Ketogenic Diet, Intermittent Fasting, Cleanse Protocols and Full Body Detox…sounds like trendy words for some of the most popular recent weight loss trends. But are there more benefits to fasting on the cellular level? If so then is fasting right for everyone and how much or how frequently is overkill?
Nutritionists and many in the healthcare community have long demonized the concept of fasting–purposely depriving the body of food or fluids for a specified time period. New research has recently emerged in support of fasting and with an average time period of 72 hours can actually help in slowing the growth of cancerous tumors.
This new research out of the University of Southern California presents a fascinating discovery, once again bringing the debate to the forefront. The team gathered a group of participants and asked them, in the initial stages, to fast for 2-4 days on a regular basis over a 6-month period. During this time, they witnessed some incredible changes. The participants saw a noticeable decrease in the production of the enzyme PKA, a hormone which has been associated with an increased risk of cancer and tumor growth. Furthermore, the immune system of the participants appeared to get a complete overhaul.
These findings have major implications for the treatment of disease, chronic conditions and even autoimmune disorders and are posing new questions about how we approach cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
Professor Valter Longo, PhD, the researcher of the study expressed his surprise with the study’s findings, stating, “What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So, we started thinking, well, where does it come from?”
He went on to explain: “When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged.”