Previously, I have posted about the benefits of intermittent fasting as a way to improve health. A new research paper now shows even more benefits from fasting, particularly in relation to growth hormone.
This article discusses how food intake during human history was often spotty, and how "feast or famine" was frequently the norm. Over time, the body adapted to these conditions, and has learned to function efficiently in their presence. One of the key adaptations to food unpredictability is the response of growth hormone.
Growth hormone has been hailed as a "miracle drug" for its ability to burn fat and increase muscle in normal subjects. These subjects don't even have to perform any exercise at all - just the injection of growth hormone itself is enough to favorably alter body composition. It is even rumored that aging Hollywood superstars have turned to growth hormone injections to stay young-looking.
The research papers discusses the relationship between food intake and growth hormone and makes one thing clear: brief fasting will cause a large increase in growth hormone. In fact, in one study subjects fasting for 2 days had a fivefold increase in internal growth hormone production.
If growth hormone is the "fountain of youth", this study shows that it is available to everyone. Through brief periods of fasting, a person can increase his or her own growth hormone levels, without the need for drugs and the adverse side effects.