Aging is a natural process all of us go through. Although some age more gracefully than others, our daily habits, diet, and other external factors can determine our aging process and our health. According to a study published in the Cell Stem cell journal, fasting can improve cellular regeneration.
The research was done with young and old mice, and after the rodents fasted for 24 hours, their cells started burning fat and the function of their intestinal stem cells improved.
Fasting: beneficial for the intestinal stem cells function during aging
The most important discoveries were that the fasting process induces fatty acid oxidations inside the intestinal stem cells. Diet profoundly affects our tissue regeneration, and intermittent fasting proved beneficial in helping with the age-related loss of tissue process. After one day of fasting, the body can regenerate better and burn fat cells.
A senior author of the study, Omer Yilmaz, an MIT assistant professor of biology, a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, explains the fasting process and its benefits:
Fasting has many effects in the intestine, which include boosting regeneration as well as potential uses in any type of ailment that impinges on the intestine, such as infections or cancers,
Understanding how fasting improves overall health, including the role of adult stem cells in intestinal regeneration, in repair, and in aging, is a fundamental interest of my laboratory.
What about those who have a hard time fasting?
Although there are many health benefits related to fasting and intermittent fasting, some of us cannot try these diets due to other health conditions. However, the scientists behind the study determined that a new drug that mimics fasting could be developed to help people. This drug will boost our cellular regeneration and enhance our longevity. Another lead author of the study, David Sabatini, an MIT professor of biology and member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the Koch Institute, declared for the same source:
Pharmacological targeting of this pathway may provide a therapeutic opportunity to improve tissue homeostasis in age-associated pathologies.
Until medication that mimics fasting is developed, those healthy enough to try fasting should give it a go.