Fasting: Apart from dieting, what are the benefits of fasting, experiments on rats told

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Less eating has always been considered beneficial. There is a tradition of fasting in the Hindu culture and also in a country like India. In the Muslim community, fasting is said to have many benefits in terms of health. But research on rats has also confirmed this notion. It has been found in this study that rodents have also got the use of eating less. This enhances their health and longevity. Researchers studied different mice doses and found that mice fed low-calorie food in the same amount in a day lived longer.

Better metabolism
In this exciting study, researchers found that rats fed a single low-calorie dose lived longer than rats that repeatedly took a low-calorie diet on the same day. This study, published in Nature Metabolism, showed that the metabolism of rats that ate only once a day was better.

Scientists have known for nearly a century that a limited-calorie diet prolongs the life of munching organisms. But earlier studies on rats with further calorie restriction limited their dosage to once a day. The researchers decided in this study that they would find out whether the difference in the time of eating had any role or not.

So what’s new
The researchers found that the quantity of food is not really necessary. Instead, calorie-restricting supplements ensure that the rats stay hungry for more extended periods during the day. Along with this, fixing the duration of starvation also has benefits for life and health. Researchers placed rats on different doses, in which the control group had unlimited access to regular food.

Apart from this, 30 percent of calories were available in two other groups, one where a low-calorie meal was given. The other 30 percent of the caloric food was given at a time and kept without food for 21 hours. The study showed that rats fed a limited calorie intake of 21 hours between two meals lived a year and a half longer than rats that ate no matter what time of day.

Limited calories are not enough
On the other hand, rats fed a consistent low-calorie diet lived a shorter life than the control group despite consuming a low-calorie diet. It is necessary to limit the fasting period to reap the benefits of limited caloric intake. At the same time, the group that was trained to eat the same amount of food as the control group was given food every three hours. These studies showed that eating less food has something to do with consuming more or fewer calories. Both groups had similar benefits.

More time between two doses beneficial
Researchers say that while short-term studies on humans confirm some benefit to not eating for four to eight hours a day, its long-term effect is not known. They believe that even today, the exact time of fasting in the day is not precise.

Stephen O’Rahili, director of Cambridge University’s MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit, who was not involved in the study, disagrees on whether the results of this study are fully applicable to humans. They believe that there is a vast difference in the speed of the digestion process of rats and humans. So it will be challenging to apply these results to humans. Nevertheless, researchers say that if we look at it from a human point of view, people can definitely lose the benefits of fasting by eating limited-calorie food throughout the day.