Fasting for three days can regenerate immune system

Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system, study findsSarah Knapton,  June 2014

Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly.

…new research (from 2014) suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.

Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy. It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age. 

fasting “flips a regenerative switch” which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.

It gives the ‘OK’ for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system,

And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.

Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells.

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.

“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 white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back.

“More clinical studies are needed, and any such dietary intervention should be undertaken only under the guidance of a physician.”

However, some British experts were sceptical of the research.

Dr Graham Rook, emeritus professor of immunology at University College London, said the study sounded “improbable”.

“There is some interesting data here. It sees that fasting reduces the number and size of cells and then re-feeding at 72 hours saw a rebound.

Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at UCL, said “That could be potentially useful because that is not such a long time that it would be terribly harmful to someone with cancer.

“But I think the most sensible way forward would be to synthesize this effect with drugs. I am not sure fasting is the best idea.

This is a sad commentary on our “medicalization” of all healthcare. Instead of educating patients to manipulate their diet, some pharmaceutical company will be allowed to make obscene profits from research paid for by our taxes. 

I’m skeptical about this information because I was not able to find this study in the NIH Library of Medicine (NML).

4 thoughts on “Fasting for three days can regenerate immune system

  1. Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA

    So interesting the way trends go round and round over the years. In my generation (the 60 60’s) fasting was very popular as a rejuvenation strategy. There wasn’t “reset button” language then, but that was certainly one aim; the other being to open the “doors of perception.” (Huxley)

    During my year of NLP practitioner training, a “fad” went round the younger students of a 30 day fast on lemon water with honey. They really did experience big changes, at the expense of their teeth!

    When I was in India I had the opportunity to participate in a “total rebirth” traditional treatment that allegedly was done at one time but not now: a person goes into a hut and is immersed in a bath of herbs, in the dark, tended by healers, and essentially fasted just to the point of death, then refed on specific medicinal substances. As described in the Vedas, the person first loses all their hair, nails, teeth, etc, then everything grows back all new! Total rejuvenation! As far as I know, they’re still looking for a guinea pig😂. I guess if someone were really desperate to live, they might go for it….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. david becker

      Many people- including Jesus and Moses have fasted- I dont think they were desperate. Studies have shown the positive life extending benefits of fasting not just for people and not just animals- but even species outside of chordata- even planaria. Studies have shown fastin activates macroautophagy and stem cell production.
      Its unfortunate you prvide an extremely biased opinion on a treatment that has not only time proven but backed by scientific evidence. I think you are too casual and careless in your opinion- and i repeat opinion on fasting. Maybe you should stick to opinion about the antipathic Cnidian medicine that you learned in school and not venture outside the great limitations and shortcomings of your paradigm. For your paradigm hasnt lowered the prevalence of chronic disease, is too costly and offers little hope for most chronic conditions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. david becker

        Ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge. Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance. You have reached your modulus of resistance.



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