Men's Health (UK) - - Front Page -

It is an in­escapable fact of hu­man bi­ol­ogy that as we get older our me­tab­o­lism is wont to slow down. It might hap­pen when you turn 30, or if you’re lucky, not no­tice­ably un­til you hit the half-cen­tury. But it will hap­pen. In­ter­val sprints can help, sure. But re­cent nutri­tional sci­ence has un­cov­ered a cel­lu­lar so­lu­tion: just four days of fast­ing can trig­ger the growth of new fat-burn­ing cells in your pan­creas.

Beta cells are spe­cialised units that help your body pro­duce the hor­mone in­sulin, which is then used to break down sug­ars so they can be used for en­ergy, rather than stored around your love han­dles. In tests con­ducted by sci­en­tists at the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, mice that were fed for four days on a low-calo­rie, low-pro­tein, low­car­bo­hy­drate but high- fat diet saw a re­duc­tion in in­sulin re­sis­tance, an in­crease in in­sulin pro­duc­tion and en­hanced body­fat man­age­ment as a re­sult.

Early lab stud­ies in which th­ese find­ings were tested on hu­man cell sam­ples show sim­i­larly promis­ing po­ten­tial, though the re­searchers are care­ful to re­it­er­ate the cru­cial dif­fer­ences be­tween your DNA and that of, well, ro­dents. Even so, the find­ings throw yet fur­ther weight be­hind the fat-burn­ing ben­e­fits of the oc­ca­sional pe­riod of calorific ab­sti­nence. You’ll more than make up for it on your hol­i­day any­way.


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