Skip to comments.Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system, study finds
Posted on 06/17/2014 12:49:38 PM PDT by Phillyred
Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as "remarkable". Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection. Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy. It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases. The researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system. Related Articles Bosses should allow staff afternoon naps at work to boost productivity, scientists say 05 Jun 2014 Sleeping with light on increases risk of obesity 30 May 2014 Watching pornography damages men's brains 29 May 2014 Retirement is liberating Im learning to foxtrot 08 Jun 2014 Clients not wedded to Ayesha Vardags big day 08 Jun 2014 Why brights are big this season - and how to wear them 08 Jun 2014 "It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California. "And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting. Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system."
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
and give you the Runs when start to eat again
I proved this to myself on a recent trip from Illinois to Orlando where four of the five people in our party cycled the intestinal flu. I immediately stopped eating, drank water the first day and green juices the second day. By the third day I ate a salad in the evening and made it home without incident.
I am certain that is what saved me!
Something tells me that such a strategy may cause more problems than it solves.
One day, ok.
Two days, I’m wobbling.
I don’t think I could do three days.
Does this also work for the booze-only for three days regimen? Or does it have to be water-only?
In ancient China, the custom was that ministers or advisors with something very important to discuss with the Emperor (assuming not an emergency) would fast for 3 days, bathe, and then go to see the Emperor.
If I can stay in bed for the three days...maybe.
Looks like this article shared space with articles on
‘Bosses should allow staff afternoon naps’
‘Sleeping with light on increases risk of obesity’
‘Retirement is liberating ‘
‘Im learning to foxtrot’
And a few other fluff articles of no importance whatsoever.
If I went for 3 days without eating I would die from a screaming bad headache caused by low blood sugar.
well, fasting is actually biblical, that other stuff you mentioned not so much.
3 day Budweiser fast? :-)
indeed... same method here.
3 days to rebuild the temple.
Pretty easy to ‘fast’ on chemo.
Worth the experiment, but I was thinking more along the lines of clear liquids.
if you have a high metabolism, fasting is ill advised, but for people above 50 or with very low metabolics, it makes sense... 3 days is no big deal.
There’s no such thing as “intestinal flu” or “stomach flu”. Flu is a viral infection that affects the whole body, and last several days to a week. What people call “stomach flu” is really just food poisoning.
It might be moderated with sugared drinks like Gatorade, not going overboard of course.
Survival training in Pensacola FL at AOCS, you went out day one, no food, day two no food, day three you packed it in and returned in time for evening chow.
We all heaped our plates, hungry as can be. A few mouthfuls and our shrunken stomachs were full.
Fasting can be entertaining, headaches, weakness, lethargy, the pre-occupation of the mind with something good to eat. You drink a lot of water, we had chlorine pills to “sanitize” what we were drinking, you just did it.
I think fasting for a reason—health, would not hurt anyone.
Coming off of a 72 hour or so fast guarantees you could order a kid’s meal and not finish it.
Well the germs can be ingested in other manners than their being in food.
Starving to life, eh?
I went 3 weeks without eating a couple of years ago.
Didn’t do me any visible good.
>>Theres no such thing as intestinal flu or stomach flu. Flu is a viral infection that affects the whole body, and last several days to a week. What people call stomach flu is really just food poisoning.
I had Norovirus last fall. It only affected the digestive system and it affected that BIG TIME! Lasted for 3 days.
Call me a purist, but I don't consider that really fasting.
There are evangelical groups who advocate doing a 40-day fast. I think it borders on legalism and fleshly pride, especially when they write a book about it.
What would this do to people with autoimmune diseases. Or would people be more likely to develop autoimmune diseases after fasting?
I’m having a very difficult time believing this, but who knows....
I’m not very old, and during my time I’ve heard of results from so many “studies” indicating so many things, it’s all just noise to me.
We can be sure there will be another study indicating the opposite sometime. There should be a STUDY that investigates how often the results of these studies turn out to be true. Now that would be really interesting.
They could also do computer models that predict the results of future studies!
True, but when people talk about “stomach flu”, they are talking about a short term illness that is mostly confined to the digestive tract. In the vast majority of cases, that’s due to food poisoning, which is bacterial in nature, and has nothing to do with the flu. But “stomach flu” sounds much better than Salmonella.
They sure won’t be emitting any greenhouse gasses.
so the people in Ethiopia should be extremely healthy
just feels like more spin from the 0bama commies that have been pushing the ‘do with less’ attitude (if you’re use to less then you won’t notice the crapped out economy)
I’ve done quite a few weeklong fasts over the years with the longest one being 9 days....ate no food but drank as much water and pure grape juice as I wanted (typically a gallon of grape juice a day). I also exercised at a fairly high level throughout the fasts running 5 to 10 miles per day. I wasn’t particularly overweight for any of these fasts or doing it to lose weight but I did of course do that dramatically to the extent that everyone used to say “you can’t possible lose that much weight that quickly and have it good for you”. I’ve never found a fast to be that hard to do and I always was left with the sense that it was beneficial once it was over i.e. just the idea of ‘cleaning out one’s system so thoroughly. I mostly did my fasts during university days but was thinking about this recently when one of my brothers in laws ended up in the hospital with a ruptured colon and sepsis .slowly recovering but he will never be the same and I think it safe to say that regular fasts would have been quite helpful for him. When I saw this article a week or so ago, I made the decision to do at least a 4 day fast before the end of June .its been over ten years since I last did one and my motivation is to see if I can reverse the effects of a small patch of psoriasis on my one arm that has been persistent and wont go away. Essentially, I can see how the reboot of the immune system is quite possible and this would be worthwhile to try for that reason.
The headache it would give me would be a BIG deal. I have always been that way, I tried a vegetarian diet a few years ago and that was a disaster. I need meat/protein and I need it often.
You would be a sadder Budweiser man...
In general, how well you handle an extended fast seems to be related to how quickly your body converts to using your own body's reserved for energy, as opposed to energy from regular meals. And it seems that people who fast on a fairly regular basis can make that change more quickly, alleviating the many of the problems most people experience.
Keep in mind that that going long periods between meals is the norm in nature, not the exception. Humans are unique in that their ability to gather, store, grow and harvest their foods allows them to eat on a very regular basis.
You really should read the whole story. They are specific in the length of fast about which they are talking. Their studies showed that a 2-4 day fast generally resulted in the body reducing the number of white blood cells (conserving energy due to the fast, etc.) Then, when the subjects began eating again, the body had to create new white blood cells, which "renewed" the immune system.
Obviously, this does not apply to cases of chronic and extreme starvation. You may disagree with the conclusion these researchers propose, but your comment does nothing to add value to the conversation.
When you fast from Chinese food, you feel full an hour later.
These day I fast every other day or about 30 hours at a time.
I do this because I want to lose weight but I’m not good at portion control.
I’ve dropped about 25 pounds in the last year with this technique.
Two years ago, I would fast for two consecutive days a week or about 55 hours. I dropped 20 pounds with that method. But I found that by the second day of the fast I began to get weak and I didn’t work very well—so I switched to every other day.
I eat when I feel weak. I’ll usually start with a piece of chocolate and honey. I’m instantly rejuvenated. Food for the rest of the day tastes good.
On fast days I drink a lot of water and tea.
I like the body’s first reaction to hunger which is to become much more alert. Fasting feels like it sets off a different system in the body. The system is so different and complete that I don’t think the body is actually designed for three squares a day. But rather, the body is designed for intermittent eating. That is, while for most people, the hunter gatherer days are a couple of millenniums in the past — our bodies are still designed for a hunter gatherer world.
Likely a perfect diet would be a paleo diet with intermittent fasts.
Throughout our evolution our ancestors went from feast to famine. It would not surprise me that some of our body processes are dependent on starvation to kick the. Off. Modern Americans never go without, constantly eating like hogs being prepped for slaughter.
I myself have been thinking of undergoing a 2 day fast for a couple of months now.
I have two pieces of advice for ANYONE who wants to try this stunt:
1) Make sure you’re healthy - if not (i.e., diabetes comes to mind, but probably lots of other conditions), then make sure a doctor knows about it (and then tells you to come to your senses).
2) Assuming healthy, then DO NOT, under any condition, tell your doctor what you’re doing, or you will be taken out in a STRAIGHT-JACKET, and held involuntarily for as long as legally allowed while the shrinks try to figure out why you have such a DEATH WISH.
p.s., I’ve gone 9 days with only water a couple of times, and many times 5 days and beyond - and no, I never told a doc. I love it.
“I proved this to myself on a recent trip from Illinois to Orlando “
When you fast (according to the article) your white cell count goes down meaning you are less able to fight off disease. You didn’t get a stomach ache because you didn’t eat the bad food!
Worth the experiment, but I was thinking more along the lines of clear liquids.
Uh, he did say "budweiser", so what's the problem?
Yeah, there is that.
1. Is coffee allowed on this fasting thing?
2. Are cream filled doughnuts allowed?
oh, was there a conversation?
do the researchers respond to you?
Dr Longo does appear to be legit.