Intermittent Fasting for Anxiety Relief

Intermittent Fasting for Anxiety Relief

Intermittent Fasting for Anxiety Relief

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anxiety sucks seriously they’ve dealt with it you know that it’s horrible and a vast majority of people that I talked to suffer from anxiety whether it’s on a small scale or a large scale so you might be watching this video because you’re looking for a solution to anxiety or you’re trying to understand why you flat out feel better and less anxious when you’re practicing intermittent fasting we’re gonna dive into the physiology of this and really get a clearer understanding of what’s going on and why your anxiety levels go down so much when you’re fast you’re tuned into the Internet’s leading performance nutrition and fat loss channel new videos every single Tuesday Friday and Sunday and a bunch the rest of the week as well make sure you hit that subscribe button also make sure you get that little bell button so you can turn on notifications and know whenever I post a new video or go live okay so let’s go ahead and let’s dive right into this I’m gonna cover this from two different sides I want to cover an overall somewhat subjective study because anxiety can be pretty subjective to begin with I’ll talk about that in a second and then I’m gonna go deep into the inflammation world and talk about a physiological response that could be the solid core to why we suffer from anxiety so the problem with anxiety is it is somewhat subjective okay we know there are certain things that trigger anxiety right like we deal with a tilted glutamate scale where we have too much glutamate in our brain and not enough gaba so we’re anxious and we’re constantly go go go go go we know that there’s different triggers we know that there’s dopamine issues can we know these neurotransmitter responses but we don’t know which came first like what’s actually triggering this and realistically when you go to see a doctor and you get treated for anxiety you get put on a bins of diazepam like xanax or something like that and all that does is basically just blunt those responses it doesn’t actually solve the issue but when we look systemically we can start finding some more things but first things first I want to talk about one study that overall just found that as a rule fasting decreased anxiety this study was published in the Journal of complementary and integrative medicine so this particular study took a look at 48 people and they did 22 days of what’s called dawood fasting ok dawood fasting is where they were essentially fasting not eating or drinking water between sunrise and sunset they this were 22 days but every other day so essentially 11 days of actual fasting now mind you this essentially a form of intermittent fasting because they were only fasting from sunup to sundown okay now what they found at the end of the study was pretty non interesting they did find that subjects that were fasting had a decrease in overall anxiety symptoms and complained less of anxiety by about four point three seven percent that doesn’t sound like much but quite honestly for just a few days of this ultimately that’s a pretty significant reduction now there’s a big glaring problem with this study there’s nothing clinical nothing physiological it was all based on questionnaire and based on habit and behavior and you’ve probably seen my other videos where I actually kind of poo-poo studies like that the reality is this at least give us a general view of things and they did see a big increase in quality of life with these people so there is a subjective note here but it obviously tells us something good but now let’s forget that for a second let’s move into something a little bit more concrete because I’m a data guy and I like physiology okay inflammation and I know you’re getting bored right now because I’m talking about inflammation but inflammation is quite honestly the core of this when it comes down to the physiology response you see one thing we have found is that there is a link with what is called interleukin-1 beta interleukin-1 beta is an inflammatory cytokine okay and it’s directly correlated with anxiety but correlation does not equal causation and some studies try to take a deeper dive into this now one thing they did also find though in general is that people that suffer from metabolic conditions like diabetes or obesity or just being overweight or just having metabolic syndrome in general most of the time suffer from anxiety so there’s sort of this comorbid relationship that’s comorbidity with metabolic issues and anxiety these conditions also have comorbidity with of course inflammation so let’s take a look at this study this particular study was done on mice now before you discredit me because this is a mouse study I want you to understand something a lot of times studies are done on mice because we can get a more profound response and see the way things work before translating this directly into a human clinical setting so it’s a natural first step so don’t hate on the study but it’s still really interesting results from a physiology standpoint so the study found that interleukin-1 beta is gin regulated by something known as caspase-1 okay caspase-1 regulates a lot of different inflammatory cytokines within the body so basically if interleukin-1 beta is related to anxiety then caspase-1 is going to be the director that would dictate whether interleukin-1 beta goes up or down so this study took a look at my set we’re doing 24-hour fasts so what they found at the end of this study is that after 24 hours mice ended up having a pretty significant reduction in caspase-1 activity in fact 35% reduction in the entire brain and 40% reduction specifically in the hypothalamus and 25% reduction in the prefrontal cortex all very very important when it comes down to that interleukin-1 beta but overall anxiety now here’s what’s really wild they found that those that fasted ended up having a 40% reduction in anxiety like behaviors okay so mice will register very OCD type behaviors okay they’ll go do things know repeat patterns and they’ll show anxiety-like behavior or anxious behavior 40% reduction in that just by doing a 24-hour fast that’s significant well they also saw a 31% increase in their object location memory so basically their ability to find an object this is really really important because we saw an improvement in anxiety symptoms but also saw better memory now I don’t know about you but if I get anxious or I’m suffering from anxiety my memory goes out the window so we have a correlation there now here’s where things get wild and where I get nerdy there was no change in interleukin-1 beta okay that kind of contradicts what I was just talking about so they saw that of course there was a decrease in caspase-1 which regulates interleukin-1 beta but no change neither Luke and one beta so what it did is it told us it found out that it was more about the signaling and what regulates inflammation that it was not the inflammation itself that’s really interesting stuff so there’s a direct correlation between being obese or being unhealthy and inflammation but that inflammation isn’t necessarily what triggers anxiety it’s the regulators of that inflammation so it actually gets down more to the core so the point is is that fasting gets down to the core of what would actually heal an inflammatory response or would actually heal ends potentially no why is this happening okay well it probably has something to do with a reduction in what’s called the inflammasome or a reduction of the activity of what’s called the inflammasome which is a series of proteins that trigger inflammation autophagy which is the cellular recycling process that occurs when your fasting has a direct impact on in the inflammasome but also when we’re fasting we have a big production beta-hydroxybutyrate the ketone bodies so these ketones have a big effect on blunting the inflammasome so that could very well be the case we can also take a look at some of the other stuff that links anxiety and fasting and dive a little deeper you see studies have also shown there’s an increase in what’s called brain-derived neurotropic factor now big increases those that fast see an increase on average between 50% and 400% in brain-derived neurotropic factor now you’re going thomas i’m bored to death what does BDNF BDNF is brain fertilizer literally okay that’s a type of protein that actually grows new neurons and creates new synaptic cleft and new synaptic relationships so new new synapses basically forms new bridges between neurons very very key when it comes down to getting smarter when it comes down to our memory on our ability to cope okay so that’s a big increase there okay now let’s take it one step further so there’s a study that was published in the journal Neurology international okay this was really interesting because this took a look at subjects that were fasting for Ramadan okay so they were fasting for religious reasons but they were fasting in an intermittent fashion okay not long-term fasting what they did is they measured a certain number of things BDNF and serotonin at the beginning of the fast 14 days into their intermittent fasting regimen and 29 days into their intermittent fasting regimen well they found some pretty interesting results at 14 days in there was a 14 point 7 percent increase in serotonin that’s what makes you feel good okay and then at 29 days in there was a 43% increase in serotonin okay so 14 at 14 days and 43 percent increase in serotonin that is a huge number and serotonin is what really just makes us have that sense of well-being okay so we have other neurological factors and neurotransmitter factors that are coming into play that’s a short-term fix that can actually help us out a lot and then the BDNF comes in and actually crystallizes what that issue is so if we have a positive change that’s occurring because serotonin uptake is improved or we have more serotonin upregulation okay that’s gonna help us in short term then BDNF comes in and crystallizes that for long term changes so fasting can actually be a potential like healer of anxiety if you fast intermittently for periods of time you will notice that your ability to cope with anxiety improves and it’s not just an ability to cope it’s a true ability to actually fix the issue whether it’s deeply rooted in your subconscious or not your inflammatory response your neurochemical response is just not going to be as intense so anyhow I know you like these mental health videos because obviously it’s a very important part to your lifestyle so if you’ll want to see more of them or you have specific types you want to see put them down in the comment section below and as always I will see you in the next video

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Intermittent Fasting for Anxiety Relief

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Intermittent Fasting for Anxiety Relief – Thomas DeLauer

Anxiety & Inflammation

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses suffered by the general population

Study – Metabolism

Inflammation within the central nervous system (CNS) is frequently comorbid with anxiety – the pro-inflammatory cytokine most commonly associated with anxiety is IL-1β

The bioavailability and activity of IL-1β is regulated by caspase-1-dependent proteolysis vis-a-vis the inflammasome

Thus, interventions regulating the activation or activity of caspase-1 should reduce anxiety especially in states that foster IL-1β maturation


Mouse anxiety-like behavior and cognition were tested using the elevated zero maze and novel object/object location tasks, respectively

A 24 h fast in mice reduced the activity of caspase-1 in whole brain and in the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus by 35%, 25%, 40%, 40%, and 40% respectively

Why This Occurred

Suppression of caspase-1 activity may be due to factors affecting the assembly of the inflammasome complex, such as the effects of fasting on oxidative state

Likewise, autophagy directly targets the inflammasome for destruction and 24 hours of fasting can trigger autophagy in mouse

Similar to glyburide, the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate inhibits the inflammasome by preventing potassium efflux and ketone bodies are elevated by fasting in mice

Thus, the ability of fasting to both reduce IL-1β gene expression and caspase-1 activity, while having no effect on IL-1β protein, could be a sign of both short, and long-term inhibition of IL-1 signaling in the brain.

BDNF & Mood

Mood problems have been linked to issues with neuronal plasticity and low BDNF – BDNF activity occurs in the brain of patients with major depression disorder (MDD)

BDNF Findings

The BDNF levels in the second group were increased significantly by 25% compared to the control group

In addition, the levels of BDNF in the third group were significantly increased compared to second group by 29% and control group by 47%
(Second group = 14th day; third group = 29th day; control group = 2 days before fasting month)

So by the 29th day there was a 47% increase in BDNF compared to 2 days before the fasting month

Serotonin Findings

Plasma serotonin levels in the second group significantly increased by 33.4% when compared to the control group

In addition, the levels of serotonin in the third group were significantly increased compared to the second group by 14.7% and control group by 43.1%


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