H/t reader Squodgy.
* * *
“The most popular criticisms of fasting are written by people who have never missed a meal in their lives.”
The British scientist, Prof. Huxley, has carried out experiments with young planaria, more commonly known as earthworms. He fed an entire colony of these worms their usual foods. One of the worms was isolated from the rest and fasted at periodic intervals. In all other respects its diet and mode of life were similar to those of the other worms. The isolated worm lived while 19 generations of worms in the colony lived and passed away.
By Dr. Mercola
The types and quality of food you eat influences more than how much you weigh. Food has an effect on your metabolism, insulin production, leptin release and a myriad of other hormonal and chemical balances.
Scientists are also examining the way fasting affects cellular and mitochondrial function, and longevity.
They’ve found the cells in your body react to fasting in much the same way as they do to exercise. In other words, when placed under stress — be it exercise or fasting–the reaction creates changes at the cellular level that helps extend your lifespan.1
What if the key to maintaining a vibrant immune system was simply not eating for a few days at a time twice a year? Researchers from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles say that periodic, prolonged fasting — that is, not eating for between two and four subsequent days at a time — not only protects against immune system damage, but it also promotes immune system regeneration, particularly in patients who are already immuno-compromised.
Valter Longo, an Edna M. Jones Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute, looked at the effects of fasting in both mice and humans, observing that when these mammals fasted, their white blood cell counts decreased. The result was that their bodies “recycled” old immune cells, thereby triggering the production of new immune cells to replace them.
Over time, immune cells can become worn out and stop functioning at optimal levels. It was previously believed that there wasn’t much that could be done to overcome this apart from stem cell treatments. However, this latest research shows that periodic fasting cycles actually flip some kind of regenerative switch inside the body, altering the signaling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which generate both blood and immunity.
I would not call it the “perfect treatment”, but fasting does work.
* * *
* * *
Gastric banding and bariatric surgery are NOT recommended.
While many consider Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) irreversible, fasting has also been long known to cure diabetes. In our previous post, we considered bariatric surgery. While extreme, these surgeries have proven the point that the metabolic abnormalities that underlie T2D (hyper insulinemia, insulin resistance) can often be fully reversed after a short (weeks) period of intensive treatment with bariatrics. Many early studies were done with the heavy-duty Roux-en-Y surgery, which is the heavyweight champions of surgeries. The best weight loss. The most complications. This is the surgery that has ‘Go Big or Go Home’ tattooed on its massive bicep.