Scientific Review: 100 years of clinical fasting experience and latest research

Written By Claire C

Dr. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo

Scientific Review: 100 years of clinical fasting experience and latest research


The birds-eye view of this video:

  • This video is a presentation of a review article published in June 2020
  • The article outlines the timeline of fasting research and prevalence 
  • The early 20th century focused on observations of single fasters over long periods of time as well as the effects of fasting in animals
  • The 60s and 70s viewed long term fasting (called the “zero-calorie diet”) as a treatment for morbid obesity
  • The 21st century brought an entirely new perspective, which focused on calorie restriction 
  • More recent studies have shown that fasting occasionally for a day or two can replace a lifetime of extreme calorie restriction in terms of benefits


A few other notes:

  • The expert: Dr. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, Director of Research at Buchinger Wilhelmi
  • Dr. Wilhelmi de Toldeo started fasting over 50 years ago, when she was only 17 years old
  • In the early stages of her career, she found it very difficult to find people who understood the benefits of fasting in humans
  • She has worked for decades to bring attention to the health benefits of fasting, including benefits for those without any preexisting conditions 
  • Some of these benefits include positive mood changes, increased energy, and weight loss


Want to learn more:


Youtube description:

New scientific publication of the world leading fasting clinics Buchinger Wilhelmi documents the diverse health-promoting effects of fasting: Fasting, especially intermittent fasting, is currently the subject of numerous scientific publications. The review “Unravelling the health effects of fasting: a long road from obesity treatment to healthy life span increase and improved cognition” published recently in the journal Annals of Medicine explores the positive effects of fasting in animals and humans in detail. The focus is above all on long-term fasting (5, 10, 15, 20 days or more) as practiced at the Buchinger Wilhelmi clinics. The key mechanism of fasting is the metabolic switch from absorbing glucose supplied by food intake to utilizing ketones and the body’s own fat deposits. This switch goes hand in hand with a change in the genetic programme of humans: If there is no food intake for more than 12-16 hours, genetic signaling pathways are either deactivated or activated to trigger fasting mode.

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