Bradford mayor upstaged by bigger star ;-)
I've always wondered why my fellow vegetarians live longer (& have less incidence of cancer etc) than meat eaters & after watching the Horizon documentary (Eat, Fast & live longer' - catch it on iPlayer or YouTube) & doing a bit of research I finally know why.
The key to long life & dramatically reducing your chances of most cancers & Alzheimer's is to restrict your amounts of the hormone 'Insulin-like growth factor' (IGF-1) & it's fairly easy to do but it involves either calorie restriction or fasting.
IGF-1 is a hormone that promotes growth. It is most prominent during childhood and adolescence which is when we need it.
In adulthood however we don't need to grow, we don't need cells to keep reproducing - we need our cells to repair themselves and reducing IGF-1 forces your body to do this. Your cells enter repair mode.
To use an analogy too much IGF-1 is like putting your foot down on the accelerator, driving forever & never getting an MOT. Obviously your car is going to breakdown much sooner. Reducing your IGF-1 gives you a regular MOT so your car (body) lasts much longer.
Too much IGF-1 has been shown to stimulate the growth of both prostate and breast cancer cells as well as accelerate ageing (thus possibly linked to early onset Alzheimer's).
There are a few different ways to reduce IGF-1 but all involve reducing the amount of protein you consume.
So how do you do it? There are a few ways to reduce the amount of IGF-1 your body produces.
1) Reduce your protein consumption - i.e. a vegetarian diet or dramatically restrict your meat & protein (milk eggs etc) consumption.
2) Fasting i.e. not eating.
3) Calorie reduction i.e. consume less.
The most benefit comes from fasting & there are a number of ways to fast so experiment with what suits your lifestyle best.
Mice fed every other day live twice as long as other mice & life expectancy went up by six years after the great depression in America (when people consumed much less) both examples are counter initiative but illustrate how reduced consumption lead to longer healthier lives.
The hard way: Monthly fasting. 4 days fast per month & vegetarian/reduced meat diet rest of month
Alternate days fasting. 1st day = a 600 calorie restricted diet then on
2nd day eat as much as you like & alternate the days.
Easier way: Weekly fasting. 5 days of normal eating then 2 days of fasting or restricted calorie intake (600 calories)
Sounds tough but cancer, Alzheimer's & early death sound much tougher!
(Obviously it's not a regime that's suited to those still growing or pregnant & if in doubt speak to a doctor etc)
It makes sense to me that we evolved not to eat continuously but intermittently as food wouldn't always have been readily available to our gatherer hunter ancestors (four meals a day has always seemed a lot to me).
Anyway I'm just about to eat after my first 24hr fast & boy am I gonna enjoy it lol
Im going with once a week to start with I'll post the results :-)
Watch Eat, fast & live longer here
Hope your week is going well too :-)
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