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Intermittent Fasting Is Beneficial, Except When Antioxidants Are Consumed

March 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Fasting has been shown in animal studies to extend lifespan and thwart diseases related to aging. Now U.S. researchers have shown that a feast-or-famine – or intermittent fasting – diet pattern offers some of the same benefits of long-term fasting for people, though the benefits may be lost in the presence of antioxidants. Intermittent fasting causes oxidative stress, which activates a protein called SIRT3 that, when increased in mice, extends lifespan. In a small clinical study, SIRT3 was indeed activated by intermittent fasting, but the benefits vanished when high levels of antioxidants were added to the diet. This reinforces research that has shown that flooding the system with supplemental antioxidants neutralizes the benefits of fasting or exercise.
Martin P. Wegman et al., "Practicality of Intermittent Fasting in Humans and its Effect on Oxidative Stress and Genes Related to Aging and Metabolism. ", Rejuvenation Research, March 07, 2015, © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
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