Intermittent Fasting: A Counterintuitive Brain Fuel
We’ve all heard the striking statistic that your humble brain, weighing in at just 2-3% of your total body weight, consumes almost a quarter of your energy expenditures.
For an organ that’s such an energy hog, it’s surprising to learn that cutting off your incoming energy supply — in the form of food — can offer significant benefits. But the brain is full of surprises and counterintuitive or not, the cognitive benefits of Intermittent Fasting seem to be real. (Animal studies certainly lend evidence in this direction.)
In Episode #120, I speak with Dr. Mark Mattson, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute of Health (NIH) about his decades of work in the fields of nutrition and brain health, and the complex interplay between diet, exercise, “feeding windows” (we’re not talking McDonald’s drive-thru), and macronutrient ratios.
Studies are still ongoing — more aggressively than ever — in all of these fields. And while much remains unresolved, there is also a lot that we do know. Listen in to learn Dr. Mattson’s take-aways that he has used to form his own health and lifestyle choices, his thoughts on when animal models may be reasonable to act on, and when more research is still needed.
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PS: Want to learn more about Intermittent Fasting?
Click here to download a primer document to get you started. We think you’ll find the basics are surprisingly straightforward. (Note that we said “straightforward,” not “easy.”)
Caloric restriction and cognition
This Week in Neuroscience: The woman who looked at faces and saw dragons
The audience interaction section
Introduction to Dr. Mark Mattson
How exercise and fasting affect cognition
Regular glucose metabolism and how this changes while in ketosis
Relative effects on cognition of fasting, intermittent fasting, and high fat diets
Dr. Mattson’s own dietary choices
Caloric restriction and longevity in animals and humans
Strength, survival rates, and caloric restriction
The importance of the intermittent nature of stimuli
Protecting the brain against Alzheimer’s disease
General upsides of intermittent behaviour
Rhythms of the body
Is anyone lobbying the National Institutes of Health?
Obesity as a disease
Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: Photographing the glow of the human body