Intermittent fasting diets have taken the health and nutrition world by storm. Intermittent fasting (IF) refers to a type of diet that cycles between a period of fasting and non-fasting. According to a latest study, published the journal Cell Research, the diet may prove to be rather effective in shedding excess weight.
The study was conducted by pathobiology scientists at the University of Toronto in Ontario in Canada who carried out experiments using a mice model to understand the mechanisms of intermittent fasting. Mice exhibit a similar metabolic model as that of humans, and the researchers are hopeful that their findings will prove to be a breakthrough in the health and nutrition world.
For their study, which was conducted over a span of 16 weeks, researchers put mice into two separate groups: an intermittent fasting group and a control group.Mice in the intermittent fasting group were given no food for a day and were then fed for the next two days. The control group, on the other hand, was fed every day. The scientists fed the same number of calories to both the groups.
The findings revealed that the mice in the intermittent fasting group, weighed much less in comparison to their counterparts in the control group. According to researchers, the intermittent fasting regimen not only prevented obesity in mice, but also improved metabolism by changing the quality of fat in the body.
During the fasting period of the IF diet, anti-inflammatory immune cells converted into inflammatory fat. To put it simply, the bad fat was converted to good fat. The scientists explained that during the period of fasting, there is an increased amount of vascular growth in the body. This helps form blood vessels and activate those anti-inflammatory immune cells. The IF diet also stabilized the glucose and insulin systems in the body of mice. Apart from weight loss, Intermittent fasting was also found to restore the dual function of fat cells, which is to store energy and to release energy