Interval fasting can have positive health effects, according to new research. Other researchers are skeptical.
Intervall post is one of those diets that I have been practicing for several years. It is promised as usual: Those who persist should be rewarded with permanent weight loss and better health. Scientists have therefore already set a post interval and then reviewed it. So far, however, the results have probably lowered our expectations.
For example, at the beginning of the year, a major study by the German Cancer Center and Heidelberg University Hospital * found that, while weight gain decreases and reduces unhealthy belly fat, it is no better or worse than other diets.
Researchers at the University of Graz see it differently. Having completed their own research, they concluded that interval fasting would be appropriate for the standard method of weight loss in clinics. In addition, it could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and is therefore used to prevent this widespread disease. Scientists have published the results of their analysis in the journal "Cell Metabolism".
An interstitial post causes the study participants to lose weight
In a clinical study of adults with normal body weight, researchers from Graz examined the effects of attachment for four weeks and six months. The trial period alone lasted four weeks. Interval fasting was practiced so that participants did not eat for 36 hours – one day and two nights – and then ate normally for twelve hours. What came out was compared by scientists to a control group whose participants did not fundamentally change their eating behavior. They only reduced their calorie intake to a minimum – by about eight percent.
As expected, interval fasting decreased significantly: on average, they reduced their caloric intake by an average of 37.4 percent over the four weeks of the trial, resulting in an average weight loss of three and a half pounds. People in the control group, who ate almost as much as they did, ate on average only 200 grams in four weeks.
Cardiovascular values also improve with interval fasting
But the fasting diet not only influenced the scale display: according to scientists, they also improved cardiovascular values - i.e., those relevant to the cardiovascular system – as well as the concentration of various markers in the blood, related to longevity. However, undesirable side effects did not result in interval fasting – not even for those participants who had already adhered to it for half a year.
Other scientists still consider the Graz results to be critical. For example, Tilman Kühn, head of the epidemiology research group at the German Cancer Research Center, complains that the control group consisted of people who did not follow the diet. "There was a lack of direct comparison to conventional calorie reduction, so no statements can be made as to whether alternating fast is better than conventional calorie reduction methods." This is exactly what Kühn's research led by the German Cancer Research Center.
Some scientists believe the test results for the Intervall post were critical
Stefan Kabisch, a doctoral student at the Department of Clinical Nutrition at the German Institute for Nutrition Research in Potsdam-Rehbrücke, also regards the comparison with people who did not limit their eating habits as a major weakness of the study in Graz. It would be more "beneficial" if the control group participants ate less during the trial period. "Then both groups would reduce the same and only the order of the meal would be different," says Kabisch: "The work does not prove the superiority of alternating fasting, but the reduction of calories. It is a" knowledge of knowledge for decades. "
In terms of health effects, Kabisch believes that the utility of the study is limited because there is a risk that the benefits will be overstated. Tilman Kühn of the German Cancer Research Center also points out, given the lack of undesirable side effects, that all study participants were healthy people.
Is interval fasting useful for therapeutic purposes?
A Heidelberg scholar is also skeptical about using interval fasting for therapeutic purposes. This lacked robust studies. Although this form of diet can help overweight people "lose weight" in the short term. For more than a few weeks, interval fasting was not tolerable for most people. This applies not only to the 36:12 variant practiced in the study in Graz, but also to the milder fasting 5: 2 (eat five days, two days of fasting) that Heidelberg researchers included in their own research. Tilman Kühn sees the danger of having a horrible JoJo effect after six months, as it does with almost all diets.
Jürgen König, Head of the Nutrition Sciences Department at the University of Vienna, does not fully share the enthusiasm of his colleagues. He sees the positive effects on health as a result of low calorie intake as "expected." "However, whether these effects are caused by alternating fasting cannot be said based on the study design," the researcher explains. "This would require a control group that, with another form of fasting, achieved a similar level of energy reduction as the alternative group in fasting."
Can weight gain be maintained for long with interval fasting?
In terms of customer success, Jürgen König dampens expectations. It was "difficult to answer in general" whether weight gain can be maintained with Intervall in the long run. "Ultimately, it depends on the individual situation." Therefore, there is currently "no general recommendation for a particular form of fasting or energy reduction".
Further Articles on Intervall Post and Weight Loss at fr.de *
Interstitial fasting is thought to have a positive effect on cancer. Interstitial fasting is not prohibited for cancer patients *, but they should "make sure they have enough nutrients," explains oncologist Jutta Hübner in an interview with fr.de *. Cancer patients can become dangerous very quickly "because it can lead to weight loss."
A paleo diet – a Stone Age * diet – can even promote cardiovascular disease, as a new study shows. Australian scientists have discovered that this form of diet changes the intestinal flora – in a way that leads to long-term deposits in the veins. This is considered a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
* fr.de is part of the national editorial network Ippen.