Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

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Chad
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Chad » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:26 pm

jennypenny wrote:
"The Fast Mimicking Diet involves five days of limited caloric intake each month. On the first day of dieting the user consumes 1090 calories divided into 10% protein, 56% fat, and 34% carbohydrate. For the next 4 days the diet is made up of 725 calories with 9% protein, 44% fat, and 47% carbohydrate. In the study, the food used included vegetable soup, kale crackers, and chamomile tea"
Thanks. I'm going to have to look into this more. What does a 1% protein drop do? I wonder if it's more the calories.

Also, when does your body start to act like it's fasting? On day 5 or on day 1? If it takes longer to get into fasting mode with the very low cal diet I would just rather go all in on the fasting and be done with it.

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Dragline
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Dragline » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:54 pm

If you want to know all about calorie restriction generally, the CR Society has a lot of resources: http://www.crsociety.org/

On fasting, you will get to the full-blown experience starting on Day 3 of a water fast. You won't be hungry any more and the fuzzy head will go away. Your joints will all feel weirdly loosened, too, as inflammation flat-lines. If you have any respiratory congestion, it will all go away.

For a blast from the past about this, read the first section of this book, circa 1900: http://www.bernarrmacfadden.com/fasting ... ercise.pdf

Note also Chapter II, which is about the effectiveness of an eating only at one time during the day.

Mark Twain also wrote about it and noted the two day onset. See http://www.twainquotes.com/Bradley/PhysicalCulture.html for a retrospective from 1919.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by bryan » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:17 am

Can't recall if I've ever fasted for 72+ (or even 48) hours. Maybe I'll try it. so it's just water, right? no added honey, salt, or spices or anything? vitamins?

I do regularly seem to go without eating for 24 hours or so. Don't record these things but probably a few times a month. And for some reason, I'm almost never hungry on Sundays.

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Dragline
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Dragline » Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:28 am

Yes. You can ingest salt, coffee, tea or anything without calories, but I would not consume anything carbonated. And the second day really sucks both physically and mentally, so don't plan to be doing much of anything. Once your body decides "there ain't going to be any food any time soon", things get better.

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Chad
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Chad » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:59 am

@Dragline
I'm interested in doing fasting/calorie restriction for 4-5 days 3-4 times a year, but the CR Society is probably a little too extreme for me. Though, they have a lot of resources on their site.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by jennypenny » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:23 am

Chad wrote:
jennypenny wrote:
"The Fast Mimicking Diet involves five days of limited caloric intake each month. On the first day of dieting the user consumes 1090 calories divided into 10% protein, 56% fat, and 34% carbohydrate. For the next 4 days the diet is made up of 725 calories with 9% protein, 44% fat, and 47% carbohydrate. In the study, the food used included vegetable soup, kale crackers, and chamomile tea"
Thanks. I'm going to have to look into this more. What does a 1% protein drop do? I wonder if it's more the calories.
I would guess the lower carb count on day 1 is to throw your body into ketosis. The higher fat/protein % probably helps curb the hunger.

Dragline wrote:On fasting, you will get to the full-blown experience starting on Day 3 of a water fast. You won't be hungry any more and the fuzzy head will go away. Your joints will all feel weirdly loosened, too, as inflammation flat-lines. If you have any respiratory congestion, it will all go away.
Weird things can happen, too. Once when I was ill, I went 21 days without consuming anything (even water). By day 14, I had gone beyond fantasizing about food to thoughts of eating anything I could reach from the hospital bed. I remember staring longingly at the cotton balls in the room and wondering what they tasted like.


I hadn't made the connection between my past experience and my current struggle doing IF and the WD. Maybe it's psychological and I need to disconnect from those memories.

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Chad
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Chad » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:19 am

jennypenny wrote:
Chad wrote:
jennypenny wrote:
"The Fast Mimicking Diet involves five days of limited caloric intake each month. On the first day of dieting the user consumes 1090 calories divided into 10% protein, 56% fat, and 34% carbohydrate. For the next 4 days the diet is made up of 725 calories with 9% protein, 44% fat, and 47% carbohydrate. In the study, the food used included vegetable soup, kale crackers, and chamomile tea"
Thanks. I'm going to have to look into this more. What does a 1% protein drop do? I wonder if it's more the calories.
I would guess the lower carb count on day 1 is to throw your body into ketosis. The higher fat/protein % probably helps curb the hunger.
The protein % change just seems arbitrary. You can't really even measure your protein intake, or any macro intake, this exactly. Dropping your protein intake by 1% when you drop your calories from 1090 to 725 only changes the total calories from protein by 7.25 calories.

The carb count is actually lower after day 1, because it's pulling from less calories. I'm not sure someone would even go into ketosis, as the total carb calories are 370 and 340 (after day 1). This works out to 92g and 85g of carbs per day, as each carb is roughly 4 calories. Most studies suggest lower carbs are needed to enter ketosis, but at the very least this is at the higher range for entering ketosis.

Just seems oddly specific. Of course, there could be a reason, but if there is I don't see how one could duplicate this level of precision without just using something like Soylent. Even then the precision would be shaky.

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Dragline
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Dragline » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:17 am

Chad wrote:@Dragline
I'm interested in doing fasting/calorie restriction for 4-5 days 3-4 times a year, but the CR Society is probably a little too extreme for me. Though, they have a lot of resources on their site.
Oh, its too extreme for me, too, in practice. But it is the analog of ERE for this kind of thing.

It even creates it's own cognitive dissonance for people because people don't believe its possible or claim that these folks can't possibly be healthy or happy.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by jennypenny » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:23 am

It looks like the paper with the specific diets that were tested is coming out in June. I'll try and remember to look for it. In the abstract, it definitely says "low protein, high carb" which seems incongruous with the other information. Maybe it has something to do with net carbs and not just carbs?

In the meantime, here are some other free articles on the subject. There are lots of interesting references/articles buried in these that I haven't read yet.

Dietary restriction with and without caloric restriction for healthy aging

Of Mice and Men: The Benefits of Caloric Restriction, Exercise, and Mimetics*

Meal frequency and timing in health and disease


*Interesting quote from this one ... "Nonetheless, CR [calorie restriction] is able to delay aging processes that result in an increase of both mean and maximum lifespan, whereas exercise primarily increases healthspan. "

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:40 am

I fast 5 days a week most of the year (1 meal per day in the evening). In general my day-to-day health is pretty good, it's been many years (decades) since I've had enough of a cold/flu to have a fever or miss time at work. I do have eye problems that cause me to miss work occasionally (days where I just can't see myself going in to work). I did wind up having my gallbladder plucked out a few years back.

No idea if either of those are related to habitual/frequent fasting, or even if what I do meets the technical definition of fasting. It certainly does not feel like fasting since I'm quite well adapted to it.

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BRUTE
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by BRUTE » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:10 pm

Chad wrote:Just seems oddly specific. Of course, there could be a reason, but if there is I don't see how one could duplicate this level of precision without just using something like Soylent. Even then the precision would be shaky.
in brute's opinion, the precision in Soylent is imaginary. just because a machine weighed it to a milligram doesn't mean the human digestive system is going to absorb exactly that amount.

brute currently does WD-style fasting with roughly 1 - 1.5 meals a day. mostly out of convenience.

one of the major drawbacks of soylent was actually that it is hard to ingest all of it in a single sitting. one can do it, but because everything is a powder, it's not advised because it would likely flush right through without getting absorbed at all. soylent humans are really into "sipping it slowly over the course of the day", which brute finds a terrible idea both from a convenience and metabolic standpoint.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by enigmaT120 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:49 pm

I think it's kind of odd to call it fasting if you are eating every day, even if only once. If I ate 3 meals a day, am I fasting in between them and all night?

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Dragline
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Dragline » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:06 pm

You may wish to consider the origins of the word "breakfast".

But I agree that we are really mostly talking about the multi-day variety here where you stop being hungry entirely.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by DSKla » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:26 pm

I do pretty much what brute does with regards to eating: a meal a day, occasionally 1.5-2, but I feel like crap if I ever eat breakfast. Today I fasted 22 hours completely out of convenience, without considering the time until I ate a meal and realized it had been nearly a day. Might try the 3-5 day water fast mentioned above. I wouldn't do it regularly, but showing your body it's possible to go wothout food for a few days could be beneficial as a proof of concept, and in terms of antifragility.

@enigma I'd probably draw the official "fasting" line at the point that your body gets into ketosis, which will definitely happen, at least briefly, at one meal per day assuming you're somewhat adapted to the state. Granted a raging diabetic could start eating one meal a day and probably not get there for days or weeks, depending on what that meal consisted of. Peeing on a keto strip would be an easy test to determine whether or not you were fasting at the moment.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by DSKla » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:35 am

I ended up running the extended fast experiment. When it comes to the human body, I care very little for all the scientific studies, except as a jumping off point, because there is so much individual variation that I've found the n=1 experiment is the only one that should concern me. Is fasting good? Bad? Screw it, I gave it a try. My goal was four days, or 96 hours.

Going in, I expected something like this: day 1, easy, due to using the warrior diet a lot, and having accidentally hit 24 hours with no problem in the past. Day 2, brutal adjustment, lots of hunger. Day 3, some hunger, but settled from day 2. Day 4, worse than day 3 and would get progressively harder from there on out.

The results were actually very surprising and interesting. First, some background on fasting. I have read that the ancient Greek Hippocratic doctors like to fast just about everyone, and they believed in something called the "healing crisis." Upon fasting 4-7 days, whatever plagued you (hippies would call them toxins, the Greeks would have just considered it the underlying illness, we can assume something like undischarged waste accumulations) would come to the surface in the form of a short, pronounced illness, an hour of darkness so to speak, then leave the body.

My experience more or less reflected that. Day 1 was a cakewalk. Day 2 was WAY easier than I thought. I figured it would be the worst day, but the fact that I didn't expect food seemed to kill any hunger pangs. I truly had no hunger, though at one time I thought of eating out of boredom, then realized I wasn't hungry, just bored. I was also extremely productive since I didn't need to acquire food, cook it, and eat it, and because I was staving off boredom instead of hunger.

Day 3 is where some symptoms materialized. I never get sick, but I came down with an alternately congested/runny sinus cavity, which just doesn't happen unless I eat like utter crap for days on end. I've heard of people trying ketosis and getting the "carb flu," so maybe this was a reflection of that experience. I never had it on the WD. Due to walking around a lot in the heat, I had slightly low energy, improving upon shade and air conditioning. Still no real hunger. At this point I began to wonder what hunger actually was, realizing that if three days without food didn't elicit it, perhaps I've never actually been hungry in all my life, and what I was feeling was either psychological (an expectation of food, a desire for endorphins after a good meal, etc) or just blood sugar fluctuations from constantly eating. It was truly shocking how not-hungry I was.

Day 4 was easily the worst day, but not because of hunger. The sinus issues were really annoying, and they peaked on day 4. It was also a Monday, so I had to go to work, which meant lots of walking in the heat on both my commute and at work, so my energy was very low. I decided this would be a good day to fill out my performance self-review, and I was very happy with the brevity and honesty I used due to not caring enough to make an effort. It was Office Spacey. By the evening, I knew I was allowed to eat that night, but decided I might as well go into day 5. I was pretty unhappy from the energy level and snot, but actually did not feel like eating anything. I resolved to eat the next day before my boxing lesson, because I thought I needed the energy to get through that. Worst day due to mucus discharge and heat, but still a shocking lack of hunger. I even walked through a grocery store and bought food for the next day without any of the usual deaire to eat everything on the shelves and the hot bars that I would experience on a normal day.

Day 5 was the dawn after the darkness. I thought the night before that it would be such a struggle, but I woke up with my sinuses much better and feeling full levels of energy. Blew my nose, expelled gobs and gobs of the brightest yellow mucus I've seen, and I felt like I could continue fasting indefinitely. Day 5 was the easiest day since day 2. I ate around noon--just a light salad--because I didn't want to risk poor energy at my boxing lesson, but I wasn't even that excited to eat, had to work to get it down, and afterward kind of wished I hadn't. Luckily I knew not to gorge, but even the salad seemed to make me feel stuffed (this from a person who has many times eaten 5 lbs of food in a day, literally). Had perfect energy all day, and ate a very light supper of three chicken legs (have eaten 8-12 as a standard serving in the past). This felt like plenty.

Fast officially ended at 109 hours.

My sinuses have not completely cleared up, but I think it's due to me walking around a lot as everything here is blooming and getting a bit of allergies. They are much better since day 5, though. I learned that I have no idea what hunger feels like, and I did feel like the fast and the period of catabolism did some really nice things for me once I made it over the hump. I'll probably make a periodic habit of it, 2-3 times per year, and next time I aim to go the full seven days.

Forgot to mention, but I drank tons of water, and allowed myself one coffee in the AM, one tea in the afternoon, and one tea at night. After day 2 I didn't even drink the teas, just the coffee. Also added a bit of salt to my water occasionally for hydration purposes.

Going forward, it seems like it will be a lot easier to resist temptations of crappy, convenient food because I know for a fact I can wait a very long time. I also plan to eat less volume overall. I will never again complain that I'm hungry, as I have no idea what kind of time period it would take to actually feel hunger, but I know that it's more than 109 hours.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Dragline » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:57 am

Thanks for sharing. Yes, I agree that the mental aspect of knowing you can go without food for extended periods of time is really powerful. You do become conscious that the feeling of being hungry and actually urgently requiring food are two different things, but that your limbic brain has been playing tricks on you to make you eat. I think prior to the 20th Century this was common knowledge -- and still is for much of the world -- but has been lost in consumerism and bad or unnecessary medical advice.

i also experienced a "period of unexplained illness" the first time I did it, although for me if was unexplained feverish symptoms that only lasted a few hours one day. This was also experienced by sailors who found themselves without food for several days sometimes.

I have heard explanations for this concerning the release of viral or other agents that are trapped within your fat, but I'm not actually sure what the true medical explanation is. A variety of symptoms are often reported from mucus to fevers to rashes.

Next time, also try some leeches. :lol:

Yes, I'm kidding.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by DSKla » Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:31 pm

Yeah, the symtpons seem to range in type and severity depending on the individual. I don't claim to understand the mechanism, though a lot of possibilities come to mind. One is the theory that your body is purging some waste products or deep imbalance. Another could be that, transitioning to ketogenesis as an energy source causes some form of stress. Or that the state of catabolism temporarily weakens your immune system because it is chewing up the weak links in terms of proteins, killing of weaker cells, and the supercompensation upon eating could explain the purported immune benefits. There's the one you mentioned, or maybe it's just allergy season.

At the end of the day, I'm not concerned too deply about the exact "why," as much as what I can improve or learn from the experience. Since I don't tend to get sick, immune benefits would go unnoticed, and I would not use a prolonged fast for weight loss (even if I needed that, which I don't). I do believe that cyclically allowing yourself to dip into a catabolic state to get rid of some of the weaker cells that have managed to survive on the modern diabetes-inducing diet must be helpful. If nothing else, it allows you to devote resources to other systems than the digestive.

But for me, the biggest gain is the personal experience that rewires the way I think about hunger. I would never have thought I could go nearly five days without feeling hungry. I wasn't performing hard labor or anything, so maybe it would have kicked in if I'd exerted myself, but it clearly takes longer before there's any risk of malnutrition.

Thinking of food as a source of pleasure really is a bit hedonistic, and it causes a lot of issues beyond just health. You have to take time away from other things to acquire it, cook it, eat it. You have to pay for it (although some of you folks would only be saving $2/day). It can only make me more adaptable if I treat it more as a medicine to address damage to my musculoskeletal system, malnutrition, etc., and skip the thoughtless raiding of free snacks that people leave out.

The one obvious trade-off is that lots of cultures and people gather around food and use it as a vehicle for socialization. I'm from the deep south, and I know a lot of people who would be offended if they offered me a hot plate of homecookin' and I declined for any reason other than medical emergency, and even then they would try to fix me a to-go plate for the ambulance. I think my strategy will be one of respecting the cycle: periods of fullness, periods of emptiness. Eating when it makes sense (even just socially), not stuffing, and fasting when it's convenient, following a period of good restorative eating. I'll aim to avoid using food as reward, and avoid using a fast as punishment.

Interesting stuff.

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Dragline
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Dragline » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:58 pm

You might be interested in this earlier discussion of autophagy, which is essentially your body eating the random crappy proteins and other things when you are fasting:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3804&hilit=autophagy&start=25

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by DSKla » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:35 pm

Thanks, very helpful.

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Ego
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Ego » Thu May 05, 2016 4:03 pm

Ray Cronise and Dr. Rhonda Patrick on fasting, cold thermogenesis and more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNzZod_d18A

FWIW, Dr. Patrick has a lot of interesting nutrition stuff on her site

https://www.foundmyfitness.com/

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Chad
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Chad » Thu May 05, 2016 7:46 pm

Ego wrote:Ray Cronise and Dr. Rhonda Patrick on fasting, cold thermogenesis and more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNzZod_d18A

FWIW, Dr. Patrick has a lot of interesting nutrition stuff on her site

https://www.foundmyfitness.com/
Dr. Patrick's podcast and site are one of the better ones.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by enigmaT120 » Thu May 05, 2016 9:28 pm

Fasting is easy for me today. Just had to take a kitty to the vet for his last trip. No appetite. I'll bike 9 miles of hills tomorrow morning before eating lunch/breakfast. Not long enough for most of fasting's benefits though. I say that because I am not really packing around any excess fat I'm trying to get rid of. But it won't hurt.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by tylerrr » Fri May 27, 2016 9:55 pm

Chad wrote:Interesting new study on a benefit of fasting:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... finds.html

Some of the highlights:
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.
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.

Good stuff.....Yeah, I've fasted a few times over the years. Only water for 1-2 days. After the hunger pains, I slept incredibly well and felt "high" during the water fast.

I'm trying to fast once per week now , 24 hours of just water.

I can't imagine only water for 4-5 days like some people here are saying. It seems brutal.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by jennypenny » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:35 am

Another study by Dr. Longo at USC shows the fasting-mimicking diet might reduce MS and Autoimmune symptoms.

They are supposed to be releasing the details of the fasting-mimicking diet this month. I'll post if they do.


Here's an older video that's an interview with Longo with some details on the diet ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23tcu7q0DBU

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Ego » Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:02 pm

Overnight Intermittent Fasting and Breast Cancer

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 122348.htm

In patients with breast cancer, a short overnight fast of less than 13 hours was associated with a statistically significant, 36 percent higher risk of breast cancer recurrence and a non-significant, 21 percent higher probability of death from the disease compared to patients who fasted 13 or more hours per night, report University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers

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