Intermittent Fasting Mitigates Vascular And Neuronal Pathologies In A Mouse Model Of Vascular Dementia
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Ways To Use This Information For Better Health
Fasting Is Complicated And Difficult To Do Regularly And Effectively Especially For Older Adults Who May Be Experiencing Cognitive Decline And That Makes It Difficult To Replicate Across Large Studies
An observational study in 2020 looked at 20 older adults with mild cognitive impairment a precursor to Alzheimers or other memory problems, and tailored a diet designed to turn the brains metabolism toward ketone bodies. After six weeks, the researchers observed, this change reduced the amount of Alzheimers biomarkers found in participants cerebrospinal fluid. Another observational study of 99 older adults with mild cognitive impairment found that intermittent fasting improved cognitive function over three years.
It turns out that overeating and diabetes and insulin resistance are risk factors for cognitive impairment and Alzheimers disease, Mattson explained on a podcast.
His current study involves taking people at risk for cognitive impairment or Alzheimers with obesity and insulin resistance. Half the participants would get advice for healthy eating while the other half will fast intermittently twice a week. If these clinical trials succeed, it may also tell us more about the underlying metabolic contributors to the disease.
Combined with other lifestyle factors such as exercise and Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting could provide even more protection against Alzheimers. Balanced diets and nutrition are critical to brain health. For now, speak with your doctor if you are planning on trying fasting or making other drastic changes to your diet.
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What Happens When You Practice Intermittent Fasting
Restrictive fasting allows for metabolic switching in the body, going from glucose burning to fat burning. It gives the body time to go through all the glucose stored in the liver and then begin burning stored fatty acids and ketone bodies . Ketone bodies are not just fuel for the body, they influence factors of health and aging.
Not only does intermittent fasting help with weight loss, recent research and clinical trials suggest that sustained fasting regimens maintained over months or even years may also improve memory along with executive function, and overall cognition. Calorie restriction has physical benefits as well.
Intermittent fasting can work for many people, but it is not for everyone. We recommend older adults consult with a healthcare professional. While more research needs to be done, adopting such a diet can be a viable option for improving overall brain and body health.
For more information, please check out Pacific Neuroscience Institute or contact us at .
Reference:Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease by Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D., and Mark P. Mattson, Ph.D. published in the December 26, 2019 issue, at NEJM.org.
Original article published in the Santa Monica Star, February 2020.
Adf Protected Against The Increase Of A Plaques In The Cerebral Cortex Of App/ps1 Mice
To explore whether ADF alleviates the increase of A deposition, immunohistochemistry was used to examine the number of A plaques in the cerebral cortex . Brown plaques indicate the localization of A immunoreactivity in mice brains. Compared with WT mice, a marked increase in the number of A immunopositive plaques was found in the cerebral cortex of APP/PS1 mice however, there was a significant decrease in ADF-treated APP/PS1 mice compared with APP/PS1 mice.
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Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
A few small human studies have shown evidence that intermittent fasting can have health benefits for those with diabetes. These include:
- Weight loss
- Lowering insulin requirements
A long-term study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that a fasting state can support several benefits including:
- Lessening inflammation
- Sleepiness during the day
- Low energy levels
- A significantly increased risk of low blood sugar
- High blood sugar resulting from a surge of stored glucose from the liver when low blood sugar levels result from fasting
Its important to note that more research is needed to definitively back up the claims of side effects from intermittent fasting and to confirm the severity of such untoward reactions.
Because of the likeliness of side effects from fasting when a person has diabetes, its important to consult with your healthcare provider before deciding to start any type of fasting diet.
Nuts Whole Grains Legumes And Olive Oil
Nuts and seeds have been repeatedly linked to slower cognitive decline.
In one 2021 review of 22 studies on nut consumption involving nearly 44,000 people, researchers found that those at high risk of cognitive decline tended to have better outcomes if they ate more nuts specifically walnuts. However, the authors acknowledged some inconsistency among the studies and inconclusive evidence.
Another study, , looked at about 16,000 women ages 70 and up between 1995 and 2001. Researchers found that women who said they consumed at least five servings of nuts per week had better cognitive scores than those who did not eat nuts.
Whole grains, as well as legumes, like lentils and soybeans, also appear to have benefits for heart health and cognitive function. In one 2017 study of more than 200 people in Italy aged 65 and older, researchers found an association between consuming three servings of legumes per week and higher cognitive performance.
And olive oil, a main component of both the Mediterranean and MIND diets, has strong links with healthy cognitive aging. One 2022 study of more than 92,000 U.S. adults found that higher intakes of olive oil were associated with a 29 percent lower risk of dying from neurodegenerative disease and 8 percent to 34 percent lower risk of mortality overall when compared with those who never or rarely consumed olive oil.
How Does Fasting Affect Your Brain
Despite popular concerns to the contrary, fasting has potentially incredible benefits to various brain functions. Perhaps the most amazing benefit may stem from the activation of autophagy, a cellular cleansing process. Recently, one of the pioneers of research into autophagy was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Medicine in growing recognition of this major pathway of disease. Fasting also has known anti-seizure effects.
From an evolutionary standpoint, mammals respond to severe caloric deprivation with a reduction in the size of all organs with two prominent exceptions the brain and the male testicles. The preservation of the size of the testicles is also a significant advantage in trying to pass on our genes to the next generation.
The preservation of cognitive function makes quite a lot of sense for the survival of the species. Suppose we are caveman, and its winter and food is scarce. If your brain started to slow down, well, the mental fog would make it that much harder to find food. Our brainpower, one of the main advantages we have in the natural world, would be squandered. Each day without food would slowly erode our mental functioning until we are slobbering idiots, incapable of basic bladder function let alone going out to hunt for food. During starvation, higher cognitive function is maintained or even boosted.
Intermittent Fasting Reduces Body Weight And Increases Plasma Ketone Levels While Improving Cerebral Blood Flow Recovery Following Chronic Cerebral Hypoperfusion
The summarized study design includes the timing of interventions, and blood and tissue collection . As shown in Figure 1A, at eight weeks of age, the mice were randomly assigned to either the ad libitum or the intermittent fasting diet regimen. Male C57BL/6N mice were fed a normal chow diet . Mice were randomly assigned to Sham, 15-day BCAS and 30-day BCAS groups at six months of age, when surgeries were performed. First, we monitored the physiological effects of IF on these mice. The IF group had a significantly lower body weight, a non-significant reduction in blood glucose level and a significant increase in blood ketone level than AL mice . We also examined the recovery of cerebral blood flow in both AL and IF animals over 15 and 30 days following BCAS . At baseline, animals from all experimental groups had high CBF. Following BCAS surgery , AL and IF groups had a significant reduction in CBF compared to their Sham counterparts, which did not show any reduction in CBF. Before sacrifice, at 15days and 30 days post-surgery, CBF was restored in BCAS animals.
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Cerebral Blood Flow Measurements
The Laser Speckle Contrast Imager was used to obtain high-resolution cerebral blood flow measurements before BCAS , immediately after BCAS surgery and finally at the end points of BCAS . As shown in Figure 1E, the brain regions of interest between the bregma and the lambda were selected to measure arbitrary units of CBF in the area between the cerebral hemispheres. Briefly, the fur on the head was removed by shaving and the skull was exposed via a midline skin incision. The skull was cleaned gently using a cotton applicator with 1Ãphosphate-buffered solution . Throughout the imaging of CBF, the skull was kept moist and in order to improve imaging resolution, a non-toxic silicon oil was applied on the skull. Body temperature was maintained at 37 Â± 0.5Â°C throughout the measurement periods. In the PeriCam PSI System, a CCD camera that can take images in real-time was installed 10cm above the skull . Images were then acquired and analysed using a dedicated software package .
How Intermittent Fasting Works
The primary goal of intermittent fasting for weight loss is to get the insulin levels to decrease to a level where the body will begin to burn stored fat for energy.
Here is how it works. When the food we eat is metabolized , it ends up as molecules in the blood stream. One such molecule is glucose . Normally, when there is more circulating blood glucose than the body can use for energy, the excess is stored as fat for future use. But, for glucose to be utilized by the cells, it requires insulin. Between meals the body doesnt require insulin so insulin levels decline. When insulin levels are low, the fat cells release some of the stored glucose, resulting in weight loss.
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Bilateral Common Carotid Artery Stenosis Mouse Model
At six months of age, AL and IF experimental animals were further divided into three experimental groups: Sham, 15-day bilateral common carotid artery stenosis and 30-day BCAS. C57BL/6NTac mice were subjected to chronic cerebral hypoperfusion injury by bilateral common carotid artery stenosis surgery, as previously described . Briefly, the animals were anesthetized with isoflurane , and a vertical midline incision was made in the neck. The left and right common carotid arteries were isolated from surrounding tissues and exposed individually, and loosely ligated with silk thread for easy manipulation of the arteries. The common carotid arteries were each constricted with microcoils of an internal diameter 0.18mm, specifically designed for the mice . The silk threads were removed, and the site of surgery was closed. The mice were monitored post-surgery until they were awake. Sham animals were subjected to a midline cervical incision and their common carotid arteries were exposed, but no microcoils were inserted. All animals were euthanised at their respective end points after BCAS for subsequent experimental analysis.
About This Memory Research News
Intermittent fasting enhances long-term memory consolidation, adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and expression of longevity gene Klotho
Daily calorie restriction and intermittent fasting enhance longevity and cognition but the effects and mechanisms that differentiate these two paradigms are unknown.
We examined whether IF in the form of every-other-day feeding enhances cognition and adult hippocampal neurogenesis when compared to a matched 10% daily CR intake and ad libitum conditions.
After 3 months under IF, female C57BL6 mice exhibited improved long-term memory retention. IF increased the number of BrdU-labeled cells and neuroblasts in the hippocampus, and microarray analysis revealed that the longevity gene Klotho was upregulated in the hippocampus by IF only.
Furthermore, we found that downregulating Kl in human hippocampal progenitor cells led to decreased neurogenesis, whereas Kl overexpression increased neurogenesis. Finally, histological analysis of Kl knockout mice brains revealed that Kl is required for AHN, particularly in the dorsal hippocampus.
These data suggest that IF is superior to 10% CR in enhancing memory and identifies Kl as a novel candidate molecule that regulates the effects of IF on cognition likely via AHN enhancement.
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How Does If Affect Our Health In General
After only about six hours of fasting, the body starts releasing more of the so-called human growth hormone . This hormone changes metabolism to favor fat burning over protein use. Therefore, proteins can mostly be used for cell repair and the improvement of brain-cell functioning. HGH also reduces inflammation in the body and stimulates upregulation of autophagy. Autophagy is a process in which theres a clean-up and recycling of unused or damaged cell components and thereby promotes the health and survival of our cells. Additionally, IF increases the levels of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor . Together, all these processes have a positive effect on brain functioning.
Fasting Once A Week Helps Beat Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s’
Starving yourself once or twice a week could help protect the brain against degenerative diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons, claim a group scientists.
Researchers from the National Institute on Ageing discovered that not eating at all for one or two days a week not only improved the chances of avoiding dementia later in life, but could also be the key to a longer life as fasting increased the lifespan of lab rats and mice by 40%.
Scientists have known for some time that a low-calorie diet is a recipe for a healthier life. However the recent research suggests that cutting down to around 500 calories for one or two days a week also significantly slows the onset of brain diseases.
Experts believe that this is down to chemical messengers in the brain being “boosted” when calorie intake is restricted.
Professor Mark Mattson, head of the Institutes laboratory of neurosciences, said in a statement: “Reducing your calorie intake could help your brain, but doing so by cutting your intake of food is not likely to be the best method of triggering this protection.
“It is likely to be better to go on intermittent bouts of fasting, in which you eat hardly anything at all, and then have periods when you eat as much as you want.”
Despite these findings, dementia charity Alzheimers Society disagree with them, telling The Huffington Post: “We would not recommend people fast regularly.
“If it’s easy off, it will come back quickly as soon as you start eating normally again.”
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Tips For Intermittent Fasting When You Have Diabetes
According to Diabetes UK, there are some general tips that are important to follow if you have diabetes and you plan to start an intermittent fasting diet. These include:
The safety of fasting for those with type 1 diabetes has not been fully established. You should never fast if you have type 1 diabetes without first consulting with your healthcare provider.
Calorie Restriction And Intermittent Fasting Provide Anti
While conducting studies on the impact of calorie restriction in overweight adults, researchers discovered that limiting calories enhanced energy production and lowered the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Probing deeper, they learned that restricting calories decreased cellular damage and helped maintain healthy DNA. These are two key factors in fighting aging, because damaged and inflamed cells lead to chronic disease, while aging starts when DNA wears down.
Although calorie restriction can deliver anti-aging benefits, staying on a diet that requires cutting your caloric intake by 30-40% and sticking with it every day for the long run isnt feasible for most people.
In the search for an alternative to calorie restriction, intermittent fasting quickly emerged as an option. It produces the same life-extending benefits without imposing impossible dietary demands.
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Correlations Between If Influences On Cognitive Deficits And Neuronal Damage
The observed percentage of the NeuN-stained area in CA1 and the behavioral test outcomes of mice across all experimental groups were positively correlated . Significant correlations were also observed between the NeuN-positive neuronal quantifications in the DG and the performances from the NOR tests, but not the performances from the Y-maze test . Pearson’s correlation coefficients were all positive, indicating positive correlations between the observed neuronal densities in CA1 and the behavioral outcomes in both memory tests, as well as between the NeuN-stained area in the DG and the NOR test performance. These results revealed a positive correlation between the apparent changes in neuronal densities and the measured cognitive functions from the memory tests.