Intermittent Fasting: Main Metabolic Effects

There are a number of forms of intermittent fasting, but the generally accepted definition is one which involves deliberate repeated cycles energy restriction for a defined period of time, ranging from hours to weeks. While some forms of fasting eliminate all food intake, other forms can be more selective on the types of foods they eliminate, although in general for fasting to occur, most forms of energy should be eliminated. The metabolic effects of intermittent fasting are generally accepted to centre on reductions to the levels of circulating insulin and blood glucose. This change is very likely responsible for the weight loss associated with intermittent fasting. Significant reductions in the levels of various circulating inflammatory markers are also often observed, and this may be responsible for many of the health benefits of intermittent fasting. Also present are changes to levels of leptin, adiponectin and circulating lipids but the degree of improvement is likely related to the degree of body fat loss and the length of the fast. 

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Patterson, R. E. and Sears, D. D. 2017. Metabolic effects of intermittent fasting. Annual Review of Nutrition. 37

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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