science associated with fasting, dispelling some myths about eating in the process.

However if you are thinking of fasting make sure that you are aware of the other side of the coin - eating. Fasting too much, chronic calorie restriction is not what it is about. There should be periods of abundance as well as periods of famine.

I was thinking of that when I read this release. Apparently those who consume fewer calories during flu season could have a harder time fighting off the flu virus.

In a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Nutrition, Gardner showed that mice with a calorie-restricted diet were more likely to die during the first few days of infection than mice with a normal diet. Caloric restriction is the practice of reducing the intake of calories to 40 percent of a normal diet, while maintaining adequate vitamins and minerals.

Calorically restricted diets in general have been shown to increase lifespan in everything from yeast to primates, according to Gardner. But the model used in Gardner's research can be extended to more vulnerable groups including children and the elderly, who don't eat as much but often take vitamin supplements.

Fast.....but feast too. You need adequate nutrition.

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