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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT INTESTINAL HEALTH

April 2020

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT INTESTINAL HEALTH

Dr Ursula Muntean-Rock and Dr Karin Hamböck provide answers to frequently asked questions about intestinal health. Read on to learn about the positive effects of dinner cancelling and intermittent fasting, how cell renewal through fasting works and why you should chew slowly and thoroughly when eating.  

Dr Ursula Muntean-Rock I Head physician

Dr Karin Hamböck I Deputy Head Physician

DINNER CANCELLING AS A LIGHT FORM OF FASTING IS BECOMING MORE POPULAR. WHAT IS IT?

Dr. Ursula Muntean-Rock: Dinner cancelling is a popular strategy that people use to achieve a better quality of life. This is because anyone who periodically abstains from eating any solid food after 5.00 p.m. doesn’t just keep their weight in check, but also strengthens their powers of self-healing and slows down the ageing process. The digestive system is relieved, the nutrients can be better absorbed and all this has a positive effect on our immune system and the body’s defences. Dinner cancelling is also a sound strategy for weight loss. And you really don’t need to deprive yourself of food every single evening. Fasting induces stress on the body. Slight hypoglycemia occurs during the night. In the first instance, this aids weight loss and stimulates the pituitary gland to disburse growth hormones in the early morning hours. This, in turn, slows down the ageing process.

 

DOES INTERMITTENT FASTING WORK?

Dr. Karin Hamböck: : Intermittent fasting involves changing your eating rhythm. So you can eat over a period of 8 hours and then fast for around 16 hours. Depending on your daily routine, these breaks from eating could start at 5.00 p.m. and last all night, as they would if you were to observe the practice of dinner cancelling. People who routinely work evenings and nights would need to work out their period of fasting for themselves.

 

FASTING ALSO STIMULATES CELL RENEWAL. HOW DOES THAT WORK?

Dr. Ursula Muntean-Rock: Scientific research is increasingly focusing on the cell renewal process triggered by fasting. This so-called autophagy (from the Greek “autophagous” - consuming itself) plays a vital role in various diseases and also in the aging process. During fasting, the cell can ‘clean up’ and ‘declutter’ itself. This process begins after just 16 hours of no food intake (skipping dinner or having a pure base bouillon in the evening). It has an anti-aging effect on the cell. The renowned Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi received the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his research in 2016 on this topic. Autophagy is also the subject of very active research at the Karl Franzens University in Graz. Here Dr Frank Madeo believes eating as soon as the feeling of being hungry appears to be one of the main problems of modern Western nutrition. People often lose confidence in their own bodies. And this is what needs to be regained.

ATTENTIVE, SLOW EATING AND THOROUGH CHEWING IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF A HEALTHY DIET. WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

Dr. Karin Hamböck: Careful, slow eating and good chewing stimulates the flow of saliva, which then produces digestive enzymes. Thereby, the body can better absorb important nutrients. These small measures can already alleviate digestive complaints. So our advice is to take your time, eat slowly and chew well. Also abstain from drinking anything while eating. These tempt you to chew less and wash down your food only semi-chewed. For a good digestive performance, it is best not to drink anything 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after eating.

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