OUT­WIT CANCER IN 24 HOURS

Men's Health (UK) - - In This Issue -

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)

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