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Do you fast now and then with an intent to reduce weight? In that case, it is not only helping you to lose weight, but also boost your metabolic activity, generate antioxidants, and reverse some effects of aging, a study claims.
Scientists at the Kyoto University in Japan and Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) identified 30 previously-unreported substances whose quantity increases during fasting and indicate a variety of health benefits.
“We have been researching aging and metabolism for many years and decided to search for unknown health effects in human fasting,” said Takayuki Teruya, first author of the paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.
“Contrary to the original expectation, it turned out that fasting-induced metabolic activation rather actively,” said Teruya.
The study presents an analysis of whole plasma, human blood, and red blood cells drawn from four fasting individuals. The researchers kept track of changing levels of metabolites - substances formed in the course of the chemical processes that grant organisms energy and let them grow.
The results revealed 44 metabolites, including 30 that were previously unrecognized, that increased universally among subjects between 1.5-to 60-fold within just 58 hours of fasting.
In previous research, researchers identified various metabolites whose quantities decline with age, including three known as leucine, isoleucine, and ophthalmic acid. In individuals going without food, these metabolites increase in level, suggesting a mechanism by which fasting could help increase longness.
“These are very important metabolites for maintenance of muscle and antioxidant activity, respectively,” said Teruya.
“This result suggests the possibility of a rejuvenating effect by fasting, which was not known until now,” he said.
The human body tends to utilize carbohydrates for quick energy - when they are available, but then while starved of carbs, the body begins looting its alternate energy stores.
The act of “energy substitution” leaves a trail of evidence, namely metabolites known as butyrates, carnitines, and branched-chain amino acids. These well-known markers of energy substitution have been shown to pile up during fasting.