Nutrition experts have always advised us that we should not fast, this has a tremendous effect on our health. Fasting causes our body to lack the substance leading to lack of energy for activity. This can cause fainting symptoms. Fasting will stop providing nutrients to the body, including vitamins and vegetables and other healthy proteins. Many people think that if you fast for a while and after fasting you will want to eat more. This can not only lose weight but also increase your weight.
Contrary to the above point of view, some argue that fasting is good because it will help you lose weight, normalize insulin sensitivity, reduce triglyceride levels in the body and slow the signs of aging.
New research out of the University of Southern California presents a fascinating discovery, once again bringing the debate to the forefront. The team gathered a group of participants and asked them, in the initial stages, to fast for 2-4 days on a regular basis over a 6-month period. During this time, they witnessed some incredible changes. The participants saw a noticeable decrease in the production of the enzyme PKA, a hormone which has been associated with an increased risk of cancer and tumor growth. Furthermore, the immune system of the participants appeared to get a complete overhaul.
Professor Valter Longo, PhD, the researcher of the study expressed his surprise with the study’s findings, stating, “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?”
The findings may provide considerable promise for those that are susceptible to disease, currently receiving chemotherapy treatments or simply for our aging population. The research showed that the act of fasting triggered a switch to flip in the body, signalling it to begin a “stem-cell based regeneration of the hematopoietic system.” It forced the body to use up its stores of glucose, fat and ketones, and also started to break down a large number of white blood cells. The loss of white blood cells flagged the body to, in turn, regenerate new immune system cells.
Professor Longo explained, “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.” This would mean that according to the study’s findings the process of fasting for a 72-hour period of time followed by re-feeding with a healthy, nutritionally focused diet can, essentially, provide those who are struggling with a new immune system.
While the possible benefits are definitely worth further review, medical professionals warn that further study is required before it will be seen as a definitive medical option. The study’s co-author Tanya Dorff, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital advised, “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. More clinical studies are needed, and any such dietary intervention should be undertaken only under the guidance of a physician.”
Therefore, you need to understand your body. Deciding whether to fast or not depends a lot on you. You should listen to what your body wants, you can fast or not. All studies are only relative. It’s best to choose a healthy lifestyle. You need to eat scientifically, avoid harmful foods and exercise regularly. Build yourself a good way to live well.