Intermittent fasting could unlock lower rates of cancer and obesity as well as cut stress and even make us live longer, new research suggests, but significant hurdles are getting in the way of the diet’s advantage. Rather than the typical current diet plan of three meals per day, spread out fairly evenly through daylight hours, intermittent fasting sees people squeeze their meals into just a handful of hours.
It’s not a new concept, but it has gained traction in recent years with the rise of so-called “paleo” diets and greater attention paid toward atypical eating routines. At the same time, studies have looked at potential health and lifestyle benefits, focusing on how intermittent fasting can prompt what’s known as a metabolic switch, the body shifting from using glucose-based to ketone-based energy.
Usually, those following an intermittent fasting plan would eat within a six hour window each day, and then fast for the remaining 18 hours, though some extend that to as much as 20 hours. The potential benefits from that are more than just around weight loss. According to a new review by Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D., and Mark P. Mattson, Ph.D., of John Hopkins University School of Medicine, “many of the health benefits of intermittent fasting are not simply the result of reduced free-radical production or weight loss.”
Benefits of intermittent fasting
According to the review, “intermittent fasting elicits evolutionarily conserved, adaptive cellular responses that are integrated between and within organs in a manner that improves glucose regulation, increases stress resistance, and suppresses inflammation.” During periods of fasting, the body’s cells would normally shift into processes where damage is removed or repaired, and cellular stress is addressed. However, given the meal cadence of the typical diet, the processes don’t have much time to work.
One of the best-known benefits of intermittent fasting is a change in how the body generates its energy. After a meal, glucose from food is used for energy; fat is stored for later use. When fasting, that fat is broken down in turn, with the liver converting fatty aides to ketone bodies.
Those ketone bodies aren’t just a sign of fat being broken down, but act as “potent signaling molecules” for our cells and organs. For example, they can influence how proteins, molecules, and genes that influence factors like aging, neurodegenerative disorders, and overall health – among other factors – are produced. Other studies found intermittent fasting could also help improve glucose regulation, manage blood pressure, and cut down on body fat.
The problem with intermittent fasting
While the science may be there, the lifestyle changes for intermittent fasting are a much bigger issue, the study’s authors conclude. Perhaps the biggest issue is that we’re just not in the habit of abstaining for extended periods of the day.
“First, a diet of three meals with snacks every day is so ingrained in our culture that a change in this eating pattern will rarely be contemplated by patients or doctors,” they suggest. “The abundance of food and extensive marketing in developed nations are also major hurdles to be overcome.”
There are also barriers to sticking with such a diet, like the inevitable hunger, irritability, and a loss in concentration. That’s usually limited to the first month, the researchers point out, but it can be a significant hurdle during that period, and it relies on healthcare professionals making clear that it’s a temporary side-effect. Problem is, it’s also suggested, physicians themselves often lack the training to give good intermittent fasting advice.
Could a pill replace intermittent fasting?
One other avenue of research, mainly in animal models, has been the hunt for a pharmacologic alternative: a pill that replicates the benefits of intermittent fasting. That has included drugs that impose the same sort of challenge to the body’s metabolic system that fasting does, or that specifically triggers the sort of processes that go on during ketosis.
We’re still some way from a pill that can do that, however. According to the researchers, “the available data from animal models suggest that the safety and efficacy of such pharmacologic approaches are likely to be inferior to those of intermittent fasting.” In short, if you want the best results, you need to stick to the diet.
The best intermittent fasting diet
There are several diet structures that all fall under the umbrella term of “intermittent fasting,” and there’s no one single perfect meal plan for every person. The most common is probably the daily time-restricted feeding regimen, where you eat within a period of around six hours, and then avoid food for the remaining 18 hours period.
However there’s also the 5:2 intermittent-fasting regimen to consider. That limits daily calorific intake to just 500 calories on two days per week, with regular healthy eating on the remaining five days. Whichever structure is picked, there should be a focus on exercise and meal nutrition too.
What intermittent fasting shouldn’t be, though, is a sudden blow to the system. That, at the very least, is a recipe for quickly giving up on the diet. Instead, a four month transition period – preferably with regular monitoring of body weight, along with glucose and ketone levels – is recommended, in the hope of making a long-term behavioral change that maximizes the diet’s potential benefits to health.
CDC changes, then retracts, web posting on how virus spreads – Airdrie Today
NEW YORK — The top U.S. public health agency stirred confusion by posting — and then taking down — an apparent change in its position on how easily the coronavirus can spread from person to person through the air.
But officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say their position has not really changed and that the post last week on the agency’s website was an error that has been taken down.
It was “an honest mistake” that happened when a draft update was posted before going through a full editing and approval process, said Dr. Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases.
The post suggested that the agency believes the virus can hang in the air and spread over an extended distance. But the agency continues to believe larger and heavier droplets that come from coughing or sneezing are the primary means of transmission, Butler said.
Most CDC guidance about social distancing is built around that idea, saying that about 6 feet is a safe buffer between people who are not wearing masks.
In interviews, CDC officials have acknowledged growing evidence that the virus can sometimes be transmitted on even smaller, aerosolized particles or droplets that spread over a wider area. Certain case clusters have been tied to events in which the virus appeared to have spread through the air in, for example, a choir practice. But such incidents did not appear to be common.
Public health experts urge people to wear masks, which can stop or reduce contact with both larger droplets and aerosolized particles.
But for months, agency officials said little about aerosolized particles. So when the CDC quietly posted an update Friday that discussed the particles in more detail, the agency’s position appeared to have changed. The post said the virus can remain suspended in the air and drift more than 6 feet. It also emphasized the importance of indoor ventilation and seemed to describe the coronavirus as the kind of germ that can spread widely through the air.
The post caused widespread discussion in public health circles because of its implications. It could mean, for example, that hospitals might have to place infected people in rooms that are specially designed to prevent air from flowing to other parts of the hospital.
But the CDC is not advising any changes in how far people stay away from each other, how they are housed at hospitals or other measures, Butler said.
The CDC has come under attack for past revisions of guidance during the pandemic, some of which were driven by political pressure by the Trump administration.
Butler said there was no external political pressure behind the change in this instance. “This was an internal issue,. And we’re working hard to address it and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
In a statement released Monday, the CDC said the revisions to the “How COVID-19 Spreads” page happened “without appropriate in-house technical review.”
“We are reviewing our process and tightening criteria for review of all guidance and updates before they are posted to the CDC website,” the statement said.
At least one expert said the episode could further chip away at public confidence in the CDC.
“The consistent inconsistency in this administration’s guidance on COVID-19 has severely compromised the nation’s trust in our public health agencies,” said Dr. Howard Koh, a Harvard University public health professor who was a high-ranking official in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration.
“To rectify the latest challenge, the CDC must acknowledge that growing scientific evidence indicates the importance of airborne transmission through aerosols, making mask wearing even more critical as we head into the difficult fall and winter season,” Koh said in a statement.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Mike Stobbe, The Associated Press
CDC Now Warns COVID Can Be Spread This Way – Yahoo Canada Shine On
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The CDC updated its guidance about how you could catch COVID-19, saying the disease can be transmitted by aerosols that hang in the air. That means you’ll want to avoid poorly-ventilated indoor spaces where people are doing the following things—read on, and to protect your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.” data-reactid=”12″>The CDC updated its guidance about how you could catch COVID-19, saying the disease can be transmitted by aerosols that hang in the air. That means you’ll want to avoid poorly-ventilated indoor spaces where people are doing the following things—read on, and to protect your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
When a Person Sneezes
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The droplets can really get you when someone sneezes. National Geographic went to a lab at MIT and found scientist Lydia Bourouiba studying sneezes: "Slowed to 2,000 frames per second, video and images from her lab show that a fine mist of mucus and saliva can burst from a person’s mouth at nearly a hundred miles an hour and travel as far as 27 feet."” data-reactid=”25″>The droplets can really get you when someone sneezes. National Geographic went to a lab at MIT and found scientist Lydia Bourouiba studying sneezes: “Slowed to 2,000 frames per second, video and images from her lab show that a fine mist of mucus and saliva can burst from a person’s mouth at nearly a hundred miles an hour and travel as far as 27 feet.”
When a Person Sings
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=""Singing in a room for an extended period of time, in close contact with lots of people and no ventilation—that’s a recipe for disaster," Shelly Miller, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, told NPR. "In preliminary research published on July 13, Miller and her fellow researchers found that singers, as well as certain wind and brass instrumentalists, generate respiratory aerosols at high rates. In other words, they spew a lot of droplets into the air when they warble or blow."” data-reactid=”38″>“Singing in a room for an extended period of time, in close contact with lots of people and no ventilation—that’s a recipe for disaster,” Shelly Miller, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, told NPR. “In preliminary research published on July 13, Miller and her fellow researchers found that singers, as well as certain wind and brass instrumentalists, generate respiratory aerosols at high rates. In other words, they spew a lot of droplets into the air when they warble or blow.”
When a Person Talks
When a Person Breathes
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="COVID-19 can be spread even when a person just breathes, says the CDC. A study from the United States National Academy of Sciences, Engineering&Medicine confirmed it: "The study reported that even breathing or talking could possibly release tiny particles (Bioaerosols) carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID 19," writes author Ramananda Ningthoujam. "The team explained that the virus can stay suspended in the air in the ultrafine mist that is produced when infected people exhale. They recommended wearing masks while going out in public places."” data-reactid=”69″>COVID-19 can be spread even when a person just breathes, says the CDC. A study from the United States National Academy of Sciences, Engineering&Medicine confirmed it: “The study reported that even breathing or talking could possibly release tiny particles (Bioaerosols) carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID 19,” writes author Ramananda Ningthoujam. “The team explained that the virus can stay suspended in the air in the ultrafine mist that is produced when infected people exhale. They recommended wearing masks while going out in public places.”
When a Person Coughs
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=""To help stop the spread of germs," says the CDC:” data-reactid=”78″>“To help stop the spread of germs,” says the CDC:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Throw used tissues in the trash
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.”
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss this essential list of 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus. ” data-reactid=”83″>And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss this essential list of 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.
CDC updates guidance to warn coronavirus can be transmitted through the air by breathing — but then removes it – CBS News
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 guidance to acknowledge the risk that the coronavirus can be transmitted — but then edited its website again Monday morning to take that information down, saying it was still being reviewed.
Before it was taken down, the updated guidance said the coronavirus is most commonly spread “through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols,” which are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or even just breathes, and which can remain airborne for a period of time. The virus can thenwho inhale it into their airways.
Many scientists and health experts have been warning for months that COVID-19 can , not just through larger droplets from an infected person coughing or sneezing nearby.
“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during, in restaurants, or in fitness classes),” the CDC’s updated, but then deleted, guidance said. “In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.”
But on Monday — as the number of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 approached 200,000 — the CDC updated the page again to remove the information about the risk of airborne transmission, with a disclaimer at the top: “A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website,” the notice read. “CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted.”
When asked by CBS News what the issues were with the language on airborne transmission, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said, “It’s poorly written. The bottom line is aerosol transmission [is] possible but not the main way that [it] spreads.”
CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook explained, “It may not be the main way it spreads, but there’s good evidence that the virus can spread through the air under certain circumstances at distances greater than 6 feet.”
The page still states that the virus is spread “through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks,” but the information about tiny airborne droplets, like those in aerosols, has been removed. The page also no longer lists breathing as a way to transmit the virus.
Instead, the page reads: “These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.” The Monday update also says COVID-19 is primarily spread between people who have close contact (within 6 feet), and includes that it may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
In July, the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged the signed an open letter about the risk of airborne transmission.as a possible cause of COVID-19 infections. WHO’s acknowledgment came after 239 scientists
Very few diseases — tuberculosis, chicken pox and measles — have been deemed transmissible through aerosols. However, Japan, for example, had been operating for months on the assumption that tiny, aerosolized particles in crowded settings were fueling the spread of the coronavirus. Back in February, Japan adopted a strategy to fightby telling residents to avoid “the three Cs” — cramped spaces, crowded areas and close conversation.
The CDC’s guidance also explains that the closer and longer a person with COVID-19 is with others, the higher the risk of spreading the virus to those people.
On Friday, the CDC also updated its testing guidance after nearly a month of from officials at the Department of Health and Human Services overriding the CDC’s scientists. In late August, the CDC’s website was quietly revised to say that people who had been exposed to someone with coronavirus but weren’t showing symptoms might not need testing. That caused an uproar among medical experts because to others.
The new guidance now says, “Due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, this guidance further reinforces the need to test asymptomatic persons, including close contacts of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
Many public health experts have long advised that even asymptomatic people should be tested if they suspect they’ve been in contact with someone who was infected. In July, a model published by the National Academy of Sciences, showed an estimated 50% of coronavirus cases may be spread by people who aren’t showing symptoms.
Lucy Craft contributed to this report.
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