Horizon – The health benefits of fasting

Although many people seem to consider programs like Horizon boring and switch over and watch something more entertaining, the episode on BBC2 Mon 06 Aug, was really very interesting and would be beneficial for all our over weight and unhealthy citizens to watch. It showed the host Dr Michael Mosley looking to the connection between Diet and Health. Dr Mosley talked to the 101 year old Marathon runner who said “In poor countries people die of starvation, in rich countries they die of overeating.” Research has shown that in the 1930s depression in the United States the mortality rate decreased and life expectancy surprisingly increased.

The programs main point was that, being hungry is good for you. The program delved into the health benefits of three different diets, but the one that I found most appealing was the 5/2 diet (the one Dr Mosley is still doing). Fasting (women 400-500 kcal and men 500-600 kcal) for 2 days and eating normally the other 5. Preliminary trials with overweight subjects are showing promising results including weight loss, lower levels of bad cholesterol and fats in their blood, and decreased blood pressure. Dr Moseley paid a visit to Dr Mark Mattsen from the National Institute on Ageing in Baltimore, USA. He has conducted animal experiments on intermittent fasting and has found that it postpones the development of Alzheimer’s and senile dementia like diseases. He also met up with Professor Valter Longo at the University of Southern California. Prof Longo was doing experiments with mice; he said that if similar health benefits were applied to humans, they would live for the equivalent of 120 human years and not suffer from diabetes or cancer! The program can still be watched on the BBC iplayer, so watch it and take the challenge. I am currently doing a the 2/5 diet, consuming 600 calories on two week days and eating normally the other five.


One Response to Horizon – The health benefits of fasting

  1. Bywater blog says:

    I am still continuing with this lifestyle change, its not always easy, but a good meal with all the trimmings is only a day or so away. My weight is still on a downward trend, with a very healthy resting pulse rate of less than 55; although I had that before.

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