Why Fasting and Eating Right Matters for Aging Well

fasting and aging

Recent research has shed light on an interesting aspect of aging and diet. Scientists have found that alternating between periods of fasting and eating, also known as “fasting interventions,” can be really good for our health. However, as animals (and possibly humans) get older, this fasting and eating cycle doesn’t seem to work as well.

What Happens with Age?

To understand why, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, Germany, studied killifish, which age very quickly. They found that as these fish get older, their bodies act as if they are always fasting, even when they are eating. This happens because a certain part of their cells, related to energy management and known as AMP kinase, doesn’t work as well in older fish.

Turning Back the Clock for Old Fish

Interestingly, when the scientists tweaked the genes of the older fish to boost the activity of this AMP kinase, the old fish started responding to food like young fish again. They became healthier and even lived longer. This suggests that both fasting and eating properly are important, and they work through this AMP kinase.

What Does This Mean for Humans?

The same research team also found that in humans, the levels of this key part of the cell decrease with age, especially in elderly people who are more frail. This might mean that activating this part of our cells could help us age healthier and possibly live longer. The next step is to find ways to do this effectively in humans.

In a nutshell, this study shows the importance of a balanced diet with proper fasting and eating, especially as we age, and opens new possibilities for healthier aging.

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