Countless research studies have shown the benefits of intermittent fasting, and now Harvard scientists have closely examined its impact on the aging process. Intermittent fasting refers to an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. The most common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16 hour fasts, or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week. The Harvard study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism and reveals that intermittent fasting slows down the aging process.
The research study examined the basic biology involved in our cells’ declining ability to process energy over time, which is what causes aging and age-related disease, and how embracing periods of fasting promotes healthy aging.
“Although previous work has shown how intermittent fasting can slow aging, we are only beginning to understand the underlying biology,” said William Mair, associate professor of genetics and complex diseases at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study.
Intermittent fasting has numerous benefits in addition to slowing down the aging process, including weight loss, lower blood pressure and reduced cholesterol.