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Cell Metab. 2014 Feb 4;19(2):181-92. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2013.12.008. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

Fasting: molecular mechanisms and clinical applications.

Author information

  • 1Longevity Institute, Davis School of Gerontology and Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2520, USA. Electronic address: vlongo@usc.edu.
  • 2National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA; Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA. Electronic address: mark.mattson@nih.gov.

Abstract

Fasting has been practiced for millennia, but, only recently, studies have shed light on its role in adaptive cellular responses that reduce oxidative damage and inflammation, optimize energy metabolism, and bolster cellular protection. In lower eukaryotes, chronic fasting extends longevity, in part, by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistance pathways. In rodents intermittent or periodic fasting protects against diabetes, cancers, heart disease, and neurodegeneration, while in humans it helps reduce obesity, hypertension, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, fasting has the potential to delay aging and help prevent and treat diseases while minimizing the side effects caused by chronic dietary interventions.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
24440038
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3946160
Free PMC Article
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