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Nutritionist Isabela Ramos spoke exclusively to http://Express.co.uk about the best diet to help you lead a healthier life for longer.
“Intermittent fasting has been linked to the activation of various genes, including the SIRT genes, which are associated with longevity and cellular health,” said Ramos.
What is intermittent fasting?
Examples of intermittent fasting include the 5:2 diet, or alternate-day fasting, or daily time-restricted fasting, the Mayo Clinic points out.
“Intermittent fasting means that you don’t eat for a period of time each day or week,” the health organisation points out.
Ramos explained: “SIRT genes belong to a class of genes known as sirtuins, which are involved in regulating several cellular processes, including DNA repair, energy metabolism, and stress resistance.”
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Sirtuins are known as “longevity genes”, said Ramos, as they have been shown to delay age-related diseases in animal studies.
“These genes are believed to be activated in response to fasting or caloric restriction,” said Ramos. “Their activation is associated with various health benefits.”
Health benefits include protection from oxidative stress and cellular damage, DNA repair, regulation of metabolism, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Ramos elaborated: “Sirtuins are involved in promoting DNA repair mechanisms, which can help maintain the integrity of the genome and reduce the risk of mutations that can lead to cancer and ageing-related diseases.”
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There is a caveat, however, as most of the research on SIRT genes and longevity has been on animal models.
Ramos said: “The field of research on the interaction between intermittent fasting, SIRT genes, and human health is still evolving.
“More studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms and potential benefits.”
There is, however, a “common recommendation” when it comes to how late you really should be eating at night.
Ramos elaborated: “We should avoid eating four hours before bedtime. This is a common recommendation to support our circadian clock and promote better sleep quality.
“The circadian clock is an internal biological clock that regulates various physiological processes, including sleep-wake cycles, hormone secretion, and metabolism.”
If you eat too close to bedtime, Ramos warned it could lead to acid reflux and fluctuations in blood sugar, which impacts sleep, thus increasing stress levels.
The NHS points out that stress can “cause serious illness”, which can greatly impact longevity.
MyHealthChecked at-home tests are available online and in-store at Boots.
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