What is intermittent fasting? Skipping meals may promote health: study

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Dr. Miriam Merad says that colleagues at her lab have begun intermittent fasting, too. 

(Hilary Brueck/ Insider) — When cancer researcher Dr. Miriam Merad came home from her laboratory with new results about how fasting might help reduce people’s risk of developing certain deadly chronic diseases, her husband was so impressed that he stopped eating one meal a day.

She says he never eats breakfast anymore, limiting his eating hours to lunch and dinnertime.

She, too, has started moving her dinnertime to earlier in the evening.

“Indeed, you feel better if you have time to digest,” Merad said.

The household shifts in Merad’s eating hours come on the heels of her latest research, a small but novel study published in the journal Cell on Thursday that showed fasting can have positive benefits on a cellular level for otherwise healthy people.

By examining the blood of 12 healthy adults who’d fasted for 19 hours, Merad and her co-authors found that a break from regular eating helped put people’s inflammatory monocyte cells at rest. These cells, which are dispatched to heal wounds and prevent infection, also accumulate in fat tissue and contribute to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. (…)

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