Autophagy: Revolution in Nutritional Medicine?

Should we feast and regularly fast instead of having a conscious diet? Does this sound almost too good to be true? Can we forget the recommendations for a healthy diet we regarded as secured, including the food pyramid, and feast confidently? Yes and no!

Latest research findings in mice have demonstrated: Regular longer breaks between meals are more important for our health than the specific food that we eat! This means: It is not so important what we eat, if we fast for a longer period in between.

Specifically, groups of mice were fed different foods: One group received appropriate nutrition daily without interruption, another group of mice received mice junk food with regular periods of fasting, and a third group of mice was also supplied with mice junk food, but without regular fasting periods in between.

Remarkable result: The fasting junk food mice were the healthiest, followed by the non-fasting animals which were fed appropriate to the species. The non-fasting junk food rodents brought up the rear.

Why Is Fasting Beneficial to the Health?

Fasting obviously activates the body’s own cleansing program called autophagy (“self-digestion”), in which the body breaks down toxins and defective cell components and thereby cleans itself. This process protects against premature aging, various diseases, and even obesity.

There are many indications that regular fasting has a positive effect on health in humans. Thus there is actually some truth in fasting known from many cultures from a medical point of view.

It depends on the type how long we should fast by refraining from eating solid foods and instead take liquids only (water, unsweetened tea, clear soup). If we resort to the teachings of Ayurvedic medicine, more delicate, slim people should fast once or twice a month for 24 to 48 hours at maximum and people with a strong and stocky body who rather tend to be overweight should fast regularly for periods of up to 7 days.

In this sense – enjoy your iced coffee with extra whipped cream without counting calories, but do not forget to fast.

Your Team at Clinic DDr. Heinrich®

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