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Intermittent Fasting and Human Metabolic Health

Published:April 06, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2015.02.018
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      Periods of voluntary abstinence from food and drink (ie, intermittent fasting) has been practiced since earliest antiquity by peoples around the globe. Books on ethnology and religion describe a remarkable variety of fasting forms and practices.
      • Brongers H.A.
      Instruction and Interpretation: Studies in Hebrew Language, Palestinian Archaeology and Biblical Exegesis.
      Renewed interest in fasting regimens is evidenced by a plethora of popular press publications and diet recommendations. For example, in 2013, Mosley and Spencer
      • Mosley M.
      • Spencer M.
      The FastDiet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting.
      published a best-selling book titled The Fast Diet, which touts the benefits of restricting energy intake severely for 2 days a week while eating normally the rest of the week. Dozens of books promote various fasting dietary patterns and the web offers hundreds of fasting-related sites. However, scientific evidence for the health benefits of intermittent fasting in human beings is often extrapolated from animal studies, based on observational data on religious fasting (particularly Ramadan), or derived from experimental studies with modest sample sizes.
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