Scientists are uncovering evidence that short periods of fasting, if properly controlled, could achieve a number of health benefits, as well as potentially helping the overweight, as Michael Mosley discovered.
I’d always thought of fasting as something unpleasant, with no obvious long term benefits. So when I was asked to make a documentary that would involve me going without food, I was not keen as I was sure I would not enjoy it.
But the Horizon editor assured me there was great new science and that I might see some dramatic improvements to my body. So, of course, I said, “yes”.
I am not strong-willed enough to diet over the long term, but I am extremely interested in the reasons why eating less might lead to increased life span, particularly as scientists think it may be possible to get the benefits without the pain.
How you age is powerfully shaped by your genes. But there’s not much you can do about that.
Calorie restriction, eating well but not much, is one of the few things that has been shown to extend life expectancy, at least in animals. We’ve known since the 1930s that mice put on a low-calorie, nutrient-rich diet live far longer. There is mounting evidence that the same is true in monkeys. Continue reading Michael Mosley on intermittent Fasting
Marine biologists in New Zealand have identified a compound in an extract from the native green-lipped mussel that appears to relieve symptoms of arthritis. The biologists, mainly from the School of Medicine at the University Auckland, hope to develop the compound into a drug for treating the disease.
Capsules containing crude extracts from the green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) have been sold as food supplements under the brand name Seatone for 20 years in 65 countries. The active component turns out to be a glycoprotein which blocks the action of neutrophils, white blood cells that trigger the immune system into action at sites of infection or tissue injury.
Neutrophils anchor themselves to the walls of blood vessels and act as ‘gatekeepers’, allowing chemicals of the immune system to enter and combat infection. Inflammation occurs when neutrophils allow the substances to attack healthy tissue.
‘The glycoprotein occupies the sites on blood vessel walls where neutrophils normally dock,’ says John Croft, who manages a marine farm and hatchery where 800 tonnes of the mussels are grown and harvested each year. If the neutrophils cannot dock, they cannot trigger inflammation.
Patient: Man 66 years Occupation: Retired Accountant Pain: 3/10
Complaint: This Gentleman is a keen Golfer, he has minor O.A. of the left Hip . Walking any distance causes pain in the groin and knee. The condition is not bad enough to need an Hip replacement operation. The pain is negligible at rest.