Intermittent Fasting and Cancer
Intermittent fasting (IF) has been shown to confer several physiological benefits, such as improved glucose regulation, stress resilience, suppression of inflammation, and in relation to cancer, tumor growth inhibition. These benefits can be accomplished through several mechanisms, such as induction of autophagy, mitophagy, autophagic cell death, and changes in the cellular metabolic environment. The nutritional restriction is a promising protocol to modulate autophagy and enhance the efficacy of anticancer therapies while protecting normal cells. IF may offer cancer patients an effective and less toxic adjuvant treatment for cancer. In addition, IF has shown benefits when combined with the use of chemotherapeutic drugs resulting in a decrease in side effects and an increase in the effectiveness of the drugs. This article discusses the evidence in support of dietary restriction, specifically IF, as a tool that may provide physiological and epigenetic benefits in the management of cancer.