How can intermittent fasting affect health?


Intermittent fasting affects various aspects of health and wellbeing, including organ health, metabolism, and hormonal balance. Here is a summary of key impacts:

  • Gut Health: Intermittent fasting can improve the gut microbiome and assist people with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and colitis by affecting the expression of clock genes that regulate the mucosal lining. This can reduce lactobacillus levels, which are associated with metabolic disorders, and enhance healthy gut microbiota like acetobacter 1.
  • Weight and Fat Loss: Adopting regular fasting schedules can influence fat loss, muscle maintenance, and overall weight management by affecting the body's metabolic responses 2.
  • Hormone Health: Fasting or excessive exercise along with fasting can reduce hormones like testosterone in men, impacting fertility. For women, adequate leptin signaling, which is affected by body fat and eating patterns, is essential for ovulation. Time-restricted feeding windows need to be individualized to ensure they support hormone health 3.

    Intermittent Fasting Benefits

    Andrew explains how intermittent fasting can improve gut health by promoting healthy gut microbiota and reducing the amount of lactobacillus present in the gut. Time-restricted feeding can assist people with irritable bowel syndrome and other forms of colitis by impacting the expression of clock genes and having a direct effect on the mucosal lining.

    Huberman Lab

    Effects of Fasting & Time Restricted Eating on Fat Loss & Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #41
  • Liver Health: Intermittent fasting has been tied to a decrease in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by promoting healthier levels of brown fat, which correlates with lower instances of this condition 4.
  • General Health: Limiting one's feeding window within each 24-hour cycle can benefit liver enzymes and insulin sensitivity, important for metabolism and preventing diabetes. Satchin Panda's research suggests benefits from restricted feeding timings in both mice and humans 5.
  • Lifestyle Compatibility: The ideal intermittent fasting schedule emphasizes avoiding food post-waking for at least 60 minutes and pre-sleep for 2-3 hours, aiming for an eight-hour eating window firmly anchored within the light cycle for optimal health benefits 6.

It's important to transition gradually into a fasting routine and consult with a healthcare provider, especially for individuals with specific health conditions or dietary needs 3.