Fasting diets may add years to your life as well as help you lose weight, new study suggests

A scale bearing the WW (formerly Weight Watchers) logo is shown in a file photo. (Anne-Marie Jackson/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Fasting may be more than just fad.

New research suggests that people who use the trendy new diets that involve intermittent fasting may actually be adding years to their lives. It turns out the celebrities promoting the lifestyle, like Kourtney Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston, may actually be onto something.

There are several types of intermittent fasting diets, but most involve either limiting food intake to just an 8-hour window or not eating for two days a week.

A new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University shows that this may help the body improve its metabolism, SWNS reports. While many people use the diet simply to lose weight, there might be added benefits.

Professor Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist, has studied the effects of the diet for over two decades (and has been practicing it himself for 20 years).

“We are at a transition point where we could soon consider adding information about intermittent fasting to medical school curricula alongside standard advice about healthy diets and exercise,” Mattson told SWNS.

His findings, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that fasting can trigger “metabolic switching,” and evolutionary adaption. Studies show that aside from helping with metabolism, fasting has also been linked with decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and resting heart rates. It may also help control blood sugar levels, increase resistance to stress and suppress inflammation.

Of course, intermittent fasting has its downside as well.

“Patients should be advised that feeling hungry and irritable is common initially and usually passes after two weeks to a month as the body and brain become accustomed to the new habit,” Mattson explained.

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