I watched this documentary, close to it being released and stumbled upon it again today. Actually had a note somewhere, that I should share it on my blog along with some comments. As I have been following a form of intermittent fasting, for the last 2½ years, it always captures my interest when studies concerning this subject are released.
It is a documentary designed to keep the viewer interested, along with the dilemmas and tough realizations, the main character has to get through. But overall it is an interesting watch.
The following might be spoilers, but they are a few short comments on the content of the documentary.
He finds some quite interesting relations between calorie restriction and longevity. But in my opinion he needs to shed some more light on whether calorie restriction and longevity is related to overall lower body weight or is all the benefits related to the lower bodyfat levels. Meaning that, would a person with more muscle mass and thereby higher body weight have the same health markers as a lighter person with lower body weight as long as they had the same body fat levels?
Also somewhat related to the above – he mentions high intakes of protein as being bad, since this keeps our body in the “go-mode”, as he calls it. But will the offset of having fasting days counterbalance this and make for a healthy way of gaining muscle mass? It is of course very training specific, and this documentary is made more aimed at the general public, but still interesting.
What I also find really interesting, is towards the end of the documentary, where he finds the relation between fasting and mental health. Studies on mouse have found that when they fast, they generate new neural pathways in the brain and repair the old ones. This is not yet documented on humans, but as the scientist says; it would make rather good sense from an evolutionary standpoint, since when you are hungry, you would easier survive, if you could remember the good places to get food, or find new ways to get it.
All in all, there are some interesting theories on longevity and the factors that affect it. Not that many of them being positive in the light of athletes, since they will pretty much do the exact opposite. But this is also where I feel the documentary falls kind of short. It is clearly aimed at the general public, but the conclusions are still food for thought.
In the future I will write some posts on my implementation of intermittent fasting, since I by now have quite a lot of experience with it. Especially in the light of keeping and gaining muscle mass.