Intermittent fasting is part of the natural order of the human species. It’s how you evolved.
And I’m pleased to see that intermittent fasting is becoming more popular these days — because compelling new research reveals it’s even more of an anti-aging powerhouse than I originally thought.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet. It’s an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
I’ve been recommending it for years as a technique not only to fight weight gain, but also to jumpstart the healing and rejuvenation process in your body.
Mainstream medicine still tells you it’s dangerous. But intermittent fasting is a health-giving and anti-aging therapy whose roots can be traced back to the earliest days of the human species — maybe even before that.
It has the power to ward off the chronic diseases of aging and add healthy years to your life.
You see, because we evolved at time when food was scarce, nature designed us not just to survive under these conditions — but to thrive in them.
Starving yourself like this today may sound unpleasant and even pointless — but the latest scientific research has revealed huge health and anti-aging benefits to creating “lean periods” in your day.
In a minute, I’m going to show you an easy routine you can follow daily so you can reap the anti-aging and benefits, too.
You may already know that fasting forces your body to burn fat instead of sugar as its main fuel source — and that it also boosts your stem cell activity.
Now scientists at Yale have discovered that intermittent fasting also triggers the production of a hormone that has the power to extend your lifespan by protecting your immune system against the ravages of age.
The hormone is called fibroblast growth factor 21, or FGF21. Scientists have known for a while that FGF21 is a metabolic hormone that improves insulin sensitivity and induces weight loss. At the same time, it also sends signals to your brain to suppress its craving for sweets.
This hormone has important implications for the battle against obesity, and for diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes.1
But researchers at Yale School of Medicine now have discovered that FGF21 strengthens your immune system and can extend your lifespan by up to 40%.2
You see, FGF21 is made in the thymus, a gland that produces disease-fighting T cells for your immune system.
When your thymus is working optimally, it produces new T cells for your immune system. But with age, the gland becomes fatty and loses its ability to produce these vital cells, which in turn dramatically weaken your immune system.
Using mice with elevated levels of FGF21, the Yale researchers blocked the genes’ function before studying the impact of decreasing levels of FGF21 on the immune system. Their results revealed that increasing the level of FGF21 in old mice protected the thymus from age-related, fatty degeneration and increased the ability of the thymus to produce new T cells.3
Researchers also discovered that levels of FGF21 are increased when fats are burned and glucose levels are low — just as they are when you fast.
That’s exactly how you can take advantage of this “elixir of youth” — through intermittent fasting.
And intermittent fasting is not nearly as tough as it sounds and it doesn’t involve counting calories. The latest scientific research, as well as my own research at my Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine, proves just how powerful it is for your health — and your weight.
Here at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine, I’ve seen that patients who have followed this ancient regime are among the healthiest people I know. Their heart function is similar to people many years younger and they have very low levels of inflammation — which is at the root of all chronic diseases.
I recommend you start with a safe and simple regimen that calls for an eight-hour eating window each day, followed by a 16-hour fast. Here’s how to do it…
- Start your day with a 10 a.m. breakfast;
- Then lunch at your regular time;
- Finish your dinner by 6 p.m.
- Refrain from eating any additional food from 6 p.m. until 10 a.m. the following morning.
Another way to support healthy aging is by adding the right fats to your diet. Fats will keep you fuller longer and supply essential nutrition to your body helping to keep you young.
I also recommend loading up in healthy fats before and after your fast. In fact, I recommend 25%-35% of your diet come from healthy fats. Here are a few foods that have healthy fats:
- Grass-fed meat;
I also recommend daily supplementation of essential omega-3 fats. Supplements that come from krill or squid are best, because they have the lowest toxicity levels. You can find them in capsule form online or at most health food stores. Take at least 500 mg per day.
Please note: fasting isn’t for everyone. If you’re hypoglycemic, diabetic, have kidney or liver disease or special dietary requirements, you may be better off avoiding it.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Fisher FM, Estall JL, Adams AC, Antonellis PJ, Bina HA, Flier JS, Kharitonenkov A, Spiegelman BM, Maratos-Flier E (Aug 2011). “Integrated regulation of hepatic metabolism by fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) in vivo”. Endocrinology 152 (8): 2996—3004. doi:10.1210/en.2011-0281. PMC 3138239. PMID 21712364
2. Nishimura T, Nakatake Y, Konishi M, Itoh N (Jun 2000). “Identification of a novel FGF, FGF-21, preferentially expressed in the liver”. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1492 (1): 203—6. doi:10.1016/S0167-4781(00)00067-1. PMID 10858549.
3. Youm Y, Horvath T, et al. ‘Prolongevity hormone FGF21 protects against immune senescence by delaying age- related thymic involution.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015.