SALT LAKE CITY — If you want a longer life, you might want to try fasting.
A new study from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) suggests that intermittent fasting could be the key to a longer life.
The scientists involved in the study — which included those from the NIA, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center — found that adding time between meals improved the health of male mice, stretching out their lives compared to the mice who ate frequently.
Interestingly, those mice benefited despite what they ate or how many calories they ate, according to USA Today.
“This study showed that mice who ate one meal per day, and thus had the longest fasting period, seemed to have a longer lifespan and better outcomes for common age-related liver disease and metabolic disorders,” said NIA Director Richard Hodes, M.D., according to USA Today.
The researchers said the findings could apply to humans.
"Prolonged, daily fasting times could help improve health and survival for humans," said the study’s lead author, Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D. "But scientists are working to find out how long you need to fast every day to see some of the benefits seen in the animals. That's the next big question to answer."
De Cabo said researchers studied the beneficial effects of fasting for centuries. It’s been only recently that they’ve discovered the benefits.
"Increasing daily fasting times, without a reduction of calories and regardless of the type of diet consumed, resulted in overall improvements in health and survival in male mice," said de Cabo. "Perhaps this extended daily fasting period enables repair and maintenance mechanisms that would be absent in a continuous exposure to food."
In 2017, researchers discovered that caloric restriction leads to a healthier life, according to CNBC. The research found that eating less often was similar to eating fewer calories.
And the research showed fasting could be the key to fighting diseases, like diabetes and heart disease.