By: Filip Swirski, PhD
New York, NY (February 23, 2023) — Fasting may be detrimental to fighting off infection, and could lead to an increased risk of heart disease, according to a new study by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The research, which focused on mouse models, is among the first to show that skipping meals triggers a response in the brain that negatively affects immune cells. The results that focus on breakfast were published in the February 23 issue of Immunity, and could lead to a better understanding of how chronic fasting may affect the body long term.
“There is a growing awareness that fasting is healthy, and there is indeed abundant evidence for the benefits of fasting. Our study provides a word of caution as it suggests that there may also be a cost to fasting that carries a health risk,” says lead author Filip Swirski, PhD, Director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Icahn Mount Sinai. “This is a mechanistic study delving into some of the fundamental biology relevant to fasting. The study shows that there is a conversation between the nervous and immune systems.”