How 24 fasting can make you healthier
For most of us, fasting isn't one of our favorite pastimes. Sometimes we have to fast, such as when we need to undergo bloodwork or a surgery. Other times, we do it for religious reasons. Should we ever be fasting for our health? One study suggests yes.
A new MIT study suggests that a twenty-four hour fast can be very helpful to an otherwise healthy person. The study was designed in an effort to figure out how to encourage the growth of stem cells in older people. As we age these cells slow down and then stop developing, particularly in the intestines. This is why older people have such a hard time recovering from gastroenteritis and other problems in the digestive tract. Without the new stem cells creating new cells in the intestines they have a harder time recuperating. One of the ways a twenty-four hour fast helps boost the intestinal stem cells is that they switch from being generated with carbohydrates and start using fats. This switch to burning fats improved how they function in a significant manner.
A study in mice that underwent a twenty-four hour fast showed a surprising result. A small amount of intestine was removed and put into petri dishes. The goal was to see if there was any regenerative power in the cells. The scientists were amazed to see that the tissue doubled its ability to regenerate. Naturally scientists are looking at drug treatments to provide this same effect. That is good for people who cannot afford to fast due to health or weight issues. The elderly can quickly lose vital weight if they don’t eat properly.
What does this study mean for the rest of us? It is never too early to make sure our bodies produce enough stem cells. However a twenty-four hour fast can do more than that. It can help reset a body that has perhaps overindulged in salt, fat and sugar for a time. Most people tend to do that around holiday time. Perhaps this twenty-four hour fast is a good idea.
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