Friday, December 26, 2008

Regenerate your brain

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Hope everyone had an awesome Christmas, I sure did.

Just saw this piece on another site:

"..both calorie restriction and intermittent fasting along with vitamin and mineral intake, increase resistance to disease, extend lifespan, and stimulate production of neurons from stem cells.

In addition, fasting has been shown to enhance synaptic elasticity, possibly increasing the ability for successful re-wiring following brain injury. These benefits appear to result from a cellular stress response, similar in concept to the greater muscular regeneration that results from the stress of regular exercise.

Additional research suggests that increasing time intervals between meals might be a better choice than chronic calorie restriction, because the resultant decline in sex hormones may adversely affect both sexual and brain performance"


And then she made the following, false, statement

"It should go without saying that short-term cognitive and physical performance is not boosted by fasting, due to metabolic changes including decrease in body temperature, decreased heart rate and blood pressure and decreased glucose and insulin levels, so you’re better off not planning a marathon or a demanding work session during a fasting period"

Full article here

Short-term fasting (<72 hrs) does NOT lead to a decrease in body temperature/metabolic rate or heart rate in humans.

Let me post an excerpt from The Leangains Approach article

"A high meal frequency does not boost your metabolism, nor does fasting or a low frequency slow it down either. The latter has been shown quite clearly when researchers made people fast for 72 hours and found no difference in metabolic rate at the 12 hour mark, compared to the 72 hour mark. That’s three days without food, yet all subjects retained a fully intact metabolic rate. There are other studies looking at one meal a day and alternate day fasting that does not find an impact on metabolism either.

Some studies have actually found that fasting boosts metabolic rate slightly during the initial 36 hours - this is supposedly an evolutionary response, mediated by norepinephrine, as the body mobilizes extra energy when food is scarce. You can imagine it would be highly counterproductive to mister caveman if he found himself slow and lethargic when he needed to find food in order to not starve to death."


The studies referenced in this excerpt:

Zauner C, Schneeweiss B, Kranz A, Madl C, Ratheiser K, Kramer L, Roth E, Schneider B, Lenz K. Resting energy expenditure in short-term starvation is increased as a result of an increase in serum norepinephrine. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jun;71(6):1511-5.

Webber J, Macdonald IA. The cardiovascular, metabolic and hormonal changes accompanying acute starvation in men and women. British journal of nutrition 1994; 71:437-447.

5 comments:

Yavor Marichkov said...

Very well put together.

Thanks Martin!

Anonymous said...

LOL @ the flaming of the writer in the comments section at dailygalaxy

Doug said...

I've always found I become increasingly alert after going without food for some time. Normally accidentally I'll miss a meal or two and I feel like I'm on something. Very hyper, energetic and clear headed.

Then I eat and bleh - slow down. Can reduce the slow down by only eating fruit I've found.

intermittent fasting said...

Funny that the link to the article @ dailygalaxy is "reboot-your-bra". Guess that says something.

Jon (DJTheory9 from lyle's forums) said...

i seriously just want to print this article out and shove it in every meathead's face =D. Good Stuff Martin. IF has changed my life.




My name is Martin Berkhan and I work as a nutritional consultant, magazine writer and personal trainer.

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