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The metabolic effects of fasting

BY Added Health Editorial Team | 13 December 2022
This is a shortened version of an Added Health article.

In the West, we have more access to a greater array of food than at any other time in our history. Often this means that we are giving our bodies a constant steam of fuel and, when combined with a more sedentary lifestyle, that ‘fuel surplus’ can put a lot of strain on our bodies’ own internal combustion system.

Fasting gives the body an opportunity to break this cycle, to maintain itself and undergo necessary repairs. It can support the lowering of body fat, blood pressure and inflammation and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease – it has even also been linked with healthier ageing and a prolonged lifespan. There are different methods to fasting but finding one that works and is safe for you can have long-lasting benefits.

Take home message from Added Health

Our bodies were not designed for the high calorie/low activity lifestyle that has sadly become more common in the western world. When done safely and with the appropriate medical advice, cycling between fasting and non-fasting over a defined period of time can help us maintain a healthier weight and may even help us live longer too.


Dong, T.A., Sandesara, P.B., Dhindsa, D.S., Mehta, A., Arneson, L.C., Dollar, A.L., Taub, P.R. and Sperling, L.S., 2020. Intermittent fasting: a heart healthy dietary pattern? The American Journal of Medicine133(8), pp.901-907. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.03.030

López‐Lluch, G. and Navas, P., 2016. Calorie restriction as an intervention in ageing. The Journal of Physiology594(8), pp.2043-2060. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP270543