Page 7 - November December 2017 Edition
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Health & Wellness

        Intermittent Fasting: Benefits Beyond Calorie Restriction

                                     emerging. It has been around for  of us keep adding food around
                                     millennia but researchers are just  the clock and our bodies never   Kate Thomsen MD, MPH
                                     beginning  to  validate  it’s  effec-  have to burn fat. For Intermittent
                                     tiveness. It is called Intermittent  Fasting to be an effective health   IntegratIve and HolIstIc HealtH
                                     Fasting (IF).                 strategy,  the  length  of  the  fast             and Wellness
                                        Voluntarily  fasting  (abstain-  must be at least 16 hours. Results   Popular Intermittent Fasting Plans
                                     ing entirely or limiting food  of the research on IF have shown   •  Note: Normal recommended daily intake is 2,000 calories for
                                     for a period of time) may seem  these biochemical changes:         women;  2,500 for men.
                                     crazy but we are evolutionarily   •  Lower IGF-1 (elevated lev-  12 Hour Daily Fasting:
                                     adapted to intermittently going   els of Insulin-like Growth     •  Fast for 12 hours daily (usually after dinner until next day’s
                                     without food. It is only in very   Factor are associated with      breakfast)
        Dr. Kate Thomsen and Silky   recent history that our genes and   accelerated aging)           •  Water, black coffee, or tea are allowed during the fast
                                     our cells have been exposed to   •  Lower  Insulin  (elevated   5:2 Eating Plan:
           In  our  face-paced,  fast  food  food intake daily and around the   levels are associated with   •  Eat normally for 5 days then cut calories on two non-
        culture,  many  of  us  skip  meals  clock. As a ritual, voluntary fast-  diabetes and inflammation)  consecutive days
        until we get that low blood sugar  ing has been practiced through-  •  More balanced ghrelin and   •  On each of 2 weekly “fast” days: have 600 calories in a single
        emergency signal to run to the  out history in most of the great   leptin levels (the hunger    meal or split into 2 meals
        vending machine or refrigerator  religions. Fasting became popu-  and satiety hormones)       •  On the 5 non-fast days: eat whatever one wants (be smart here)
        and grab something fast – usu-  larized as an “alternative” ther-  •  Lower   Blood   Pressure   16:8 Eating Plan:
        ally a refined carbohydrate food  apy in the 19th century. Edward   (elevated blood pressure is   •  Eat only within an 8 hour window everyday (eg, between 11am
        like pasta, bread, cake or candy.  Dewey MD of the University of   associated with cardiovas-   and 7pm)
        Since these foods turn to sugar  Michigan wrote The No-Break-  cular and other diseases)      •  Fast for 16 hours per day (water, black coffee, or tea are allowed
        for energy relatively quickly  fast Plan and the Fasting-Cure   •  Lower  LDL  cholesterol      during the fast)
        in our bodies, they alleviate  (1900). There were others (some   (elevated levels are associ-  Weekly Intermittent Fasting:
        our lightheadedness, hunger  were scam doctors) advocating     ated with heart disease)       •  Fast for 24 hours once per week
        pangs and moodiness. However,  therapeutic fasting. Pioneers or   •  Lower  Triglycerides  (ele-  •  Water, black coffee, or tea are allowed during the fast
        the  energy  gained  from  these  profiteers, these practitioners   vated levels are associated   Alternate Day Fasting:
        foods is not lasting and we find  did have some successes with   with heart disease and dia-  •  Restricted-calorie fasts every other day.
        ourselves at the refrigerator in  their patients. Our renewed   betes)                        •  Fast day (75% less calories) alternates with a feed day
        another 2 hours. This pattern of  interest in the health benefits   •  Lower   CRP   (elevated                Office of Dr. Kate Thomsen
        eating (referred to as the insulin  of therapeutic fasting appears   C-Reactive Protein is asso-                252 West Delaware Ave.
        roller-coaster) results in weight  sparked by the spectacular   ciated with inflammation)                        Pennington, NJ 08534
        gain, increased visceral fat (the  results of caloric restriction (CR)   •  Higher  HGH  (Human
        apple shaped person) and a  in animals. Research has shown     Growth Hormone sup-                                 609-818-9700
        higher risk of diabetes, heart  that lifespan is lengthened up   ports using fats for energy)
        attacks and strokes. Obesity and  to 50% and near perfect health   •  Higher  BDNF  (Brain          Additional articles on holistic health topics
        cardio-metabolic disease are the  is achieved in a broad range of   Derived  Neurotropic                  can be found on the website
        major health epidemics in our  species when their calorie intake   Factor helps generate new
        society today. The nutritional  is reduced by 30 – 40%. Some   brain cells, is involved in
        strategy we have been recom-  primates experienced the overall   learning and memory and
        mending to help control this  health benefits but not lifespan   protects the cells from  with diabetes on medications).  in” period, they feel great. Some
        insulin roller coaster is to avoid  extension. Translating this kind   changes associated with  They do not know what to rec-  women may experience a dis-
        or reduce the highly refined  of  calorie restriction  to  a pub-  Alzheimer’s and Parkin-  ommend regarding how many   ruption in their cycles, problems
        carbohydrates (high glycemic  lic health policy would surely   son’s diseases)          days per week to fast or how
        foods) and eat six small healthy  lower our enormous health care   Multiple studies have shown  often to  undergo an episodic   with fertility, or insomnia. (Bod-
        meals per day (~ every 2 hours)  budget but would be impossible  that IF is at least as effective as  fasting. While animal research   ies designed to feed a fetus are
        starting with breakfast no more  for most people to achieve. Can  CR for weight loss and type 2  appears positive, long term   designed to protect and rebel
        than 1 hour after waking up.  these impressive animal findings  diabetes risk reduction in the  human trials are lacking. Some  against fasting.) A more gradual
        These meals/snacks should con-  be reproduced in humans using  overweight and obese. Dr. Mark  studies have shown that 10 – 20  transition to the plan may help.
        sist of a balance of whole food  a more practical intervention?  Mattson from the National Insti-  % of the participants drop out   Anyone prone to an eating dis-
        sourced protein, beneficial fats,  Intermittent Fasting (IF) research  tute of Aging seems excited by  because it is too difficult. There   order, older individuals, and
        and complex carbohydrates. If  has shown that there is a path to  the potential of this lifestyle  is a plethora of blogs and books
        you  are  currently  a  patient  of  better health apart from count-  intervention in saying that fast-  available but common sense   those with medical conditions
        mine or have been in the past,  ing calories, six small meals a  ing might reduce the risk of  must prevail. If you are still inter-  should discuss this eating plan
        you have no doubt heard me  day, or drastic calorie restric-  developing cancer, guard against  ested, here’s my advice: Avoid  with  their  healthcare  providers
        recite this recipe (Small Fre-  tion. While many researchers  diabetes and heart disease, help  extremes, don’t binge on feed  before experimenting.
        quent Meals) for health and  are cautious about this relatively  control asthma and stave off  days (it’s counter-productive),
        longevity. It replaced the dietary  young field, there is quite a bit of  Parkinson’s and dementia. Some  and start slow and ease into it.   Dr. Kate Thomsen’s office for
        doctrine of calorie restriction  enthusiasm.               researchers believe the positive  Start with postponing breakfast   holistic health care is located in
        (CR) that  many  people found   The health effects of fasting  effects seen in fasting studies are  by 1 hour and increase by 1 hour
        difficult. Food labels have been  occur when your body shifts  only the result of overall caloric  weekly until you are on the 12   Pennington, NJ. She is trained
        un-interpretable to all but dieti-  from burning sugars and car-  restriction. However others are  Hour Daily Fasting Plan. Then   in Family Medicine, and
        cians and counting calories did  bohydrates to burning fat as its  convinced that Intermittent  you can work your way into the   Board Certified in Integrative
        not consider the nutrient quality  primary fuel. It takes 8 - 12 hours  Fasting brings about biochemi-  16:8 or the 5:2 Plan. Alternate
        of the foods. So we said, eat high  for your body to use up its short  cal and physiological changes  Day Fasting (ADF) may be too   Medicine, and is an Institute
        quality, nutrient dense foods in  term savings account of avail-  not seen in daily dieting.  difficult for many. The first 3 – 4   for Functional Medicine
        a pattern that will prevent blood  able energy (sugars packaged   So how do you sign up?? First  days in any of these plans may   Certified Practitioner. She has
        sugar swings and forget about  in muscle and liver called gly-  of all there is no single “Inter-  be enough to make you give it
        counting the calories. And this  cogen storage). After this time  mittent Fasting” Eating Plan –  up. During these days, as your   been practicing Functional
        works great for some people but  your body has to shift into using  researchers have studied multiple  body is transitioning from burn-  Medicine for over 15 years.
        it takes pre-planning and the  stored fats (ketones) for fuel. But  models. They caution that the  ing sugars to burning fats, you   For more information see
        ability to access and eat food  just as your body gets ready to  popularized  plans  are  not  right  may feel uncomfortable and
        frequently. Another nutritional  do that, the alarm rings, you  for everyone (not recommended  experience strange feelings. But or
        strategy for better health is  wake up and eat breakfast. Most  for pregnant women or people  many state that after the “break-  call the office at 609-818-9700.

        Mercer County Woman                                                     7                                         November/December 2017
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