Fasting has been reported to improve cognition. Although this may take some time to manifest. The principle of improved memory during fasting is discussed below;
A stomach hormone (Grehlin) that stimulates appetite seems to promote the growth of new brain cells and protect them from the effects of ageing – and may explain why some people say that fasting makes them feel mentally sharper. Animals that have reduced-calorie diets have better mental abilities, and ghrelin might be part of the reason why. Injecting the hormone into mice improves their performance in learning and memory tests, and seems to boost the number of neuron connections in their brains. ghrelin can enhance cognition by stimulating the process of neurogenesis; dividing of brain cells and Young brain cells are thought to enhance the ability to form new memories, because they are more excitable. It was also found that ghrelin protects brain cells in a dish from dying, this suggests that ghrelin, or other chemicals that act the same way, could be used as a treatment for Parkinson’s dementia.
In people, going on a permanent diet of about 25 per cent fewer calories than the daily recommended amount has several benefits to health, such as better control of blood sugar levels.
In an effort to harness some of the health benefits of a calorie-restricted diet, some people are turning to intermittent fasting. It’s likely, for example, that the 5-2 diet, where people eat normally for five days but stick to about 500 calories a day for the other two, raises ghrelin levels.
But Nicolas Kunath of the Technical University of Munich, Germany, points out that new brain cells take a few days to weeks to start working, so people shouldn’t expect fasting to produce immediate effects on their brainpower in this way.
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Reference: New Scientist Magazine