Have you ever wondered if there was a way to help our bodies heal with greater speed? In addition to cleansing the liver, colon and kidneys, purifying the blood, flushing out toxins and generally helping us feel lighter clearer and more alive, helping our bodies return to their natural state of health is exactly what fasting does.
Studies Show Benefits Of 3 Day Fasts For System Healing. Here’s what Natural News had to say in a recent article highlighting research on 2 – 4 day fasts:
“As it turns out, prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose, fat and ketones as well as a significant portion of existing white blood cells. In essence, fasting acts as a type of detoxification, clearing out the old so it can be replaced by the new. The researchers say that the result is essentially the formation of a whole new immune system.
Specifically, prolonged fasting helps reduce levels of an enzyme known as PKA, or protein kinase A, which earlier research has found bolsters the regulation of stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency in addition to extending longevity. Prolonged fasting also helps decrease levels of IGF-1, a growth-factor hormone that’s been linked to aging, tumor progression and cancer risk.“
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.
“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.”
Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells. During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.
In trials humans were asked to regularly fast for between two and four days over a six-month period. Scientists found that prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to ageing and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumour growth.
“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system,” added Prof Longo. “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,” Dr Longo said.
“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?”
Fasting for 72 hours also protected cancer patients against the toxic impact of chemotherapy. “While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy,” said co-author Tanya Dorff, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.