Dr. Romi Fung, ND
Intermittent Fasting and Alzheimer's Disease
INTERMITTENT FASTING // Intermittent Fasting (IF) is something I discuss with my patients especially when it comes to Alzheimer’s Disease. It consists of a cycle between periods of eating and fasting. The idea here is that since the industrial revolution, food has been easily accessible within an arm’s reach. Unlike back in the hunter-gatherer era, there were periods where they have no food because they do not have supermarkets, refrigerators or food all year round.
Having a period of fasting gives our bodies a chance to undergo autophagy (or ‘self eating’), a process that removes dead and toxic proteins and promoting detoxification. Improper removal of these proteins can lead to an accumulation, which may correlate to the plaques in the brains. Fasting also increases BDNF (refer to the BDNF post on why this matters!).
Fasting also allows the body to induce ketogenesis, the state where the body utilizes fat and produces ketones. Ketones are the preferred fuel for the brain as they are more efficient and cleaner, producing fewer free radicals and oxidative stress.
Before you consider IF, please do consult your physician. It is not for everyone, especially if you have reactive hypoglycemia, diabetes and insulin resistance, or metabolic syndrome. In these cases, you need to be closely monitored by a physician.
Points for Intermittent Fasting:
► There are different ratios, with common ones being 12/12 (meaning 12 hours fasting, 12 hours feeding window), 16/8, and 18/6. Start slow with 12/12.
► 12 hours from the end of dinner till breakfast is ideal to start. Say you finish your dinner by 8pm. Then your next meal will be 8am the following day.
► Water is fine during the fast – in fact, staying hydrated can also aid in detoxification!
► If a daily intermittent fast is something you are not ready for, then consider either a few days a week, or one day a week. There are also people out there that fast for one full day a week.
If fasting is something you'd like to consider, please do consult your physician before attempting and for monitoring!
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