The Health-Promoting Effects and the Mechanism of Intermittent Fasting

J Diabetes Res. 2023 Mar 3:2023:4038546. doi: 10.1155/2023/4038546. eCollection 2023.


Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern in which individuals go extended periods with little or no energy intake after consuming regular food in intervening periods. IF has several health-promoting effects. It can effectively reduce weight, fasting insulin levels, and blood glucose levels. It can also increase the antitumor activity of medicines and cause improvement in the case of neurological diseases, such as memory deficit, to achieve enhanced metabolic function and prolonged longevity. Additionally, IF activates several biological pathways to induce autophagy, encourages cell renewal, prevents cancer cells from multiplying and spreading, and delays senescence. However, IF has specific adverse effects and limitations when it comes to people of a particular age and gender. Hence, a more systematic study on the health-promoting effects and safety of IF is needed. This article reviewed the research on the health-promoting effects of IF, providing a theoretical basis, direction for subsequent basic research, and information related to the clinical application of IF.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Reducing
  • Energy Intake
  • Fasting*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Fasting*