Ah fasting – the process you curse when you have some sort of medical exam that requires you to not eat food. But intermittent fasting is proving to be more than just that – scientific studies are showing that there may be great health benefits to fasting.

Fasting does good things for the brain, and this is evident by all of the beneficial neurochemical changes that happen in the brain when we fast. It also improves cognitive function, increases neurotrophic factors, increases stress resistance, and reduces inflammation. [1]

Fasting is a challenge to your brain, and your brain responds to that challenge by adapting stress response pathways which help your brain cope with stress and risk for disease. The same changes that occur in the brain during fasting mimic the changes that occur with regular exercise. They both increase the production of protein in the brain (neurotrophic factors), which in turn promotes the growth of neurons, the connection between neurons, and the strength of synapses. [1]

So, how is this relevant to a blog about Ketosis? Well, fasting has shown that it can help the production of Ketones as a fuel source for neurons.

Fasting can stimulate the production of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus as well as ketones (an energy source for neurons). Fasting stimulates the production of ketones and that it may also increase the number of mitochondria in neurons.

It looks like there are various benefits to fasting – have you incorporated intermittent fasting into your diet?