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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never been a big fan of fasting for any supposed health benefits, though I have done it as a form of psychological conditioning. Never know when you'll be in a situation where you have to exert yourself without the option of doing so on a full belly, and I'm the type of person who likes to be prepared for hardship because when it comes it tends to come unexpectedly.

We all have our own opinions and experiences. Anyway, I found a short e-book some of you might find interesting that has a fairly objective analysis of some experiments on various fasting protocols.

Experiments with Intermittent Fasting

(Download PDF)
 

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I haven't yet perused the info you posted but I've read a lot about intermittent fasting over the years and am intrigued by the potential benefits to health and longevity. I never did buy the 'three squares a day' mentality and often skip breakfast and lunch simply because I am not generally hungry in the morning and don't see the benefit of forcing myself to eat. Last summer I experimented with the Fast-5 approach to IF and found that I easily got through 19 hours a day without food. Surprisingly I found myself incredibly alert during the day while fasting and slept great after my evening eating window. I also lost weight fairly effortlessly. It was more out of convenience that I stopped doing it rather than any particular physical hardship. Since I already know that I can go 19 hours without issue I'd like to experiment now with alternate day fasting and see how that goes.
 

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Is there any actual good science supporting the supposed benefits or is it just philosophical? Nutrition's not a philosophy, it's a science. So is human health. It has absolutely nothing to do with opinion. If I developed the opinion that breathing is unclean I'd still die if I stopped doing it long enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh James xVx View Post

Is there any actual good science supporting the supposed benefits or is it just philosophical? Nutrition's not a philosophy, it's a science. So is human health. It has absolutely nothing to do with opinion. If I developed the opinion that breathing is unclean I'd still die if I stopped doing it long enough.
As far as health benefits, the results of fasting are neither proven nor disproven. Modern nutrition science is a relatively new field of study, and one in which the testing of theories is considerably more difficult than in other sciences.

I do not fast for health benefits, but I've looked over a lot of literature and studies and don't feel I could tell anyone that there probably is or probably isn't any clear benefits.

One of the reasons I liked the short e-book linked above is because the guy who wrote it tends to promote the 5 meals per day philosophy, yet he was still able to find what he considered to be potential benefits to intermittent fasting. Again, nothing absolutely conclusive, but I consider this to be a bit more objective than a lot of the other literature out there.

I do it exclusively for the psychological benefits. I haven't always had the privilege of a comfortable life, and I don't know what the future holds. To me, the ability to stay focused on my objectives while hungry is as important as any physical, measurable trait would be. But I am still keeping an eye on new studies as they come out simply out of curiosity.
 

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My interest in IF initially stemmed from cancer research as I am a cancer survivor myself and have done much reading on the subject. As Nomad stated, human trials with IF are still very limited at this point but what they are finding is that fasting before chemotherapy increases the effectiveness of it. When fasting, normal healthy cells steel themselves against disease and become stronger, while cancerous cells become weaker and more vulnerable to chemotherapy. I believe some of the larger cancer centers are implementing this strategy now. In terms of longevity, a long-term human study will be quite difficult, however animal studies have shown significant increase in lifespan through IF. Whether or not that translates to humans is still very much up in the air, but from an evolutionary perspective it does make some sense. Never before in our history have we had the 24/7 access to food as we do now. We evolved in a feast/famine environment. Regardless, I'm keeping an open mind anyway.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh James xVx View Post

Is there any actual good science supporting the supposed benefits or is it just philosophical? Nutrition's not a philosophy, it's a science. So is human health. It has absolutely nothing to do with opinion. If I developed the opinion that breathing is unclean I'd still die if I stopped doing it long enough.
According to wikipedia:

"recent studies on humans suggest similar beneficial results.
  • Alternative day fasting (ADF) may produce significant improvements in several markers such as LDL cholesterol in as little as eight weeks.[9]
  • ADF "may effectively modulate several risk factors, thereby preventing chronic disease, and that ADF may modulate disease risk to an extent similar to that of CR".[10]
  • Serum from humans following an IF diet had positive effects (reduced triglycerides in men and increased HDL in women, as well as reduced cell proliferation and increased heat resistance) in vitro on human hepatoma cells.[11]
  • IF confers protection from toxic chemotherapy treatments, allowing higher doses and therefore more effective treatment for cancers.[12]
  • IF may function as a form of nutritional hormesis.[13][14]"
 

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The BBC just did a documentary on this if you're interested in knowing the science behind Intermittent Fasting. They're a very reputable source, if you head to the science section of their website they have extensive research on a lot of things about the human body/psychology.
 

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The BBC just did a documentary on this if you're interested in knowing the science behind Intermittent Fasting. They're a very reputable source, if you head to the science section of their website they have extensive research on a lot of things about the human body/psychology.
 
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