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Study Reveals What Happens to Your Body After a Full Week of Fasting!

A new study uncovers how prolonged fasting affects the body on a molecular level, reaffirming its therapeutic benefits and shedding light on how it works.

Shivam Dwivedi
Study Reveals What Happens to Your Body After a Full Week of Fasting! (Photo Source: Pexels)
Study Reveals What Happens to Your Body After a Full Week of Fasting! (Photo Source: Pexels)

In a study published in Nature Metabolism, scientists have dived deep into the body's response to long periods of fasting. They discovered more than just weight loss benefits, revealing how fasting impacts overall health and the time it takes for noticeable changes to happen. Researchers from Queen Mary University of London's Precision Healthcare University Research Institute (PHURI) and the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences conducted this study, delving into the molecular basis of fasting-induced changes.

By closely monitoring 12 healthy volunteers undergoing a seven-day water-only fast, the team analyzed approximately 3,000 proteins in the participants' blood before, during, and after the fasting period.

Key Findings:

  • Shift in Energy Sources: Within the initial two to three days of fasting, the body transitions from utilizing consumed calories to tapping into its own fat reserves for energy.

  • Weight Loss: Volunteers experienced an average weight loss of 5.7 kg, comprising both fat mass and lean mass. Notably, post-fast refeeding led to a retention of fat loss while reversing lean mass loss.

  • Molecular Changes: After approximately three days of fasting, the researchers observed significant alterations in protein levels across various organs, indicating a holistic response to prolonged calorie restriction. Remarkably, one-third of the measured proteins exhibited notable changes during fasting, with distinct signatures emerging beyond mere weight loss.

Implications for Health & Future Research:

  • Beyond Weight Loss: Claudia Langenberg, Director of Queen Mary's PHURI, underscores the study's revelation of health benefits extending beyond weight loss, albeit becoming apparent only after three days of total caloric restriction.

  • Therapeutic Potential: The study paves the way for future research aimed at leveraging fasting-induced molecular changes for therapeutic interventions. Maik Pietzner, co-lead of the Computational Medicine Group at Berlin Institute of Health at Charite, highlights the potential of these findings in informing the development of treatments for conditions where fasting might not be a viable option.

As research uncovers more about how fasting affects the body, there's growing promise for new treatments that utilize its benefits.

(Source: Queen Mary University of London)

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