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Weight Loss And Cardiovascular Benefits With Alternate Day Fasting: Study

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Intermittent fasting, also known as alternate day fasting, is the new trend to lose weight. The whole idea is that you fast for an entire day and eat the next day with no restriction. And repeat this. People love this idea because every other day you get to eat whatever you want without fearing about calories.

Recently, Frank Madeo from the University of Graz and Thomas Pieber and Harald Sourij from the medical university of Graz have done a joint research on the effects of alternate day fasting. After analyzing the effects of four-weeks of alternate day fasting, they found that it was more than just a weight loss program. The results showed amazing positive impacts on cholesterol, blood pressure, and abdominal fat.

As part of the study, 60 healthy volunteers were divided into two groups. While one group practiced intermittent fasting for more than four-weeks, the other group continued with their current lifestyle.

Within four-weeks, the group which practiced alternate day fasting lost an average of 3.5 kilograms along with an increase in ketone bodies-one of the by-products of fat burning in the body. This group had a reduction in specific amino acid levels, cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, abdominal fat or inflammatory parameters. Not only that, the alternate day fasting group had a decrease in T3- the thyroid hormone and an increase in TSH- the thyroid-stimulating hormone.

"Intermittent fasting is a very simple, but extremely effective dietary principle," notes Harald Sourij.

The researchers plan to start an investigation in this fall on the effects of intermittent fasting in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus II, who already need insulin therapy.

The study findings are reported in the research journal Cell Metabolism.

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