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8 Ways Dry Fasting Can Improve Health And Increase Longevity

Fast, Fast Food, Apple, Water, Loaf, Dry

Most people would agree that having no food to eat is a negative occurrence. But if having a rumble in one’s tummy now and then (along with effects such as headaches that aren’t too strong or intense, being listless, cranky, and having difficulty focusing) comes with the package for finding the secret to staying young forever?

Recent scientific research has begun to show that fasting intermittently or periodically may be beneficial.

Additionally, there is evidence that suggests that abstaining from consuming food could be beneficial to one’s health, such as helping to initiate weight loss, bolstering one’s immune system, and providing numerous other health benefits, in addition to allowing a person to live longer while also aging more slowly. No wonder it’s becoming a trend.

Fasting may appear to be the newest diet trend, but it’s far from being unheard of or unconventional.

People have practiced fasting for many years for spiritual or religious reasons. Much of the evidence to back the assertions is still in its early stages, however, it is reliable.

It appears that reducing food intake can result in a variety of transformations within the body that could promote better functioning of certain systems, protect against illnesses, and contribute to a longer life span, which was recently asserted in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It has been known by researchers for some time now that reducing the intake of calories is the best way to increase life expectancy. It appears that animals may live longer when they consume less food than is necessary for them to sustain life.

The issue here is that living a life that is practically deprived of nutrients would not be enjoyable or sustainable. It may not be worth it to have a long life if you are unfulfilled and hungry the entire time.

Researchers are attempting to find out if we can imitate the helpful results of serious calorie limitation by using an easier protocol, or possibly gain some of the same advantages. Studies have suggested that fasting may be a viable solution.


Fasting can take on an extensive number of forms, and the approach differs depending on which research studies one looks at. Although it may sometimes stretch over a few days, typically it means going for an interval of around 14 hours or less with minimal or no food. Here, three of the most common types of fasting:

Intermittent fasting

This fasting technique, often referred to as “time-restricted eating”, has become quite well-known. You need to limit your food consumption to a period of 6 to 8 hours in a day.

Most people opt to conduct the bulk of their fast when they are either full from dinner, or sleeping, naturally. One might decide to only consume food between the 12 o’clock hour and 6 in the evening.

Alternate-Day Fasting and the 5:2 Diet

Both are also sometimes referred to as intermittent fasting. Per alternate day fasting, which is exactly as it sounds, you merely eat 500 calories every two days, contrasted with a standard 2,000 to 2,500 calories consumed daily.

Mark Mattson, Ph.D., a neuroscience professor at Johns Hopkins University, conducted research on the 5:2 diet where one simply consumes a fair-sized meal (approx. 500 calories) on two non-sequential days of the week, then follows a healthy and balanced diet remainder of the time.

Fasting-Mimicking Diet

Valter Longo, Ph.D., who is the director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, formulated this concept.

The scheme is for several times throughout the period in which one will only eat extremely small amounts of calories (1,100 on the first day and 800 for the rest of the days) for five days successively, primarily from plants, nuts and oils. Afterward, you go back to your normal diet.

This type of fasting is done rarely rather than routinely, so it is generally referred to as intermittent fasting.

What Happens to Your Body When You Fast

Abstaining from food can lead to a number of whole-body and cellular changes that studies suggest might reduce the potential for some health problems and extend life span, like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, metabolic dysfunction, cancer, and diseases related to nerve degeneration such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Here, a few of the specifics:

You Switch to a New Fuel Source

After not eating for 8-12 hours, your body has depleted its primary source of energy — the carbohydrates from what you’ve eaten and from the glycogen stored in the body. At that juncture, your liver transforms fatty acids into a form of acid called ketones, which are then employed as fuel by your body.

Ketones serve not only as a productive energy source but also as a method of communication, sending signals that affect various proteins and cellular pathways that have a hand in maintaining health and longevity.

Over time, activating this change in metabolism over and over again can improve health markers that influence life span, among them heightened sensitivity to insulin and decreased degrees of inflammation.

Your Mitochondria Get a Break

Mitochondria are the tiny parts within each cell that act as an energy-generating station. They convert carbohydrates into ATP, an organic compound that serves as the energy source for cellular activity.

Aging occurs when mitochondria burn out over time. A combination of ordinary use and certain elements that cause accelerated deterioration both contribute to the breakdown.

An important cause of the quickened depletion of energy from the mitochondria is a combination of taking in too much food energy and not exercising enough to use that energy.

Cutting off the steady supply of energy caused by fasting may reduce the strain on mitochondria, resulting in a slower rate at which they burn out.

Fasting can stimulate the production of new mitochondria, support the getting rid of worn-out ones, and motivate other modifications to the mitochondria networks that maintain them in a youthful condition.

Your Cells Get Better at Managing Stress

Fasting could also potentially increase longevity by helping the body to learn how to adapt to cellular stress. A recent review in the New England Journal of Medicine states that organs and cells experience an improvement in their ability to handle damaging stressors when intermittent fasting is practiced.

The evidence indicates a rise in the body’s defenses against oxidation, the boost of DNA repair processes, and a decrease in inflammation all of which help defend cells from either aging or illness.

There’s More Energy for Health Maintenance

When you eat food, it gives your body the power it needs to function, but breaking down the food itself also requires a great deal of energy. When you fast, those energy demands go away.

Consequently, your body can focus more energy and resources on mending cells and structures, eliminating cellular and mitochondrial debris, and in general, bettering cell and system performance.

Top Health Benefits of Dry Fasting

Fasting without any liquids can be beneficial for the brain, metabolism, and safeguarding against illness thanks to its exceptional anti-inflammatory properties. Here are the top benefits of fasting without water:

1.  Enhanced Cognitive Function And Protection

An intermittent dry fast can have these effects on your brain:

  • Increased neuron protection against dysfunction and degeneration
  • Increased creation of new neurons
  • Increased brain plasticity
  • Decreased neuronal excitotoxicity

A research project determined that a Ramadan nonliquid fast augmented the BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) amounts. Neurotrophins are substances that aid in the preservation and expansion of nerve cells.

BDNF is responsible for retaining memories and the capacity to learn, controlling the production of neurons and helping them survive in adult brains, and managing metabolism. It is one of the proteins that facilitate the brain’s positive adjustments when there is a scarcity of food.

A brief fasting period can enhance brain activity by purging damaging or unneeded cells through autophagy.

The brain is additionally kept safe by the generation of ketones during periods of dry fasting. Ketone bodies can bring down levels of glutamate (a neurotoxin that can be hazardous if not monitored) and diminish oxidative stress in the brain.

2. High Anti-inflammatory Activity

When you’re dry fasting, your inflammation levels plummet. Studies show dry fasts like the Ramadan intermittent fasting (RIF) significantly lower the concentration of inflammatory markers like these:

  • TNF-α: This molecule is able to induce fever, inflammation, and cell death. It can increase the chance of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel diseases when it’s not properly regulated.
  • CRP: High levels of CRP are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease
  • IL-1b: Important mediator of inflammation and is linked to heart failure.
  • IL-6: This proinflammatory molecule can worsen autoimmune diseases and infections. It’s associated with a higher risk of diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and further malignant growths in people with breast cancer.
  • CXC Chemokines: Molecules that cause inflammation when unregulated.

Periodic dry fasting lessens inflammation by decreasing the concentration of leukocytes (immune cells), as molecules released by these leukocyte cells are responsible for causing several illnesses associated with inflammation.

A dry fast can help reduce inflammation, thus preventing a lot of degenerative diseases.

3. Balanced Lipids

Going without food and drink can have a beneficial impact on triglycerides, High-Density Lipoprotein, Low-Density Lipoprotein, and the sum of all three cholesterol levels. Several studies show that after dry fasting:

  • HDL (good) cholesterol levels increased in women.
  • Total cholesterol and triglycerides decreased in men.
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol decreased in both sexes.

It’s interesting to note that the kind of fats you eat before and after abstaining from food can have an impact on your levels of lipids.

As an example, those who conducted a dry fast in Morocco saw a considerable decrease in their total cholesterol and triglycerides levels even a month after the end of the fast. Meanwhile, people in Kuwait who were fasting had no considerable alterations in their cholesterol or triglyceride rates.

The variation in consumption between the two countries is likely due to the different kinds of fats being ingested. Moroccans had a beneficial outcome from regularly consuming monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as opposed to Kuwait’s preference for saturated fat.

If you consume varying types of fats prior to performing a dry fast, you will have a greater chance of attaining lipid regulation.

4. Glycemic Control

A dry fast can likewise balance blood sugar levels, another significant metabolic indicator. It is not unexpected that intermittent fasting has a beneficial effect due to the decreased levels of glucose and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) which is caused by the fast.

Investigations conducted over multiple occasions come to the conclusion that dehydration fasting is associated with a reduction in blood sugar levels and heightened sensitivity to insulin.

5. Diabetes Prevention

Due to its ability to control blood sugar levels, dry fasting can potentially stop diabetes from developing.

In Mormon communities that embark on a 24-hour period of abstinence from food and liquids (which is referred to as “dry fasting”), surveys have shown that the incidence of diabetes is less frequent. Out of the investigation groups, 20 percent of people who did not fast had diabetes, whereas only 10 percent of fasters had the condition.

A further examination identified that individuals enduring type 2 diabetes who took part in a 15-21 day period of abstaining from eating had a remarkable decrease in their hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, a marker for showing the regular blood sugar content.

6. Lower Blood Pressure

A number of research outcomes have revealed that individuals have a reduced systolic blood pressure at the termination of not drinking fasts, and this effect might be stronger on a ketogenic diet regimen.

One exploration revealed that following individuals had a bit of their blood pressure decrease after consuming either starches, protein, or fat before the fasting period, yet just the individuals who ate fat had an impressive decrease.

7. Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease

Abstaining from fluid intake may decrease the chance of developing coronary heart disease.

Research has indicated that those who go 24 hours without eating show a reduced chance of contracting coronary heart disease in comparison to those who do not fast, even when factoring in additional risk elements.

Seventh-day Adventists have been observed to have a life expectancy roughly 7 years longer than other white adults, and this discrepancy could likely be attributed to the cardiovascular advantages linked to abstaining from food and drink.

8. Bone Health

Parathyroid hormone (PTH), a molecule necessary for helping to form and keep bones strong and intact, is raised during dry fasting. The high levels of PTH bring about the breaking down of bone tissue, the formation of new bone, and raised calcium levels during and after a period of going without food and drink.

Dry Fasting and Weight Loss

There is evidence that some individuals can lose weight through intermittent fasting with water consumption, although the results are inconclusive when it comes to dry fasting.

Studies have shown that dry fasting generally causes people’s weight, mass, and fat to be lower, however, these changes are not very substantial and are only temporary, since people regain the majority of the lost weight later on.

A meta-analysis revealed that, on average, individuals lost an average of 1.2 kg post-Ramadan. On average, participants regained 0.72 kg of weight in the two weeks after the Ramadan period had finished according to 16 follow up studies.

Most of the weight loss observed during dry fasting is due to two things:

  • Lost water weight: At least half of your total weight is water weight (59% for men and 50% for women). When you dry fast, you’re bound to see a decline in total weight because of the reduced water in your system. Water weight is quickly gained back once you break the fast, so it’s not a reliable form of weight loss.  
  • Calorie restriction: The calorie restriction in dry fasting also helps with short-term weight loss, however, if you go back to eating higher levels of calories when the fast is over, you’ll gain the weight back.

Dry fasting alone is not sufficient to achieve sustained weight loss. Nonetheless, if you couple it with the ketogenic diet, you will see lasting slimming.

There is a great deal of worry regarding dehydration caused by dry fasting. It seems as if it can’t be beneficial to cut off your water intake for 12 hours, correct? But it’s not that simple.

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