Benefits of Fasting


Anchor lead: Restricting food intake so your body experiences fasting may help your health, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Fasting involves having your body use stored fat as an energy source, with a recent review paper by Mark Mattson, a neurosciences researcher at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, finding that even in the absence of dieting, such a practice results in weight loss. Mattson says it also has a number of other positive effects.

Mattson: Those changes we think based on a lot of data from animals and some data particularly from overweight humans which has been many many studies of intermittent fasting. There are many things that happen that protect organs against the chronic diseases that plague our modern society.  Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, and even things like inflammatory bowel disease and many cancers.  :28

Mattson notes that definitive studies, where fasting’s benefits are evaluated prospectively and over long periods of time, haven’t yet been done in people, and these are clearly needed to firmly establish the benefits of the practice. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.