YOUR LIFE YOUR HEALTH

Utah Study Shows Fasting 24 Hours Once A Month Increases Longevity

Dec 6, 2019, 9:44 PM | Updated: Dec 18, 2019, 10:08 am

LEHI, Utah Eating the right foods to be healthy at any age is important, but sometimes not eating can also be beneficial for our health and longevity.

One Lehi man made a life-changing goal after receiving some scary news.

Johnny Revill practices a daily intermittent fasting routine. It all began last spring when he was out of town with his wife. He went to the hospital because he had pneumonia.

While he was there, the doctor delivered more bad news. “I found out that… I was Type 2 diabetic,” Revill said.

At age 46, Revill said he was shocked. “It was earth-shattering news to find out,” he said. “My life kind of flashed before my eyes, you know? We have five kids.”

Johnny Revill and his wife are the parents of five kids. He said when he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, his life flashed before his eyes.

His A1C level was at 9.6.

Revill said the diagnosis started to make sense.

“I didn’t feel right. I wasn’t very healthy. I was severely overweight, had no energy,” he said.

When he got home, he started taking medication for his diabetes but said it didn’t make him feel very good. His doctor encouraged him to meet with a dietician.

When he saw her, Revill asked, “What do I need to do? I’m willing to do whatever because I don’t want this … to limit me. I don’t want my life cut short from this.”

The dietician suggested he start fasting for several hours each day.

At first, he was hesitant. “That’s not a good word. That means I go without food, you know?” But he was willing to give it a try.

Revill now skips breakfast and doesn’t eat lunch until noon. Then he said he fasts for eight hours, until dinner at 8 p.m., and doesn’t eat again until the next day at noon.

His mom, Renita Revill, was intrigued and also jumped on board. They call each other to check up on one another throughout the week.

“How you been doing? I’m struggling today,” Renita Revill said.

“It helps to have that kind of accountability with somebody,” Johnny Revill added.

Renita Revill said she has been on Metformin for years and was in the early phases of becoming pre-diabetic. She also wanted to take her health in her own hands. She said the intermittent fasting regimen isn’t as hard as it sounds.

Johnny Revill said he cut out refined carbohydrates and sugars from his diet and focuses on eating lots of healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and lean meats.

”You don’t seem to have any hunger pains or cravings or anything until you eat,” she said.

Intermountain Healthcare’s Dr. Benjamin Horne, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute, said people don’t have to fast every day to reap the benefits.

In a recent Utah-based study conducted by Intermountain Healthcare, Horne found people who fasted just once a month for 24 hours lived longer than those who did not.

In the study, researchers asked 2,001 Intermountain cardiac catheterization patients if they practiced routine intermittent fasting. When they followed up with those patients 4.5 years later, they found those who did had increased longevity.

“Those who said ‘yes,’ had a lower rate of coronary disease and also diabetes diagnosis,” Horne said. He also found that people who fasted regularly were less likely to be diagnosed with heart failure.

He said the average person in the study had been fasting routinely for about 42 years, nearly two-thirds of their lifespan.

Horne said fasting monthly conditions the body to produce a daily benefit when fasting overnight. He said the in the average person, it takes about 12 to 14 hours before the benefits of fasting are activated. But for someone who fasts for 24 hours once a month, those benefits start activating after only eight to 10 hours on a normal day.

“A small amount of benefit of a powerful factor like fasting builds up over a period of decades as well,” he said.

Horne said Intermountain Healthcare is in a unique position to conduct a study like this since Utah has a large demographic of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who typically fast for two consecutive meals once a month.

Within 90 days of starting his fasting regimen, Johnny Revill lost 30 pounds and got off his diabetes medications. He said he was also thrilled to learn his blood sugar levels dramatically decreased in just three months. His A1C level dropped to 5.9.

“I got emotional, then she got emotional.” Johnny Revill said. “I couldn’t tell you even how happy I was!”

Horne encouraged anyone interested in fasting regularly to consult their doctor before beginning, especially if you have a chronic illness like diabetes where medications are given that deliberately lower blood sugar levels.

“You should be cautious. Talk to your physician because fasting lowers blood sugar as well. And you can potentially get serious hypoglycemia, which can be dangerous for your health,” he warned.

He also cautioned pregnant and nursing mothers, young children and frail older adults to not fast and warned people that fasting isn’t designed to be a rapid weight-loss diet.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Your Life Your Health

UVU Homecoming festivities and Women’s Soccer vs. New Mexico on the campus of Utah Valley Univers...
Ayanna Likens

How you can help prevent injuries as students get back into fall sports

As kids returned to classrooms this week, they are also returning to fall sports – one Intermountain doctor shares tips on how to keep your kids healthy as they return to the field.
21 hours ago
New mom Michelle Jackson had problems breastfeeding little Jason so she called a lactation consulta...
Ayanna Likens

Some moms struggle with breastfeeding, here are some helpful tips

August is breastfeeding awareness month, and for some mothers who want to breastfeed, it doesn’t come easy. Intermountain Healthcare shares some tips on how to help.
8 days ago
...
Ayanna Likens

Three healthy back-to-school lunches using the same ingredients

Chef Christopher Delissio with Intermountain shares three healthy lunches to put in your kid’s school lunch box, all using the same ingredients.
14 days ago
Dr. Randa Tao is the lead researcher on the study at the Huntsman Cancer Institute....
Jed Boal

Researchers find patients with specific cancer at higher risk for mental health issues

New research out of Huntsman Cancer Institute reveals that Hodgkin lymphoma patients and survivors are more likely to suffer from mental health and substance abuse disorders than the general population.
16 days ago
5-year-old Elodie gets immunized before she begins kindergarten. (KSL TV)...
Ayanna Likens

Utah doctor talks about how important vaccinations are for kids heading back to school

School is just around the corner and if you have kids entering kindergarten or seventh grade, that means it’s time to get them immunized.
22 days ago
Hillary Ramone's son Parker stops for a water break while at the park....
Ayanna Likens

Proper hydration is about more than just drinking water

Intermountain doctors share tips on how to keep you and your kids hydrated in Utah’s high heat.
28 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Utah Study Shows Fasting 24 Hours Once A Month Increases Longevity