Fasting — where you restrict taking in calories for an extended period of time—appears to bring with it some pretty remarkable health benefits. These include weight loss, changes to risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, and longer life.
Researchers have been trying to get to the bottom of why fasting is linked to longevity for years. Lab mice and monkeys that fast in lab studies have a tendency to live longer than their regularly fed peers.
Research finds that restricting calories turns on genes that tell cells to preserve resources. The cells go into a preservation or “famine mode,” where they are, remarkably, much more resistant to disease or cellular stress. They also enter a process known as autophagy, where the body begins to clean out the old, unwanted, and unneeded cellular material, as well as fixing and recycling damaged parts.
Excerpted from Medium