5 ways inflammation can be reduced when adopting a 16:8 eating window

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. 

Intermittent fasting has been shown to activate the body's natural anti-inflammatory response. Fasting triggers a state of ketosis, where the body primarily uses stored fat for energy instead of glucose. Chronic inflammation is known to contribute to pain, so by reducing inflammation, intermittent fasting can indirectly alleviate pain symptoms. In addition to the anti-inflammatory effects, intermittent fasting may also promote the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers. Some studies have indicated that fasting can increase endorphin levels in the brain, leading to temporary pain relief.

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

Anti-inflammatory effects: Red light therapy has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the inflammation associated with hormonal acne. It can help decrease redness, swelling, and discomfort caused by acne breakouts.
Enhanced collagen production: It has been shown to stimulate collagen production in the skin. Collagen is essential for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. As women when we reach menopause, there is a decline in estrogen levels, which can lead to a decrease in collagen production. Red light therapy can help counteract this process and improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin.
Improved wound healing: Red light therapy enhances blood circulation and promotes tissue repair, which can be beneficial in healing acne lesions and reducing the risk of scarring. Menopausal skin tends to be more susceptible to skin injuries and slower healing, so red light therapy can help speed up the recovery process.
Rejuvenation and anti-aging effects: Red light therapy can improve the overall health and vitality of the skin. It can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Menopausal skin often experiences these signs of ageing more prominently due to hormonal changes, and red light therapy can assist in rejuvenating the complexion.


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