In this article, we present scientific evidence in the most accessible form that refutes the harm of fasting and testifies to the benefits of fasting for health and longevity.

About the benefits of fasting for health and longevity

New scientific evidence has emerged that refutes the harm of fasting and testifies to the benefits of fasting for health and longevity.

This is not an extreme form of starvation that can lead to degeneration and death. Usually, long-term fasting refers to abstinence from food for 48-120 hours.

Only recently conducted studies shed light on the role of fasting for adaptive cellular responses of the body.

These processes are extremely difficult for an unprepared reader, so we will try to convey information to you in the most accessible form. Those who need in-depth knowledge on this issue can read the full texts of the studies at the links provided at the end of this article.

The results of a large study by Walter Longo and Mark P. Mattson called "Fasting – Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications" disprove the harms of fasting and show the enormous potential of using fasting for longevity and health, as well as slowing down the aging process.

Temporary food avoidance reduces oxidative damage and inflammation, optimizes energy metabolism, and enhances cellular defenses.

In humans, intermittent or intermittent fasting protects against diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and neurodegeneration, helps normalize body weight, and helps with hypertension, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Human studies show that various forms of fasting can provide an effective weight loss strategy, slow down the aging process, and optimize health.

Thus, fasting has the potential to slow down aging and may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of disease while minimizing side effects.

Fasting as a result of ketogenesis (the synthesis of ketone bodies, not to be confused with ketoacidosis), contributes to a change in metabolism, lipolysis (the process of splitting fats) and autophagy (self-purification of intracellular debris).

About the benefits of fasting for health and longevity

The effects of starvation on aging and disease are seen as responses to the evolutionary adaptation of mammals to periods of food shortage. During starvation, cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for protective effects are activated, which allow survival in conditions of complete or partial deprivation of energy sources, avoiding age-related damage.

The mechanism of action of fasting is that it provokes adaptive cellular stress responses that lead to an increase in the ability to cope with severe stress and neutralize disease processes.

Fasting may have a positive effect in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Experiments show that multiple cycles of intermittent fasting can be as effective as chemotherapy in treating certain cancers in mice.

Fasting may protect against cancer by reducing damage to cellular DNA, as well as by apoptosis (self-destruction) of precancerous cells.

The idea that cancer can be treated with a week's fast, which became popular decades ago, may be only partially true, at least for some cancers, and may not be effective for other cancers.

The effectiveness of long-term fasting in the treatment of cancer needs to be tested in carefully designed clinical trials that examine side effects, including a weakened immune system and increased susceptibility to certain infections.

However, animal studies from various laboratories suggest that combining fasting with chemotherapy cycles greatly enhances the effectiveness of cancer treatment.

About the benefits of fasting for health and longevity

The study notes the beneficial effects of various forms of fasting on hypertension.

Research shows that there is great potential for health and longevity that intermittent fasting can bring into adulthood. Fasting is important for maintaining optimal health and reducing the risk of many chronic diseases, especially those associated with being overweight and being sedentary.

Research has documented the harms of fasting and confirms the positive effects of fasting on health outcomes, including normalization of blood glucose levels, increased insulin sensitivity, normalization of blood pressure, reduction of body fat, reduction of atherogenic lipids (bad cholesterol) and inflammation.

However, fasting is not recommended for children and the elderly, as well as people with reduced body weight and patients with diabetes receiving insulin or insulin-like drugs.

Extreme dietary interventions in old age may continue to protect against age-related diseases, but they can be devastating to the immune system and ability to respond to certain infectious diseases, wounds, and other problems.

About the benefits of fasting for health and longevity

According to studies, fasting longer than 24 hours is recommended under the supervision of a doctor and preferably in a clinic. To combat obesity, 12-24-hour fasts for one or more days every week or every month are recommended, in combination with regular exercise.

Clinical and epidemiological data confirm the ability of fasting to slow down the aging process and protect against age-related diseases. The main factors involved in aging, which is exacerbated by a gluttonous lifestyle, are slowed down due to the limitation of energy in the human body. It:

  • oxidative damage to proteins, DNA and lipids;
  • inflammation;
  • accumulation of dysfunctional proteins and organelles;
  • increased blood sugar and insulin.

Additional effects of fasting that could be considered as potential anti-aging strategies are:

  • stimulation of autophagy (self-eating of intracellular debris). Read more about this in our article "Autophagy is a mechanism that increases lifespan";
  • inhibition of the mtor pathway (interfering with autophagy);
  • ketogenesis (synthesis of ketone bodies).

Thus, intermittent fasting cycles do no harm. On the contrary, they provide a more viable strategy for health and longevity than permanent caloric restriction, which is dangerous for the possibility of chronic malnutrition and has the potential adverse effects of excessively lowering body mass index.

Links to studies that refute the harm of fasting:


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