Alternate day fasting can help you live longer while reducing cardiovascular risks. A randomized controlled trial study by a team of Austrian researchers, published in Cell Metabolism this week, found that a strict regime of fasting on alternate days (ADF) decreases body weight and thyroid hormone levels while improving cardiovascular parameters and fat-to-lean ratio for healthy, non-obese adults.
Researchers found that ADF can lead to a significant lowering of overall calorie intake, which was easier to tolerate than continuous calorie restrictions. Improvements in cardiovascular health and in fat mass were observed in just 4 weeks of ADF. The effect on thyroid levels and cardiovascular activity could also promote longevity, concluded the researchers.
For the study, the team interviewed 462 adults of which 60 were selected for the control group and 30 for the ADF group. Participants in the ADF group ate every second day. But on the fast days, they had to abstain from any solid and liquid foods. The team studied ADF for two durations, four weeks and up to 6 months. No adverse effects were found during or even after this period.