Intermittent fasting, particularly in the form of fasting mimicking diets that enhance autophagy and last long enough to trigger significant reduction and replacement of immune cells, is growing in popularity as a way to activate the range of cellular stress responses known to modestly improve health. It isn’t the only way to alter behavior and the environment to upregulate beneficial cellular stress responses such as autophagy, however. Thus the authors of this open access paper propose that a broader program of periodic challenges should be introduced as a best practice for human health, and be as strongly recommended as regular exercise. The health benefits may be in the same ballpark. They choose to call this “intermittent living.” A great deal of gathering and analysis of data lies between here and the realization of their vision, of course.
The number of people with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), diabetes, respiratory diseases, mental disorders, autoimmune diseases and cancer has increased dramatically over the last three decades. The increasing rates of these chronic systemic illnesses suggest that inflammation, caused by excessive and inappropriate innate immune system activity, is unable to respond appropriately to