OUTWIT CANCER IN 24 HOURS
Smart new science says you can hack your DNA and take the fight to the Big C, fast
Fasting, in its many forms, remains the darling of diet plans. Advocates of intermittent fasting, for example, insist that cramming all of your daily calories into an eight-hour period is the shortest path to attaining your ideal weight. But major lifestyle overhauls aren’t always necessary to deliver significant results. One in 14 men will be affected by bowel cancer in their lifetime; for women, the risk is one in 19. Yet, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, just 24 hours of going without could help you tip the odds in your favour.
The results of their animal study, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, suggest that restricting your calorie intake for 24 hours – going from 2,500kcal down to 500kcal, say – could flick a metabolic switch to double the rate at which the stem cells in your gut regenerate.
As you age, intestinal stem cells stop renewing themselves effectively, and older cells left in the lining of the gut can become susceptible to infection and cancer. Increasing the rate of intestinal regeneration helps you maintain healthy tissue and fight off disease. And you can kick-start this process by cutting back on food for just one day – not every day. So, give your small intestine – a site notoriously susceptible to cancer – the best chance at a clean bill of health, and you can go back to supersetting pizza with pasta the following day. Hunger is the best sauce, after all.
FAST FOR A DAY FOR A BETTER GUT (AND LESS WASHING UP)