Scientists looking to tackle our ongoing obesity crisis have made an important discovery: Intermittent fasting leads to significant changes both in the gut and the brain, which may open up new options for maintaining a healthy weight.
Researchers from China studied 25 volunteers classed as obese over a period of 62 days, during which they took part in an intermittent energy restriction (IER) program – a regime that involves careful control of calorie intake and fasting on some days.
Not only did the participants in the study lose weight – 7.6 kilograms (16.8 pounds) or 7.8 percent of their body weight on average – there was also evidence of shifts in the activity of obesity-related regions of the brain, and in the make-up of gut bacteria.
“Here we show that an IER diet changes the human brain-gut-microbiome axis,” says health researcher Qiang Zeng from the Second Medical Center and National Clinical Research Center for Geriatric Diseases in China.
“The observed changes in the gut microbiome and in the activity in addiction-related brain regions during and after weight loss are highly dynamic and coupled over time.” [Continue reading…]