Fasting for 24 hours: This could be the secret to fighting chronic illness

Cambridge scientists have made a striking claim: fasting for 24 hours could guard against severe illnesses. This intriguing approach to health might be more than just a trend.

Publication: 31.01.2024 - 17:37
Fasting for 24 hours: This could be the secret to fighting chronic illness
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Imagine a day starting without breakfast, similar to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's 36-hour fasts. Celebrities like Sharon Osbourne and Dana White also follow suit, with days of minimal intake. It's not just for show; there might be real health benefits.

These researchers suggest that a 24-hour fast can reduce harmful inflammation. This isn't just about losing weight. It's about increasing a key fatty acid, potentially warding off diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Professor Clare Bryant from the University of Cambridge points to the NLRP3 inflammasome. This protein complex plays a role in many serious diseases. Fasting boosts arachidonic acid levels, which then inhibits this inflammasome.

The research, published in Cell Reports, involved 21 individuals fasting after a 500-calorie meal. This showed increased arachidonic acid and decreased inflammation. However, these effects are short-lived.

But is fasting for everyone? Nutrition therapist Justin Nault cautions against skipping breakfast. He suggests that a lack of morning hunger could signal metabolic issues. He recommends a protein-rich breakfast soon after waking, aligning with NHS guidelines.

As the scientific community explores fasting further, it's clear that dietary changes should be tailored to individual needs. Consulting healthcare professionals is crucial. The health journey is personal and varied.