A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports reveals that intermittent fasting may help to boost metabolic activities, generate antioxidants, and help reverse ageing.
“Contrary to the original expectation,” says Teruya, “it turned out that fasting induced metabolic activation rather actively.”
The researchers identified 44 different blood-based metabolites significantly increasing in abundance after 58 hours of fasting, including 30 that have never before been connected to the practice.
Other previously unidentified metabolites revealed in the study signaled enhanced mitochondrial activity. This discovery adds weight to a compelling Harvard study from last year that suggested fasting can increase longevity and promote healthy aging by kickstarting youthful plasticity in mitochondrial networks.
Interestingly, three specific metabolites known to be associated with aging and longevity – leucine, isoleucine, and ophthalmic acid – all increased in levels after fasting. Prior study by the same research team revealed these specific metabolites decrease with age and are found in notably low levels in the elderly.
“These are very important metabolites for maintenance of muscle and antioxidant activity, respectively,” adds Teruya. “This result suggests the possibility of a rejuvenating effect by fasting, which was not known until now.”