उपवास (रोज़ा) के लाभ Health Benefits of Fasting

Author : Dr. P. D.GUPTA

Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India


Fasting is a practice that dates back centuries and played a central role in many cultures and religions. Fasting   have many health benefits, including weight loss, improved blood sugar control, heart health, brain function, and cancer prevention. There are many different types of fasts, choose one which fits your lifestyle. Here are a few of the most common types of fasting:

Water fasting: Involves drinking only water for a set amount of time.

Juice fasting: This entails only drinking vegetable or fruit juice for a certain period.

Intermittent fasting: Intake is partially or completely restricted for a few hours up to a few days at a time, and a regular diet is resumed on other days.

Partial fasting: Certain foods or drinks such as processed foods, animal products, or caffeine are eliminated from the diet for a set period.

Calorie restriction: Calories are restricted for a few days every week.

Intermittent fasting can be broken down into subcategories, such as alternate-day fasting, which involves eating every other day, or time-restricted feeding, which entails limiting intake to just a few hours each day.

Many things happen during fasting that can protect organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease and many cancers:

1.  Controls blood sugar: Several studies have found that fasting may improve blood sugar control, which may be helpful for those at risk of developing diabetes. Researchers found that intermittent fasting 3 days per week can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity which allows  to transport glucose from your bloodstream to your cells more efficiently.

2. Reduces inflammation:     Inflammation is a natural immune process used to help fight off infections but chronic inflammation can seriously affect  our health. Researchers  showed that inflammation may be involved in the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies have found that fasting can help decrease levels of inflammation and promote better health. Studies found that intermittent fasting could significantly reduce levels of certain proteins, which indicators of inflammation

3.   Improve blood pressure, by reducing triglycerides, and cholesterol levels: Heart disease is considered the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for highest deaths each year. Satwik diet and lifestyle, especially timing of eating is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease. Some research has found that incorporating fasting into your routine may be especially beneficial for heart health. Studies revealed that alternate-day fasting could reduce significantly decrease blood pressure, as well as levels of blood triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and several risk factors for heart disease in people with overweight compared to a control group.

4. Improve brain function and prevent neurodegenerative disorders:  several studies have found that fasting could have a powerful effect on brain health. Animal studies also  have reported that fasting could protect brain health and increase the generation of nerve cells to help enhance cognitive functions.   Fasting may also help relieve inflammation, it could also aid in preventing neurodegenerative disorders. It was also suggested that fasting may protect against and improve outcomes for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

5. Reduce Obesity and boost metabolism: Many dieters experiment with fasting to try to lose weight. Theoretically, abstaining from all or certain foods and beverages should decrease overall calorie intake, which could lead to increased weight loss over time. Whole-day fasting could reduce body weight by up to 9% and significantly decrease body fat over 12–24 weeks. Intermittent fasting was more effective in inducing weight loss compared to continuous calorie restriction. In addition, other research has found that fasting may lead to greater reductions in body fat and belly fat compared to continuous calorie restriction.

6. Increases growth hormone secretion: Growth hormone is vital for growth, metabolism, weight loss, and muscle strength. Human growth hormone (HGH) is a protein hormone central to many aspects of our health. Research shows that this key hormone is involved in weight loss and muscle growth. Several studies have found that fasting could naturally increase HGH levels.

7. Could extend longevity: Fasting has the potential lifespan-extending effects. The effects of periodic fasting on the human gut found that fasting increased the diversity of helpful bacteria in the gut microbes which are related to longevity. The researchers also noted an increase in sirtuins the group of proteins involved in metabolic regulation that are also associated with longevity. Studies on older human and animal research have turned up similar findings, reporting that fasting could be effective in increasing longevity and delaying disease.

8. Helps in cancer prevention and increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy: Intermittent fasting may benefit the treatment and prevention of cancer in some situations. It may decrease tumor growth and toxicity from chemotherapy in some people. For some situations and types of cancer, it could potentially have a negative effect.

9. Boosting regeneration: Intestinal stem cells are responsible for maintaining the lining of the intestine, which typically renews itself every five days. As people age, the regenerative abilities of the intestinal stem cells decline, therefore, it takes longer for the intestine to recover. When an injury or infection occurs, stem cells have role in repairing any damage. Intestinal stem cells are the workhorses of the intestine that give rise to more stem cells and to all of the various differentiated cell types of the intestine. (The author has his own study and views)