All the benefits of fasting have been evaluated by scientists at Aston University, and they have come away with a long list that is topped by improvements to heart health, reversal of diabetes and reduction in inflammation.
Intermittent fasting-where food is not eaten on alternate days or several days a week-is also a very effective way at losing weight, says lead researcher James Brown.
The diet is just as effective as exercise and bariatric surgery, which is usually performed on obese patients, and it improves the functioning of the pancreas, and could even reverse type 2 diabetes, they say.
When you fast, the body raises levels of adiponectin, a protein that helps protect the heart.
(Source: British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease, 2013; 13: 68-72).