Intermittent fasting – for example, a complete abstinence of food for 24 hours a few inconsecutive days a week – can have a series of beneficial health effects: it can induce weight-loss, improve the insulin sensitivity and prevent fatty liver.
While the mechanism behind fast is not yet fully understood, there are a few theories. Recently, Cell Metabolism journal introduced one of them. It seems that intestinal microflora, exposed to intermittent fasting, can help with browning of the white adipose tissue, which is a big thing. White adipose tissue is just energy storage, whereas brown fat tissue is metabolically very active – they produce a lot of heat. Newborns, for example, have a lot of brown fat which helps them stay warm enough. By »browning« the white fat, these cells do not become brown, they do however start resembling the brown fat tissue by using the fat droplets to produce heat (Li et al., 2017).
LI, G. et al. 2017. Intermittent Fasting Promotes White Adipose Browning and Decreases Obesity by Shaping the Gut Microbiota. Cell Metabolism, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 672-685.e674.
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