Health Benefits of Fasting and Caloric Restriction


Purpose of Review

Obesity and obesity-related diseases, largely resulting from urbanization and behavioral changes, are now of global importance. Energy restriction, though, is associated with health improvements and increased longevity. We review some important mechanisms related to calorie limitation aimed at controlling of metabolic diseases, particularly diabetes.

Recent Findings

Calorie restriction triggers a complex series of intricate events, including activation of cellular stress response elements, improved autophagy, modification of apoptosis, and alteration in hormonal balance. Intermittent fasting is not only more acceptable to patients, but it also prevents some of the adverse effects of chronic calorie restriction, especially malnutrition.


There are many somatic and potentially psychologic benefits of fasting or intermittent calorie restriction. However, some behavioral modifications related to abstinence of binge eating following a fasting period are crucial in maintaining the desired favorable outcomes.

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Correspondence to Ismail Laher.

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Conflict of Interest

Saeid Golbidi, Andreas Daiber, Bato Korac, Huige Li, M. Faadiel Essop, and Ismail Laher declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Diabetes/Cardiovascular Risk

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Golbidi, S., Daiber, A., Korac, B. et al. Health Benefits of Fasting and Caloric Restriction. Curr Diab Rep 17, 123 (2017).

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  • Calorie restriction
  • Diabetes
  • Adipose tissue
  • Oxidative stress