The 16:8 fast refers to a type of intermittent fasting where a person fasts for 16 hours and has an eating window of 8 hours each day. The relationship between intermittent fasting and inflammation is complex and involves various interconnected mechanisms.
My own experience is proving very beneficial. I feel much more focused, I have more mental clarity, I feel calmer, pain is now reducing in my toe (see previous bog post on my experience of a 36 hour fast). I am assigning these changes to a reduction in inflammation. This is backed by research which suggests that intermittent fasting can contribute to reducing inflammation in the body by impacting several factors.
It is also a realistic window to rest from eating. For example if our last meal is 6pm and we eat again next morning at 10am and we supplement with lemon water, black tea and or coffee in those intervening hours that we are awake.
To follow are 5 ways intermittent fasting can be beneficial for inflammation.
1. Autophagy: Intermittent fasting induces a cellular process called autophagy, where the body removes damaged or dysfunctional cells and proteins. This process helps to reduce inflammation and promote cellular rejuvenation, reducing inflammation by eliminating harmful substances that contribute to inflammation.
2. Insulin Sensitivity: Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which is beneficial as insulin resistance can lead to chronic inflammation. By improving insulin sensitivity, intermittent fasting can help reduce inflammation in the body as it reduces the production of these inflammatory molecules.
3. Reduced Oxidative Stress: Oxidative stress, caused by an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species and the body's ability to neutralise them, can lead to inflammation. Intermittent fasting may help reduce oxidative stress by enhancing the body's antioxidant defence mechanisms.
4. Gut Health: Emerging evidence suggests that intermittent fasting can positively impact the gut microbiome, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and reducing inflammation in the gut. As the gut plays a crucial role in immune function and inflammation regulation, improving gut health can have systemic anti-inflammatory effects.
5. Weight Management & Pain Relief: Fasting can lead to the reduction of adipose tissue (fat cells), which is a major source of pro-inflammatory substances called adipokines. By decreasing adipose tissue and reducing adipokine release, fasting helps to lower inflammation. Intermittent fasting can help regulate body weight and reduce excess fat. Obesity is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation, and losing weight through intermittent fasting can lead to reduced inflammation in fat tissues and throughout the body.
In addition to fasting to reduce inflammation, red light therapy has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and collagen-stimulating effects, which can potentially help with acne which is something that can be triggered during peri menopause and menopause. The specific wavelength range of 620-630nm falls within the red light spectrum used in some light therapy devices. Some studies suggest that red light therapy can improve inflammatory acne lesions, speed up healing, and reduce the appearance of scars.
Red light therapy to reduce inflammation
The Skin Elixir blog is currently number 6 in the top 20 UK Skin Care Blogs