The health benefits of intermittent fasting - practiced as a form of calorie restriction - seem to be the flavor of the week. Here's an article from the Independent: "a mounting body of evidence is hinting strongly at the therapeutic value of intermittent fasting - of taking the occasionally day - weekly or monthly, perhaps - off food altogether. Much of that evidence comes from [a] 'quite large body of results' from animal studies. Mattson explains that in laboratory tests, rats and mice on fasting diets tend to live longer, develop fewer cancers and show reduced cognitive decline in ageing compared with animals with continuous access to food. A few recent human studies seem to back up the view that intermittent fasting, and calorie restriction more generally, are fertile areas for healthcare research. ... Studies on animals suggest this is a protective response. At a cellular level, the dearth of food prompts a mild stress reaction. ... We've seen this with brain cells and also liver and heart cells. Mild stress prompts an increase in production of stress-resistant proteins ... Thanks to almost universally encouraging results from animal studies, several are already under way or in the pipeline. It's not inconceivable that in the next few years doctors will be recommending intermittent fasting in the same breath as five-a-day and regular exercise."