INTERMITTENT FASTING AND LONG-TERM MEMORY RETENTION

Updated: Jul 6

The most popular idiom “kill two birds with one stone” is applicable to Intermittent fasting.


Intermittent fasting is a type of fasting where we eat within a short period of time and we fast for the rest of the time. Here what we do is, we give our body a break from digestion.

This is how it is carried out:

  • Skip your breakfast

  • Break your fast in the noon with meals

  • Eat dinner, and stop eating by 8 pm

  • Repeat the same schedule on the next day


Intermittent fasting not only helps to reduce weight which most of us expect to but, also it enhances the long-term memory retention and generates new adult hippocampal neurons is what the study on mice reveals by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s college London.

The researchers hope in this has the capacity to slow the advance of cognitive decline in older adults. Thereby we succeed in achieving two things in a single action, to highlight is the weight loss and the memory retention, in fact much more achievements in a single action.



Let us know what Hippocampal neurons are, well these are the neurons that play a major role in the functioning of the human brain and other mammals. The Hippocampus belongs to the limbic system where it plays an important role in the consolidation of information from short-term to long-term memory.

Earlier studies by Dr. Thuret demonstrated that calorie restricted diets in humans can improve memory function and also showed that intermittent fasting can enhance learning processes as well as it could affect age associated cognitive impairment. But now Dr. Gisele from king’s IoPPN revealed that intermittent fasting is 10% more effective than the calorie restricted diet for the long-term memory retention as well as the age-related cognitive impairment.


From their study on mice that was maintained with intermittent fasting showed upregulation of Klotho gene expression that is often referred to as “the longevity gene” which plays a central role in the production of Hippocampal adult-born new neurons or called neurogenesis. And when they compared both the mice with calorie restricted (CR) diet and intermittent fasting (IF) diet, they found IF mice to be 10% more effective than CR mice in enhancing memory and found Klotho as the molecule that regulated the effects of IF on cognition mostly by Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis.




THE IMPORTANT BIOLOGY OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

We are usually not even aware of the things that happens in our body when we eat,

· Depending upon what we eat , our blood glucose levels will increase.

· Our pancreas will produce a hormone named Insulin.

· Insulin directs our cells to grab up on the glucose as our gut break downs the food.

· Our body starts releasing hormones like cholecystokinin (CCK) and leptin that acts as an alarm when you are full.


The point to be noted is when we eat a lot of carbs and sugar it causes suppression of “I’m full!” signals and we eat frequently without burning all the energy and there by it leads our body to struggle to keep up. Our pancreas get over loaded and the extra glucose gets stored in the form of fat. And obviously these causes weight gain, insulin resistance and causes other diseases like diabetes and cancer.


Here comes the importance of IF, where IF gives your body a time to reset. The break that we provide in between the meals helps to maintain the glucose levels as stable and in turn it drops the insulin levels and your body gets time to clean up and thus helps in weight management and longevity.



DIFFERENT TYPES OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

1. 5:2 fasting : Here you eat normally five days a week and the other two days you fast by eating between 500 and 600 calories.

2. 16:8 fasting : In this type of fasting you eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period ( say 6-8 hours) and fast the rest of the time.

3. Alternate day fasting : As the name suggests here you fast every alternate days and eat normally on non-fasting days.

4. One meal a day (OMAD) : This type of fasting is also known as the Snake Diet. In this type of fasting you eat all of your daily calories in just one meal each day and fast the rest of the day.



Summary


Intermittent fasting is a type of fasting where we eat on a shortened period of time and we fast for the rest of the time. This not only helps in the weight management including fat burning, healthy aging, removal of cellular wastes from the body but also in the long-term memory retention.



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