What Fasting Does To Your Brain & Why Big Pharma Won’t Study It: report
In a TEDx talk, Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging, says calorie restriction or fasting extends life span and retards age-related chronic diseases
 
Fasting twice a week could significantly lower the risk of developing both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. It also improves cognitive function, increases neurotrophic factors, increases stress resistance, and reduces inflammation, says a report from Collective Evolution.
 
The report, quoting a TEDx talk given by Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging, says, "Why is it that the normal diet is three meals a day plus snacks? It is not that it is the healthiest eating pattern, now that is my opinion but I think there is a lot of evidence to support that. There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern, there’s a lot of money involved. The food industry — are they going to make money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they are going to lose money. If people fast, the food industry loses money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do some...
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COMMENTS

PRAMOD DHOKALE

2 years ago

Thanks for such a researched topic which is the core of our lifestyle. Fasting has endowed healthy and long life to our forefathers. More and more authentic research is required on our age-old practices .

huslokhd

2 years ago

Interesting article and interesting the Prophet Mohammad (saw) used to fast twice a week .

Adam Smith

3 years ago

Low carb diets (you know, like the long maligned by the medical an nutrition establishment Atkins Diet) essentially mimic a starvation response produce by fasting (i,e., burns fat instead of glucose, lowers blood sugar, has reduced insulin response, etc.), - thus their success in weight loss and overall good health. It is all part of the same paradigm shift from the so called best diets of he last thirty years to the low carb / fasting era, or back to where it used to be 30 years ago before the obesity epidemic.

I am glad to see that the NIH is finally at last starting to notice and fund research in this area. They IMHO are one of the main causes of the problem. For thirty years they have ignored all the evidence that is now coming to light again, that was there all along, in favor of funding research almost exclusively on finding cures through pharmaceutical means.

REPLY

Adam Smith

In Reply to Adam Smith 3 years ago

To understand the depth of almost total lack of knowledge of nutrition management (which includes fasting) in the allopathic medical establishment take a look at this well known medical researcher talking about the subject (skip to 1hr, 9min, 45 sec mark). The reason they know nothing is because nutrition is not taught in medical schools and because any bright young medical researcher for the last thirty years knows that if you submit your research grant to the NIH and say you have found a cure to obesity, diabetes and heart disease and it means just change your diet and skip all the drugs, would never ever get the project funded. Thus the culpability of the NIH, which is just a branch of the medical research establishment.

This is why that unlike the Apollo program and the Manhattan Project solved their advance science and engineering problems in just a few years and why the War on Cancer and the War on Heart Diseas have utterly failed after 30 plus years add trillions of dollars of research. They are lookng in the wrong place using the worng theories. It is in the diet, dummies. The answer as to why, is also quite simple, but the details are too long for this post. In short it involves bad science by doctors and the NIH, politics and pressure from the food and pharmaceutical industries, all of whom have gotten rich off the failures and are still getting rich. Like the guy in the Ted talk understands, there is no money in fasting or changing your diet to mimic it.

Adam Smith

In Reply to Adam Smith 3 years ago

Would correct spelling and typos but no edit function found. sorry.

Prakash Bhate

3 years ago

"There have been countless examples ......."

Exactly what Dr B M Hegde has been telling in these columns.

Meenal Mamdani

3 years ago

An interesting article that raises more questions than it answers.

Pharma companies are unlikely to fund research which would place body's own mechanisms for healing higher than drugs that generate profits. Therefore this research will have to come from academic centers.

Many religions besides Jains follow ritual fasting. Catholics do it during Lent, Muslims during Ramzan, etc. It should be possible to design controlled studies using this population.

By the same token, one would think that these discrete populations would show the beneficial effects of fasting practiced over hundreds of years. Do orthodox Jains, Muslims, Catholics have a longer and healthier life span than their non-confirming coreligionists?

Narendra Doshi

3 years ago

It really works. Many of your Jain friends do annual/periodic fasting.Worth trying for oneself.

Sreepathid

3 years ago

Excellent article.
Thank you

Air pollution kills upto 30,000 Delhiites annually: CSE
Air pollution, which is one of the top ten killers in the world and fifth leading cause of death in India, is responsible for about 10,000 to 30,000 deaths annually in Delhi, a report by the Centre for Science and Environment said on Tuesday.
 
A report titled 'Body Burden 2015: State of India's Health' released here focuses on public health threats and their environment linkages.
 
It says air pollution results in about 620,000 premature deaths which are caused by stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ischemic heart disease, lower respiratory infections and trachea, bronchus and lung cancer among others.
 
"The report shows us that we must focus on prevention and not treatment. We need to improve the environment, reduce the disease burden and save money in private or public healthcare," said CSE director general Sunita Narain.
 
Forest degradation has helped pathogens, that were restricted to animals, jump the species barrier and infect humans, the report states. Open defecation and malnutrition rates are linked, it adds.
 
"Revamping transportation systems and cleaner technologies are needed urgently," CSE...

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Using Facebook for news could narrow range of sources
People who seek out news from social media may have less diverse sources of information and are at higher risk of becoming trapped in a "collective social bubble" - where news is shared within communities of like-minded individuals - compared to using search engines, says a study.
 
"Our analysis shows that people collectively access information from a significantly narrower range of sources on social media compared to search engines," said lead author of the study Dimitar Nikolov from Indiana University in the US.
 
The results are based on an analysis of over 100 million Web clicks and 1.3 billion public posts on social media.
 
"These findings provide the first large-scale empirical comparison between the diversity of information sources reached through different types of online activity," Nikolov noted. 
 
To measure the diversity of information accessed over each medium, the researchers developed a method that assigned a score for how user clicks from social versus search engines were distributed across millions of sites.
 
A lower score indicated users' Web traffic concentrated on fewer sites; a higher score indicated traffic...

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