Intermittent Fasting and its effect on the Brain
“Intermittent Fasting” causes Hormesis. Hormesis is a biological event in which a low dose of a toxic chemical causes a positive effect, resonant with the colloquial phrase ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’“Recent findings have elucidated the cellular signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms that mediate hormetic responses which typically involve enzymes such as kinases and deacetylases, and transcription factors such as Nrf-2 and NF-kappaB. As a result, cells increase their production of cytoprotective and restorative proteins including growth factors, phase 2 and antioxidant enzymes, and protein chaperones.”
A publication revealed that IF induced sirtuin 1 protein expression in deficient mice resulting in improved brain function:
“After eight weeks of intermittent fasting, sirtuin 1 protein expression was recovered in SAMP8. This recovery was accompanied by a reduction in the two acetylated targets… Our findings provide new insights into the participation of sirtuin 1 in ageing and point to a potential novel application of this enzyme to prevent frailty due to ageing processes in the brain.”
A recent review of the therapeutic effect of fasting found:
“Several interrelated cellular mechanisms contribute to the beneficial effects of IF on the nervous system including reduced accumulation of oxidatively damaged molecules, improved cellular bioenergetics, enhanced neurotrophic factor signaling, and reduced inflammation….intermittent fasting may also promote restoration of damaged nerve cell circuits by stimulating synapse formation and the production of new neurons from neural stem cells (neurogenesis)”
This study reveals that not only does IF have neuroprotective factors but it may in fact help recover lost brain cells and improve brain function.
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