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Intermittent Fasting - Benefits in Eye Diseases




Autophagy


A process known as autophagy - i.e. recycling or digestion of damaged and old cells - plays an important role in the body's regeneration. Thanks to autophagy, we get rid of cells that are no longer able to perform their function, and these cells must be replaced with new ones. The entire process acts as biological regeneration and is crucial for maintaining health, preventing disease, self-healing and maintaining youth. The latest scientific research shows that autophagy promotes the regeneration of peripheral nerves, kidneys and liver (1). Autophagy disorders are one of the possible causes of macular degeneration. If damaged cells and their parts are not removed, various waste begins to accumulate in the retina. which promotes the formation of drusen typical of dry AMD (2,3)



 

Intermittent fasting


Autophagy occurs in our body when we are hungry. If we do not allow ourselves to get hungry, we snack all the time and eat until late in the evening, our body does not activate autophagy and our regenerative abilities weaken. It is important to feel hungry between meals and give the body time for autophagy. You need to get used to the feeling of hunger, but in a safe and rational way. One of the methods is the Intermittent Fasting (PP) method, i.e. the "eating window" method.


We designate 8 hours per day during which we can eat, and the remaining 16 hours include fasting. We can use such fasting once in a while, e.g. once a week, several times a week, or every day! For example, when using intermittent fasting, we start the day with breakfast at 8:00 a.m., eat all healthy meals normally during the day, and eat dinner no later than 4:00 p.m., so as not to exceed the 8-hour eating window. We do not eat from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. the next day. During fasting, we drink water or herbal infusions.



Effects on the eyes


Intermittent fasting has a wonderful effect on the entire body. It mobilizes autophagy, i.e. the digestion of your own cells - diseased and damaged. New cells are created in their place. This is the definition of recovery. So, through fasting we start to regenerate, the entire visual system will have a greater ability to regenerate. When we sleep, the body does not focus on digestion but on regeneration - that is, on what should happen at night.


Results of the latest scientific research (4):


1.Intermittent fasting lowers blood pressure and improves blood supply to the eye. Intermittent fasting has been shown to prevent aging and neurodegeneration.


2. Most studies have shown a significant decrease in intraocular pressure during fasting. Fasting is important in preventing the development of glaucoma.


3. Intermittent fasting may reduce the inflammatory response in the retina in people with diabetic retinopathy. It also supports proper hydration of the eyeball and eliminates the symptoms of dry eye in people with diabetes.



Comments


It is best to start fasting early in the day so that you can finish it as early as possible. For regeneration, it is better to have the last meal between 4 and 6 p.m. Please remember to provide your body with the necessary nutrients for regeneration during the eating window. Also during the eating window, I recommend sticking to a healthy and nutritious diet, such as an anti-inflammatory diet. Skipping meals may not be for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have kidney stones, gastroesophageal reflux disease, diabetes, or other health problems, talk to your doctor before beginning intermittent fasting.


Source materials

1. Huang, H. C., Chen, L., Zhang, H. X., Li, S. F., Liu, P., Zhao, T. Y., & Li, C. X. (2016). Autophagy Promotes Peripheral Nerve Regeneration and Motor Recovery Following Sciatic Nerve Crush Injury in Rats. Journal of molecular neuroscience: MN, 58(4), 416–423. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12031-015-0672-9

2. Frost, L. S., Mitchell, C. H., & Boesze-Battaglia, K. (2014). Autophagy in the eye: implications for ocular cell health. Experimental eye research, 124, 56–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2014.04.010

3. Fernández-Albarral, J.A.; de Julián-López, E.; Soler-Domínguez, C.; de Hoz, R.; López-Cuenca, I.; Salobrar-García, E.; Ramírez, J.M.; Pinazo-Durán, M.D.; Salazar, J. J.; Ramírez, A.I. The Role of Autophagy in Eye Diseases. Life 2021, 11, 189. https://doi.org/.../11/3/189/pdf+&cd=11&hl=pl&ct=clnk&gl=pl &client=safari

4. Feng J, Zhang S, Li W, Bai T, Liu Y, Chang X. Intermittent Fasting to the Eye: A New Dimension Involved in Physiological and Pathological Changes. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 May 24;9:867624. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2022.867624. PMID: 35685418; PMCID: PMC9171076.

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