Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

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Chad
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Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Chad » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:01 am

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.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by jennypenny » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:58 am

I wish I could stick with the warrior diet and/or IF. It really seems like the healthiest eating pattern regardless of diet.

All those decades of advising people to eat 3 squares a day ... and now we're all too heavy. :(

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by GandK » Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:59 pm

jennypenny wrote:I wish I could stick with the warrior diet and/or IF. It really seems like the healthiest eating pattern regardless of diet.
+1.

I probably fast about 3 times a year, whenever I start feeling like something is out of whack in my body but I can't identify what it is. It usually does the trick. And I love the way I feel on about Day 3 of a fast, but Days 1 and 2 seem to get harder every time I do it. Headaches, no energy, freezing to death in July, and G says my breath is terrible when I fast no matter how many times a day I brush my teeth.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by sky » Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:21 pm

How long do you fast?

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GandK
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by GandK » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:12 pm

@sky: I fast (water only) for 5 days at a time, followed by a week or two of veganism before I go back to my vegetarian norm.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by jacob » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:54 pm

@GandK - Ketogenic breath? A smell of acetone? You can't brush that away, but you can fix it by eating a little bit of carbs to reduce the level of ketosis (of which acetone is a byproduct).

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Chad
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Chad » Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:03 am

jennypenny wrote:I wish I could stick with the warrior diet and/or IF. It really seems like the healthiest eating pattern regardless of diet.

All those decades of advising people to eat 3 squares a day ... and now we're all too heavy. :(
Three a day and lots of grain. The grain thing seems to be the biggest problem. We get so little nutrition from the grain, but it is heavily subsidized. Corn is NOT a vegetable school cafeterias!

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Peanut » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:18 pm

Interesting study. It all reminds me of that study they did on chimps, I think it was. By cutting their standard caloric intake by 1/3 the chimps lived significantly longer lives than their counterparts. Similarly some people do voluntary calorie restriction to prolong their lives. Hard for me to imagine that it's worth it if you're always hungry!

IIRC the science showed the immune system is always in a state of emergency, and so battles illnesses in preventative fashion, perhaps.
On another note, fasting has also been a political statement in showing solidarity with the poor. Some religious leaders practiced it in that manner. I suppose hunger strikes are another form of that.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by bottlerocks » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:00 am

Peanut wrote:Interesting study. It all reminds me of that study they did on chimps, I think it was. By cutting their standard caloric intake by 1/3 the chimps lived significantly longer lives than their counterparts. Similarly some people do voluntary calorie restriction to prolong their lives. Hard for me to imagine that it's worth it if you're always hungry!
A large percentage of modern centenarians had very low-caloric diets. I remember reading somewhere a common factor between French centenarians was that they were almost all smokers for a long duration of their life and a lot drank coca-cola religiously, but overall they didn't consume much. Quite interesting. I think the study was trying to link those activities with the lengthening of telemores, which are critical to cell revision/division:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telomere#Lengthening

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Chad
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Chad » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:55 pm

The researcher on this Ferriss podcast has some very interesting information and theories on a ketogenic diet and fasting:

http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/11/03/ ... dagostino/

One of the more interesting theories was that fasting (roughly 5 days) a few times (2-4) a year might allow your body to rid itself of cancer. Obviously, as he notes, this isn't proven and is just inferred from other studies done on fasting.

Plenty of other interesting info on these subject throughout the podcast.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by cmonkey » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:31 pm

Interesting stuff. DW and I have been doing the WD consistently since December 5 and my hunger pains are essentially gone at this point, I feel just a bit in the late afternoons. Both of us feel noticeably better and my energy levels are much higher. I also feel....cleaner inside? Not sure how to say it, its interesting and great. Cooking in the evenings is becoming enjoyable.

We went to a Christmas party Monday evening and understandably ate way too much. Yesterday I felt like complete crap and didn't eat much. Today I'm feeling great again. Anecdotal evidence of the benefits of fasting.

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Chad
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Chad » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:46 pm

He briefly touches on the warrior diet, but doesn't call it that. He notes that most people would be starting to hit ketosis after only a short time and the ketones suppress appetite. Which, might be why you aren't feeling as hungry.

Both of them noted that they feel fantastic after the first couple days of fasting, while D'Agostino said he deadlifted over 500lbs at the end of a 7 day fast (I think it was 7).

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Sclass » Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:19 pm

Chad wrote:
One of the more interesting theories was that fasting (roughly 5 days) a few times (2-4) a year might allow your body to rid itself of cancer. Obviously, as he notes, this isn't proven and is just inferred from other studies done on fasting.

.
Thanks for sharing. On a less intellectual note, the actor Dirk Benedict (Face from A-team) claimed to have beat cancer this way in the 90s. I recall thumbing through his book in a library when it was released. It sounded absolutely ridiculous that he would reject all treatment except starvation. I tossed the book down thinking it was a fluke.

Face man.

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Chad
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Chad » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:55 am

No problem.

To clarify the cancer part: He was suggesting those couple fasts a year might clear out the very small beginnings of cancer. He was not suggesting it would cure someone who had just been diagnosed with cancer. Though, he did outline what he would do if he was diagnosed with cancer, and fasting of various types was included. He reasons, that because glucose is the main fuel for cancer, that cutting it off would help your body fight the cancer.
Last edited by Chad on Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by slimicy » Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:55 am

Chad wrote: He was not suggesting it would cure someone who had just been diagnosed with cancer. Though, he did outline what he would do if he was diagnosed with cancer, and fasting of various types was included. He reasons that because glucose is the main fuel for cancer that cutting it off would help your body fight the cancer.
There's been a few studies recently showing that fasting can both increase the effectiveness and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by cmonkey » Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:42 pm

I have been pondering some things I want to work on in 2016, given I have essentially plateaued with regards to financial goal optimization. Long term health is taking center stage and this info is just solidifying it more.

I was remarking to the DW last night that, where I used to get cravings for certain foods, especially after work, I have replaced those cravings with realizations/thoughts of "eating this will screw up how good I feel right now" and that always makes the craving go away. I've had these phases before but this seems to be sticking. Even passed up free sugar cookies at work today.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by GandK » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:38 am

Pro-fasting and pro-Warrior Diet BBC article out today: Can changing your mealtimes make you healthier?
...they found that the mice that went for at least 12 hours without eating remained healthier and slimmer than those who ate the same number of calories, but spread out.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by BRUTE » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:25 am

large parts of the "fasting advantage" can likely be ascribed to the body switching from glucose to ketone bodies for fuel after ~half to a full day without a steady glucose supply. researchers in the ketogenic area are on this stuff for epilepsy, certain cancers, alzheimers, and of course diabetes and obesity.

it seems not everybody's body is made to run on glucose constantly. if humans are not glucose-adapted well (=carb-adapted), they are advised to look into how their body is supposed to run on ketones. there seem to be certain populations/individuals that are very well-adapted to glucose/carbs, other don't do well on more than trace amounts. so maybe this is one of those "everybody is different" type things.

http://www.artandscienceoflowcarb.com/
http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_attia_wh ... t_diabetes
http://ketonutrition.org/

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by jennypenny » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:05 pm

If it's good enough for Khan and Wolverine ... http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/0 ... ance/?_r=0

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Chad
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Chad » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:58 pm

Jackman has been kind of a proponent of fasting since his last Wolverine role. Hard to argue those results.

I'm doing intermittent fasting two days a week now. I usually get up and workout (cardio & lifting) on an empty stomach. I then eat after finishing the workout. Usually around 11AM, which gives me around 15 hours of no food. It's not bad and really cuts calories for the day.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Dragline » Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:13 pm

I've been doing this (using a daily eating window) for not quite three months now and just had a physical/bloodwork. Note, the things I eat are still pretty much the same. I would describe my diet as "paleo-ish", but not very strict about it. I do avoid refined and fried foods more religiously and rarely eat them.

My markers actually did not change all that much from prior years. Weight is down from last year, but same as five years ago, cholesterol is about the same (LDL in range and super-high HDL), and most other measures of stuff are slightly, but not significantly lower. White blood cell count is significantly lower. Uric acid is "out of range" higher, which is interesting, because I have not had a hint of the gout fairy that comes to visit every so often. Self-reported inflammation is generally lower.

I'm going to try to mostly keep on this for a whole year to see if anything else changes.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by workathome » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:59 pm

I was super interested in fasting last month and read through a lot of research.

The only caveat I found is that I have a liver-related genetic condition, and fasting was leading to very high mortality in mice who were induced with the same condition. The theory is that my liver is already working at full-capacity, and the effects of fasting were harmful. Which sucks, because I felt pretty good after a 24-hour fast.

So if you have any liver issues, it might not be a good idea...

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by jennypenny » Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:26 pm

Another study by Longo at USC ... Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system

The USC article that was the basis for the article in the OP ... Diet that mimics fasting appears to slow aging

Chad wrote:To clarify the cancer part: He was suggesting those couple fasts a year might clear out the very small beginnings of cancer. He was not suggesting it would cure someone who had just been diagnosed with cancer. Though, he did outline what he would do if he was diagnosed with cancer, and fasting of various types was included. He reasons, that because glucose is the main fuel for cancer, that cutting it off would help your body fight the cancer.
Several doctors have told me that glucose feeds tumors and they recommend IF and low carb diets to all of their cancer patients. Some of them do the same as a preventative measure.

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Chad
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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by Chad » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:08 pm

Those articles are interesting. I have seen other studies that have hinted at all of that, but always nice to see better studies. I didn't see the diet listed in the 2nd article. It would be nice to have a little to eat instead of fasting completely for extended periods of time.

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Re: Fasting Can Regenerate Your Immune System

Post by jennypenny » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:30 pm

Chad wrote:I didn't see the diet listed in the 2nd article.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_Mimicking_Diet

"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"

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