Fasting induces oxidative stress in the body because it creates an increase in free radicals, the molecules most associated with aging. This stimulates the SIRT3 gene to increase the production of sirtuins, protective proteins associated with longevity. When sirtuins are produced in mice, they extend their shelf life.
The researchers believe that increasing free radicals can be beneficial and trigger protective pathways. The assumption is that when the body is temporarily exposed to low oxidative stress, it can respond better, Wegman said. Intermittent fasting also lowered insulin levels, indicating that the diet also had an antidiabetic effect.
Antioxidants that neutralize MyWegmansConnect radicals have become increasingly popular in the past 20 years, so the team repeated the study, but this time with participants taking vitamin C and E supplements. Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, the co-author of the article, said this is in line with research showing that supplements can combat the effects of fasting. They need pain, inflammation, oxidative stress to regenerate or repair themselves.
The conclusion of MyWegmansConnect and other studies is that intermittent fasting has several beneficial effects. This ranges from improving insulin sensitivity to your body’s ability to use natural insulin secretion to activating longevity genes like SIRT1 and SIRT3. Although few people tolerate the very low-calorie intake required for longevity in mouse studies, simply implementing an extremely low-calorie day or two a week can offer many of the same benefits.
Scientists’ ability to determine the epigenetic effects of diet, exercise, emotions, and behavior open exciting new limits for research. The ability to correlate behavioral changes with the most basic levels of molecular biology shows that relatively simple changes can sometimes have beneficial physiological effects. Together, the hundreds of studies on the epigenetic effects of behavior show that the decisions we make activate a large number of useful genes and can have a significant impact on our health, mood, and longevity.