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article imageBrand new anti-aging, fitness, and weight-loss research released

By Thomas Amshay     Apr 3, 2011 in Health
New research from Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in the United States (Utah) shows that periodic fasting affects your health, your heart, and your hormones, particularly hGH or human growth hormone.
Well-schooled fitness and anti-aging aficionados believe, or at least hope, that hGH is close to the Holy Grail. So much so that injections of hGH are widely available through anti-aging clinics and the underground.
Still there is great debate about the pluses and minuses of hGH injections, as noted in the video above. Safe-minded natural bodybuilders and athletes utilize other protocols such as specific diets, natural supplements, and types of exercise such as intense cardio and weight-training that are known to elicit a natural spike in hGH.
And now they and the rest of us can add fasting to our arsenal of anti-aging, fitness, and health tools.
Medical News Today reports that Intermountain Healthcare researchers found that “Fasting not only lowers one's risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes, but also causes significant changes in a person's blood cholesterol levels.” And it gets better.
A 2007 Intermountain Healthcare study revealed the association between fasting and reduced risk of coronary heart disease. But this new research shows fasting also reduced triglycerides, weight, and blood sugar levels.
Dr. Benjamin D. Horne, PhD, MPH, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at Intermountain said, "These new findings demonstrate that our original discovery was not a chance event."
While fasting the study participants' low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, the "bad" cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, the "good" cholesterol) both increased, raising their total cholesterol, which surprised the researchers. The explanation is surprising, but good news because fasting is so easy to do.
"Fasting causes hunger or stress. In response, the body releases more cholesterol, allowing it to utilize fat as a source of fuel, instead of glucose. This decreases the number of fat cells in the body," said Dr. Horne, adding, "This is important because the fewer fat cells a body has, the less likely it will experience insulin resistance, or diabetes."
The recent study also confirms earlier findings that human growth hormone (hGH) blood levels during the 24-hour fasting periods increased an average of 1,300 percent in women, and nearly 2,000 percent in men.
Human Growth Hormone is a long chain amino acid produced and secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. hGH acts on many different tissues to promote growth and healthy metabolism.
At it's highest levels during youth and growth, natural levels of hGH decline progressively after maturity. The decline is associated with the many body changes that occur with aging in both genders.
Raising hGH levels to those associated with youth is believed to slow down or delay the age-related decline frequently seen in many organs, and also the body composition changes such as weight gain, fat accumulation, muscle and bone loss, etc.
Effects accomplished by hGH are actually the result of another hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), which is released predominantly by the liver and, to some extent, by other tissues in response to the presence of hGH. IGF-1 is believed to be the real anti-aging catalyst, but it requires hGH first.
This research will be presented Sunday, April 3, to the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans. The entire press release from Intermountain Healthcare is available at EurekAlert!, the online global news service operated by AAAS.
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