The truth behind intermittent fasting: unveiling hidden health risks

Intermittent fasting, where you refrain from eating for a significant portion of the day (12 or 16 hours), is highly popular for weight loss, with various forms being embraced, including the 8-hour eating window and 16-hour fasting regimen. While endorsed by influencers and celebrities, a recent study conducted by international scientists over fifteen years, tracking 20,000 Americans who fasted for sixteen hours a day, reveals alarming findings.

The research, commissioned by the American Heart Association, highlights significant health risks associated with prolonged intermittent fasting. It indicates a staggering 91 percent increase in the risk of premature death from heart disease and a 66 percent higher risk of stroke or heart disease-related mortality among those with existing health issues. Furthermore, cancer patients practicing intermittent fasting were found to have a higher mortality rate compared to those with conventional meal patterns.

Although the study doesn’t pinpoint exact reasons behind these health complications, it notes that intermittent fasters tend to have reduced muscle mass, which is linked to decreased life expectancy.

While intermittent fasting may aid in short-term weight loss and lead to improved cholesterol levels and blood pressure in obese individuals, researcher Victor Zhong warns of long-term implications, urging caution, especially for those with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions or cancer. It’s essential to approach fasting with careful consideration, particularly given the study’s preliminary nature, pending peer review and publication in a scientific journal.