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Intermittent Fasting: Therapeutic Mechanisms and Clinical Applications

Online Course
Up to 1.0 CME Credit
  • Only the CME/CE option is eligible for commensurate CME/CE or CPD credits, CME option can be purchased for an additional $10.
  • Base tuition for this program is $50. Automatic discounts, including membership pricing, have already been applied for logged in users. More Info

Fasting for medical purposes has long been a tradition in many cultures and is an established therapeutic approach in integrative and functional medicine. Over the years, many different forms of fasting have been developed to support the treatment of specific chronic conditions. Intermittent Fasting: Therapeutic Mechanisms and Clinical Applications is an introductory course that explores the health benefits of various fasting methods and their clinical appropriateness for specific patient types.

This course provides a balanced overview of the primary therapeutic mechanisms of action, levels of evidence, potential contraindications, and implementation approaches for several fasting methods, including:

  • Intermittent Fasting
  • Alternate-Day Fasting
  • Prolonged Fasting Routine
  • Time-Restricted Eating
  • Intermittent Energy Restriction (subtypes 5:2 and modified alternate-day fasting)

There are many different ways to fast, and each patient may have a different response. This course is designed to help clinicians be able to confidently use fasting as a therapeutic tool for improving health outcomes.

Additional Information

What Clinicians Will Learn

By the end of this brief course, clinicians will be able to:

  • Define several intermittent fasting approaches.
  • Identify potential benefits of intermittent fasting.
  • Define autophagy and ketosis.
  • Differentiate clinical indications and contraindications for intermittent fasting.
  • Advise clients considering intermittent fasting.
  • Assess the scope and limitations of emerging evidence.

Who Should Take This Course?

Therapeutic fasting is a useful clinical tool for enhancing health and well-being. This course is intended for licensed healthcare practitioners who give nutrition advice to patients and want to learn more about personalizing a fasting regimen within the functional medicine framework. Fasting can be applied within the scope of practice of many care providers such as:
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Nutrition professionals (RD, CNS, CN, and others with advanced degrees from accredited universities)
  • Pharmacists
  • Physician assistants
  • Physicians (MDs, NDs, DOs, DCs)
  • Registered nurses
This course provides the evidence-base and clinical applications of intermittent fasting. Having awareness of the therapeutic benefits of intermittent fasting is important for clinicians at all levels. This introductory course provides a foundational overview of the characteristics of several fasting routines. We encourage you to share this course with other colleagues in your field.

CME/CE Information

The CME/CE option is intended for clinicians who need to fulfill continuing education requirements. If you do not need CME/CE credits, you may purchase the non-CME option.

IFM is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


IFM is accredited by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) to provide Nutrition Professional Continuing Education (NPCE) credits for Certified Nutrition Specialists® (CNS®).

MD/DO: The Institute for Functional Medicine designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CNS: IFM designates this activity for a maximum of 1.0 NPCE Credit.

ND: Generally, state naturopathic boards accept courses accredited through the ACCME.

Nursing Professional: The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) accept contact hours approved through ACCME.

PA: The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts contact hours approved through ACCME.

RD: The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) accepts contact hours approved through ACCME.

Other: For information on applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board or other credentialing organization regarding the acceptance of contact hours through ACCME-accredited organizations.

Release and Termination Date

Release Date: April 15, 2023
Last Reviewed Date: February 16, 2023
Termination Date: February 16, 2026

Course Access and Expiration

Course Delivery
  • Your course will be delivered electronically to your online account directly upon purchase.
  • You will have access to the course for 60 days from the date of purchase.
Return Policy
Cancellation Request Received Eligible Refund
*After purchase No Refund
*Given the nature of digital items, refunds or credits on this purchase are not permitted.