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Seven-day fast triggers dramatic changes throughout the body

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Fasting for seven days has a dramatic impact on every part of the body, but major changes aren’t seen until after the first three days.

The benefits go way beyond weight loss, and a fast achieves a whole-body response, including major changes to all the major organs.  Even neurons in the brain are affected.

The profound changes have been witnessed by researchers from Queen Mary University of London, who monitored 12 healthy volunteers during a water-only, seven-day fast.  The researchers measured changes to around 3,000 proteins in the blood before, during and after the fast.

As expected, the participants’ energy systems switched from glucose to fat stored in the body after just two to three days of fasting, and participants lost an average of around 5.7 kg (12 lbs) of fat and lean mass.  

But, more significantly, a thousand of the 3,000 proteins changed ‘significantly’.  

“For the first time we’re able to see what is happening on a molecular level across the body when we fast,” said researcher Claudia Langenberg.

The researchers hope their insights can help establish fasting as part of a therapeutic approach for a range of chronic health problems.

References
Metabolism, 2024; doi: 10.1038/s42255-024-01008-9
Article Topics: Fasting, weight loss
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