The metabolic rate remains high even when the body is not under stress (1, 2). Fasting, or fasting for longer or shorter periods, allows the organism to use less energy to regulate various bodily functions including energy production (3).
The fasting process also causes the body to produce a chemical, catecholamines, which cause the brain to shut down most of its metabolic pathways by activating the body’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which regulate hunger (4).
Fasting also causes the gut to produce an enzyme, methanol sulfate, which allows water absorption (5).
As a result, the digestive system becomes less tolerant to the effects of excess sugar and therefore the body can hold on to more energy. Because an individual is not fully absorbing all of its carbohydrate calories, the individual gains in weight. However, when used responsibly, this fast can lower the risk of Type II diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure (6).
The following are the effects of fasting:
When the body is not under stress, it will store as much fat as it can. The body also produces a chemical, glucagon, that helps in the weight loss process (7). However, when fasting, the body must produce an alternative hormone in order to compensate for the loss of the normal chemical. One of these other hormones, insulin, would have been produced if the body were still going through the process of using glucose.
This effect of glucose is a little bit known, but a paper in the Journal of the American Diabetes Association reported that in young adult women that fasted for 6 consecutive days, glucose and insulin levels increased, while blood pressure and lipid levels decreased.
However, if this kind of food restriction were imposed in adulthood, the results of their research showed that young adult women had increased insulin and blood pressure levels and that the fat content of their fat decreased (3).
However, as long as the young adult women could maintain their normal weight, their blood glucose levels stayed stable and blood pressure and lipid levels stayed low.
Fasting also lowers insulin levels
In a study to compare fasting and calorie restriction, it was found that fasting does not slow down glucose metabolism in blood glucose testing over a period of 12 weeks. However, fasting reduced blood glucose and insulin levels, and that the effects of fasting were related to the body being inactive as opposed to the body being under stress (8).
The effects of fasting on
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