It is well known that a balanced, protein-packed, low-calorie intermittent fasting diet helps to shed fat quickly and keep it off in the long term, but did you know that this diet strategy can also help to reduce oxidative stress and release toxins from the body?

According to Paul Arciero, an exercise scientist from Skidmore College, intermittent fasting will not only help you to lose weight, but it will also help to release toxins in the form of PCBs from body fat stores, improve heart health and reduce overall oxidative stress.

Arciero’s findings, which have recently been published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, saw his obese test subjects follow a 12-week intermittent fasting-style, protein-packed, caloric restriction (P-CR) diet which contained 4-6 meals per day. Each meal contained 20-25 grams of protein.

Before and after his study, Arciero measured the body weight, oxidative stress, arterial stiffness and toxin release in each of his test subjects. What he found was that after just 12 weeks of following this diet strategy, his test subjects had lost roughly 10% of their body weight, oxidative stress decreased by an average of 25%, arterial stiffness decreased by approximately 12% and the subjects saw an increase of toxin release of 25%. 

One of the more interesting aspects Arciero addressed in his study was the concern that weight loss, which releases toxins into the blood, could have negative effects on the dieter’s health. The human body stores environmental pollutants and other toxins in fatty tissue, so when weight is lost, it is believed that these toxins are released into the bloodstream which in turn causes greater oxidative stress on the body and increases risk of developing serious health conditions. These include reproductive and fertility problems, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. According to Arciero’s findings, however, the intermittent fasting P-CR diet did not increase the markers for oxidative stress and it actually aided detoxification of the blood, thereby reducing concerns of dieter’s developing chronic illness.

Arciero concludes, “Although weight loss typically leads to improved health, We know that in those who are overweight and obese -- and, therefore, storing excessive toxins -- there is the potential for the release of toxins to impact the body in negative ways. We wanted to capture the release of those toxins and the body’s response. What we found was that the body compensated by increasing antioxidants. In response to this flood of PCBs, the body was coming to its own defense, scavenging and squelching the toxins. We had a healthy weight-loss intervention.”

Arciero went on to say,

“We have scientific evidence that it’s the quality of your diet that matters. Through diet alone, we can favorably impact the detoxification process, decrease oxidative stress levels, reduce blood vessel stiffness and enhance weight loss. That’s an important public health message.”

Older Post Newer Post