A ten-day fast at the Buchinger Wilhelmi Clinic in Überlingen, Germany, reduced the oxidative stress and increased the blood antioxidative capacity in 109 adults, according to a recently published study in the journal Antioxidants. The study, “Influence of long-term fasting on blood redox status in humans,” also found significant improvements in several biomarkers associated with life span and health span.
Oxygen radicals, called reactive oxygen species (ROS), are formed every day during cell respiration and lead to a healthy antioxidative reaction, which protects the organism. Additional factors such as radiation, environmental toxins, smoking, drugs, a lack of physical exercise and an unhealthy diet increase oxidative stress and create ROS, which can damage tissues and cell components such as membranes, lipids, proteins, and DNA. This in turn can harm organs, accelerate aging, and cause disease as well as an imbalance in the regulation of oxidative stress (RedOx homeostasis).
In a group of 109 subjects, body weight, abdominal circumference, blood sugar, and blood lipid levels decreased while physical and emotional well-being improved. Total antioxidant capacity increased significantly. The enzymes that break down ROS, such as catalase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione peroxidase, were not significantly changed after 10 days of fasting. Fasting, on the other hand, reduced TBARS, a marker for oxidative damage to lipids that can lead to arteriosclerosis. The study also found that improvements in metabolism due to fasting, such as lower blood glucose, were linked to improvements in antioxidative capacity.
The study was co-authored by researchers at the Buchinger Wilhelmi Clinic, the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the University of Thessaly in Greece, and King’s College London.
Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, Franziska Grundler, Nikolaos Goutzourelas, Fotios Tekos,
Eleni Vassi, Robin Mesnage und Demetrios Kouretas (2020): Influence of long-term fasting on blood redox status in humans. Antioxidants, 9, 496.
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