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Thread: Alternate Day Fasting- Debate and Science

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  1. #1
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    Alternate Day Fasting- Debate and Science

    This is the companion thread to Alternate day Fasting- Support and Chat.

    If you think the whole idea is questionable, throw up your comments here. If you want to talk about the details of the science, or talk about a study, likewise.

    The main gene affected by alternate day fasts is SIRT1(in humans, Sir2 in non-human animals). I think most people who IF would be interested in ADF, as the longer period of food restriction seems to do some interesting things in the area of cell repair. However, I am not much into debating the science(just reading it), so I will leave that for others.

  2. #2
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    DH heard some discussion of this on Reach MD. I keep meaning to go listen to the podcast, but haven't yet. I looked around on the web at primary research and read one paper that described SIRT1 up regulation at 6hrs, maximal expression (2x) at 18 hrs and then a drop at 72 hrs. I dont remeber if it was humans or mice. I didn't save the link since I was only curious. I'm not sure that we know what the impact of various levels of SIRT1 over time will be. Certainly eating as little as possible over as long a stretch as one can manage is more advantageous than 6-8 small meals a day.
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  3. #3
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    I did alternate day fasts (anywhere between 12 and 24 hour) for a while, though not so much lately. Need to get back in the saddle!

    What's the significance of SIRT1 upregulation? What does that do for me and will I know it's going on?

    M.

  4. #4
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    Paraphrased from the book by Dr. Johnson:

    SIRT1 interferes with the action of BAX, which initiates cell death. This allows the cell time to repair damage.
    It reduces hunger.
    It reduces inflammation by inhibiting NF-kappaB proteins.
    It inhibits fat storage by 'turning off' the PPAR-gamma gene.

    As far as I can tell, you can only know it is going on by its effects or by a muscle biopsy-probably not something you want to do!

    If you go to the wiki page on SIRT1, they have a long list of studies at the bottom that you can read,.

  5. #5
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    The only thing that makes me see this whole program as questionable is the blatant pimping of resveratrol all over Dr Johnson's website. That stuff has been shown to potentiate breast cancer and (like all other antioxidants) has failed to show any positive benefit in humans.

    Johnson makes it look as if resveratrol is an essential element to success with his plan.

    And this is a very interesting article for anyone believing unequivocally that promoting SIRT1 is the greatest thing around.

    http://www.ijbs.com/v05p0147.htm

    The bottom line is that the jury is still very much out. It could be a cancer suppressor or a cancer promoter. We just don't know yet.
    Last edited by Paleobird; 03-27-2013 at 06:44 PM. Reason: add link

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    The only thing that makes me see this whole program as questionable is the blatant pimping of resveratrol all over Dr Johnson's website. That stuff has been shown to potentiate breast cancer and (like all other antioxidants) has failed to show any positive benefit in humans.

    Johnson makes it look as if resveratrol is an essential element to success with his plan.

    And this is a very interesting article for anyone believing unequivocally that promoting SIRT1 is the greatest thing around.

    SIRT1, Is It a Tumor Promoter or Tumor Suppressor?

    The bottom line is that the jury is still very much out. It could be a cancer suppressor or a cancer promoter. We just don't know yet.
    Interesting article. I wonder if it has anything to do with two of the different effects of SIRT1; allowing for cell renewal, and putting off cell death. Cancer cells, we want to DIE, and not have time to divide and spread. Healthy cells, yes, give them all the opportunity for putting off cell death to repair themselves. Thanks for posting the link, Paleobird.

    I wonder if a cycle of ADF with daily eating, maybe a few weeks of each, would help balance. Too bad it is impossible to see what is happening in real time inside us.

    I believe the site may be sponsored in part by the reservatrol people. In his book, Johnson definitely promotes the diet over the reservatrol, and only mentions the possibility of reservatrol as a helper whose effective dosage in humans may be impractical..

  7. #7
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    I think it's very interesting what is happening with all the different flavors of intermittent fasting. I feel like each different WOE activates the program in a different way, or a different part of the program. The complete answers will only be found when we figure out what questions need to be asked.

  8. #8
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    I'm very interested in this topic. After resisting IF for a couple of years, I have been fasting about 12 hours per day. It seems to have made a massive difference. E.g., fat has poured off. I'm interested in the research about various intervals of fasting have different effects. As you can guess from my signature, I have zero interest in going longer at a time without food unless someone gives me hard evidence that I will get significant benefits over what I am doing now.
    Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

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  9. #9
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    I think IFing and even longer fasts are terrific for overall health. But I think people should let the fasting come to them naturally rather than try to force it into any particular schedule.

    I tried doing the one meal a day warrior diet thing just before finding Primal and it was a total fail. Clock watching all day. Is it time yet? Let's see, what am I going to have for dinner? Everything! because it's going to be a long time until tomorrow night. It was just too crazy making.

    Then as I got into primal, I first tried skipping breakfast a la the bulletproof system but I would be starving by lunch (when I would be most likely to eat junk being out of the house) but then not really have much appetite in the evening when there was good food to be had. So I decided to eat breakfast and skip lunch instead. That worked really well for a long time.

    Then I just started cutting back breakfast to being just "a bite" instead of a meal like a glass of kefir or a piece of cheese. Now I'm down to my version of bulletproof Teeccino (with cococnut cream and MCT oil) for breakfast, and then one real meal at dinner.

    So I've come full circle back to the warrior diet. But I think my body went through some changes to be ready for this. I got my thyroid all healed up (post chemo), got my metabolic flexibility between carbs and ketones going, then got into steady state nutritional ketosis.

    Now I only eat once a day but it feels totally normal and unforced.

  10. #10
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    I got involved with JUDDD (ADF) solely as a way to control my calories, and I read Dr. J's book--but it was quite a while ago. My memory is that the effects of the SIRT1 gene remain speculative, as research is still in the fruit fly stage and not with humans.

    That said, there's much evidence that restricting eating is healthy, and I've certainly experienced that, so I don't really worry about any 'benefits' from SIRT1.

    My focus is on eating Primal and not overeating.

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