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Here's How Fasting Affects Your Gut Health

Fasting is practiced by many, as a part of their dietary and religious observance. Let's look at how fasting can help us to improve our gut health.



  1. People practice fasting for different purposes
  2. It can benefit your health in many ways
  3. Fasting gives your body a break from constant digestion

When it comes to diet, we all come across the term fasting. In simple terms, fasting is the process of abstaining from food or drink. Some people fast for losing weight. Some fast, as a part of religious observance. People also fast for festivals that are celebrated in different religions - Ramadan being the current example. So, from weight loss to following a religion and detoxification, there are various reasons why people fast. But did you know that fasting can help in improving your gut health?

Also read: Ramadan 2019: Date, Time Table, Significance, Rules Of Fasting​

How does fasting help in improving gut health?

1. Body gets a break from constant digestion: Fasting gives our overworked gut a break from energy-intensive tasks, such as digesting and assimilating food. It can reduce postprandial endotoxemia, a metabolic risk factor which has been found to increase the risk for insulin resistance and obesity. Potentially, it can improve composition of gut flora.

2. Synchronisation with your body clock: Fasting benefits gut bacteria because of circadian rhythm - the internal body clock. Gut microbes also have a circadian rhythm. Throughout day and night, many types of gut microbes oscillate in activity and abundance. Being jet lagged or eating late at night can disrupt circadian rhythm of gut microbes. Practicing intermittent fasting can help in restoring circadian rhythm of gut microbes, and thereby good health.

Also read: Vegan Fasting Diet Can Help Reduce Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Other benefits of fasting

Along with improving gut health, there are other benefits of fasting that convince you to fast more often. Read below to know them

1. Blood sugar control: Both alternate-day fasting and intermittent fasting have been found to be effective in reducing insulin resistance. People with diabetes can benefit by taking up fasting every now and then. Along with the potential blood sugar-lowering effects, fasting can help in keeping your blood sugar steady and preventing spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.

2. Fights inflammation: Chronic inflammation can have serious consequences on your health. Research shows that inflammation may be involved in the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Fasting can help promote better health by decreasing levels of inflammation.

Also read: Does Fasting Promote Weight Loss?

3. Boosts metabolism: Fasting for a short-term may boost your metabolism by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which could enhance weight loss.

4. Increases growth hormone secretion: The human growth hormone (HGH) is a type of protein hormone that is central to many aspects of health. This key hormone is involved in the growth, metabolism, weight loss and muscle strength. Fasting can facilitate secretion of growth hormone in the body.

In the end, before going for a fast, it is always recommended to visit a doctor, as everyone has got a different metabolism. A doctor can suggest the best fasting methods suitable for your body to achieve the best results.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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