Here's How Intermittent Fasting Rewires Your Metabolism
It turns out it has to do with our circadian clocks, which respond to changes in light and our food intake to keep our body in equilibrium. While food has long been known to influence our body's clocks, up until this point, it was unknown how a lack of food could affect our circadian clocks and what impact this could have on our health.
In a new study published in Cell Reports, researchers from the University of California–Irvine discovered a new link between IF, our circadian clocks, and our metabolism. After analyzing cell tissue from mice throughout 24-hour fasting periods, they found that time without food affected their biological clocks and caused fasting-sensitive cellular responses. These reactions caused a reorganization of genes in the skeletal muscle and liver, causing their metabolism to speed up.
The lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Donald Bren professor of biological chemistry at UCI's School of Medicine, explained in a statement, "the reorganization of gene regulation by fasting could prime the genome to a more permissive state to anticipate upcoming food intake and thereby drive a new rhythmic cycle of gene expression." Meaning intermittent fasting could drive changes in our metabolism via our circadian clocks, which the researchers suggest could positively affect our overall health and protect against age-related diseases.
While more research is needed to determine optimal intermittent fasting plans and nutritional guidelines to maximize the metabolism-boosting benefits of intermittent fasting, this study is exciting as it suggests an already popular diet (that you can try!) can help support a healthy metabolism.
If you're ready to give intermittent fasting a whirl, remember you can start small. Gut health specialist Dr. Vincent M. Pedre recommends starting with a 12-hour fast to see how your body responds. Could intermittent fasting be the secret ingredient to a fast metabolism? Time will tell, but this is an encouraging start.
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.