People fast for a variety of reasons from religion to diet purposes and though it has proven effective for those respective reasons, researchers have found that it may boost metabolism and reverse the biological effects that come with ageing.

Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) and Kyoto University focused their study on four fasting individuals to study the whole human blood and the changing levels of metabolites.

At the end of the study, 44 metabolites, including 30 that were previously unrecognized, were found to increase among subjects between 1.5 fold to 60 fold within 58 hours of fasting.

Several antioxidants, such as ergothioneine and carnosine, also increased significantly over the study period.

These antioxidants protect cells from free radicals produced during metabolism.

“These are very important metabolites for maintenance of muscle and antioxidant activity, respectively. This result suggests the possibility of a rejuvenating effect by fasting, which was not known until now,” Takayuki Teruya, lead researcher, said.

Fasting may help reverse the effects of ageing according to a new study Fasting may help reverse the effects of ageing according to a new study

Previous research by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) had identified various metabolites like leucine and isoleucine that decline with age.

Researchers say an increase in the qualities of these metabolites, therefore, suggests an increase in longevity.

“These are very important metabolites for maintenance of muscle and antioxidant activity, respectively,” said Teruya.

“This result suggests the possibility of a rejuvenating effect by fasting, which was not known until now.”