What are the Long-term Effects of Fasting?


A recent study published in the journal named Scientific Reports has provided evidence about the benefits of evidence in humans.

A lot of recent studies have proved how caloric restriction in animal models can prolong the lifetime. However, the exact mechanism through which this effect was achieved remained a mystery.

In this recent study, the scientists belonging to the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University struggled to examine its exact effect on metabolism. By studying how fasting impacts the mechanism, the scientists hoped to find different ways how fasting could benefit the human body.

To get answers to these questions, they recruited four volunteers and directed them to fast for 58 hours straight. They then used metabolomics, which includes measuring the metabolites, to check the blood samples of the participants at regular intervals.

What Exactly Happens During Fasting?

As the human body is deprived of food, there are several metabolic changes that take place. Normally in the presence of carbohydrates, the body uses them as fuel to derive energy. However, once their levels decline, the body starts looking for other sources of energy.

This triggers the process of gluconeogenesis in which the body produces glucose from non-carb sources such as fat and amino acids. Scientists can record this process through the assessment of several metabolites in the blood including butyrate and carnitine.

Just as the scientists expected, these metabolites were found in the blood of participants. However, there were a lot of other metabolic changes in their body at the same time which surprised the researchers. For example, there was a significant increase in the products produced through the citric acid cycle.

In addition to this, there was another important and surprising discovery that the scientist came across during their study. They recorded an increase in the amounts of purine and pyrimidine. What’s important is that these agents were not previously linked to fasting in any way.

The presence of these chemicals in the bodies of the participants indicate an increase in gene synthesis and protein synthesis. This indicates that fasting forces the body cells to switch up the quantity and type of protein required by them to function properly.

Fasting Increases Anti-aging Compounds

Having high levels of pyrimidine and purine in the body indicates that your body has high levels of antioxidants. In the current study, the scientists noticed a lot of increase in the levels of several antioxidants such as carnosine and ergothioneine.

The same team of researchers in their previous research indicated that the process of aging decreases the number of metabolites in the body. These metabolites particularly include isoleucine, ophthalmic acid, and leucine.

In the recent study, these scientists indicated that the levels of these metabolites increase significantly due to fasting. This phenomenon may help explain the mechanism through which fasting extends the lifespan.


In the four subjects involved in the study, 44 different metabolites were found to be increased during fasting. Out of these metabolites, 14 were linked to fasting before. This led the scientists to believe how fasting induces a metabolically active state that is not provoked previously.

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Samantha Issac
Samantha is a graduate of Medicine with masters in Public Health. Most of her writings are in medicinal tools, technology, and treatments. In addition to that, she is a freelance healthcare writer based in the USA.


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