Friday, July 19, 2024

How intermittent fasting helps prevent diseases

Intermittent fasting works wonders for overall health, particularly for the liver, as it inhibits the secretion of a protein that regulates a large number of liver genes, new research has found.

The findings will help develop new interventions to lower disease risk and discover the optimum intervals for fasting. In experiments with mice, researchers led by Dr Mark Larance at the University of Sydney identified how fasting on alternate days affected proteins in the liver, showing the unexpected impact on fatty acid metabolism and the surprising role played by a master regulator protein that controls many biological pathways in the liver and other organs.

In particular, the researchers found that the HNF4-(alpha) protein, which regulates a large number of liver genes, plays a previously unknown role during intermittent fasting. The researchers also found that every-other-day-fasting — where no food was consumed on alternate days — changed the metabolism of fatty acids in the liver, knowledge that could be applied to improvements in glucose tolerance and the regulation of diabetes.

Dr Larance said that the information can now be used in future studies to determine optimum fasting periods to regulate protein response in the liver. The results of the research were published in the journal Cell Reports.

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