What happens to a person after a week of fasting?

People sometimes experience complete and prolonged hunger for various reasons — at their own request for the purpose of losing weight or as a protest, as well as due to lack of food due to any circumstances, etc. However, to this day the effects of prolonged fasting are poorly understood. To get more information about the systemic changes in the body that occur during the absence of food, scientists conducted a study that lasted 7 days. During this time, the volunteers only drank water and did not eat anything. As it turned out, lack of food causes both negative and positive consequences for the body. In particular, fasting can prevent some serious diseases and also help get rid of excess weight.

What happens to a person after a week of fasting. Scientists have discovered the benefits of long-term fasting. Photo.

Scientists have discovered the benefits of long-term fasting

Hunger allows you to quickly burn fat

The authors of the work involved twelve people in their study who did not have any health problems. Throughout the study, the participants' blood was taken for analysis and various indicators were studied, including measuring the indicators of 3000 different proteins.

Summarizing the results of their observations, the scientists reported that during the first few days, the body of the experiment participants switched to another source of energy – it began to burn fat rather than glucose obtained from food. As a result, all people lost an average of 5.7 kilograms per week. Moreover, their weight remained the same even after they stopped fasting and began to eat properly. That is, weight loss is not a temporary effect.

Hunger allows you to quickly burn fat. Long-term fasting allows you to quickly lose excess weight. Photo.

Long-term fasting allows you to quickly lose excess weight

How hunger affects the body

Scientists were very surprised to find that during the first few days the volunteers had no changes in protein levels in their blood. The indicators remained at the same level as with normal nutrition. However, strong and dramatic changes occurred three days after the start of the fast – hundreds of compounds that affect health began to fluctuate.

To find out how fasting affected health, the authors of the work analyzed changes in the blood of volunteers and compared them with the diseases with which they are associated. To do this, scientists turned to genetic studies conducted earlier. As a result, they were able to identify 212 plasma compounds that change during fasting that somehow affect health.

For example, they found that fasting for more than three days leads to a decrease in plasma protein 70 levels. which indicates a reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. By the way, scientists previously found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience reduced pain during prolonged fasting. The current study may at least partially explain this effect.

How hunger affects the body. Long-term fasting can be beneficial for arthritis. Photo.

Long-term fasting may be beneficial for arthritis

Researchers also found changes in the HYOU1 protein, which has previously been linked to coronary artery disease hearts. As a result of fasting, levels of this protein decrease. This suggests that prolonged fasting may be beneficial for heart health. Researchers report this in the journal Nature Metabolism.

However, as mentioned above, along with the positive consequences of famine, negative ones were also discovered. For example, scientists noticed an increase in blood clotting factor XI in all participants in the experiment, which increases the risk of thrombosis. We talked earlier about the danger of this disease and what happens to a person when a blood clot breaks off.

How hunger affects the body. Prolonged fasting increases the risk of thrombosis. Photo.

Long-term fasting increases the risk of thrombosis

Summarizing all of the above, we can conclude that long-term fasting is an effective way to lose excess weight. Additionally, long-term fasting may be beneficial for people with coronary heart disease and arthritis. However, it has its consequences, so it is not suitable for all people. Therefore, you should not try to fast without consulting your doctor. Additionally, the health benefits of fasting only begin to appear after three days. Not every person can withstand so much time without food.

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Scientists note that this study is the first to show changes as a result of fasting at the molecular level. Recall that previously scientists discovered the benefits of intermittent fasting, which extended the life of fruit flies. As it turned out, it has a beneficial effect on the body at the cellular level. However, in order for it to be beneficial, intermittent fasting must be correct, as we talked about earlier.