This study that was just reported appears to show that fasting for two to three days boosts the immune system. This might not sound like much at first blush but the immune system is responsible for fighting infections, fighting cancer and when it goes awry, it causes autoimmune diseases like arthritis, allergies, colitis, and many others. This phenomena also seems to effect an enzyme, PKA, which causes aging.
In the past studies have shown that those who eat less age more slowly. It has to do with the oxidation of the foods we eat and the free radical electrons created that help cause aging. This might be something to think about. We eat to live. We don’t live to eat!
Fasting for two or three days helps boost the immune system, according to a study.
So far, health experts and nutritionists have advised against starving and dry fasting usually practiced for dieting and detoxification purposes. The University of Southern California researchers found fasting for two or three days increases body’s resistivity against infections by inducing stem cells to produce new white blood cells. These findings are helpful devising treatments to restore immunity in cancer survivors after chemotherapy and weak elderly people, reports the Telegraph.
For the study, participants were instructed to fast for two to four days over a six-month period. It observed that fasting brought down the levels of enzyme PKA that is related to aging and increasing cancer risk and growth of tumors. In cancer patients, 72 hours of fasting staved the harmful side-effects of chemotherapy.
The study explained fasting triggers responses in the body that act as a ‘regenerative switch’, which signals stem cells to recreate WBCs and rejuvenate the entire immune system. Starving for longer durations makes our body utilize glucose, energy, fat and also breaks down existing WBCs. This process creates the need for the production of new WBCs and also eliminates nonfunctioning or damaged parts.
“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system,” said Valter Longo, study author and Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California, reports the Telegraph.
“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,”
The authors believe although chemotherapy aids recovery after cancer, it significantly harms the body and simple technique like fasting can bring down its damages on health. They believe in investigating further to note the positive effects of fasting on organs and other systems apart from the immune system.
“More clinical studies are needed, and any such dietary intervention should be undertaken only under the guidance of a physician,” said co-author Tanya Dorff, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.
Jun 06, 2014 08:44 AM EDT
By Vanishree Bhatt
Joel 2:12 “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
The Bible tells us to fast! It must be a good thing for us!