Health Benefits of Fasting and Caloric Restriction

Curr Diab Rep. 2017 Oct 23;17(12):123. doi: 10.1007/s11892-017-0951-7.


Purpose of review: Obesity and obesity-related diseases, largely resulting from urbanization and behavioral changes, are now of global importance. Energy restriction, though, is associated with health improvements and increased longevity. We review some important mechanisms related to calorie limitation aimed at controlling of metabolic diseases, particularly diabetes.

Recent findings: Calorie restriction triggers a complex series of intricate events, including activation of cellular stress response elements, improved autophagy, modification of apoptosis, and alteration in hormonal balance. Intermittent fasting is not only more acceptable to patients, but it also prevents some of the adverse effects of chronic calorie restriction, especially malnutrition. There are many somatic and potentially psychologic benefits of fasting or intermittent calorie restriction. However, some behavioral modifications related to abstinence of binge eating following a fasting period are crucial in maintaining the desired favorable outcomes.

Keywords: Adipose tissue; Calorie restriction; Diabetes; Oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Energy Intake
  • Fasting / physiology*
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Longevity
  • Obesity / physiopathology