Is Fasting A Better Way of Treating Inflammatory Disease, such as Dry Eye, Eye Pain, Autoimmune Disease, Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, etc? Maybe!
February 26, 2019
For years, saints have told us to fast: it is good for the soul and body. Fasting is a great mortification for the soul and body, that is true, but not easy to do.
For years, my Cardiothoracic-surgeon father has been yelling from the rooftops the benefit of fasting and super low-carb and no sugar diet. He still will periodicially call me to ask me to guess how many carbs he ate that day. “I don’t know dad, 20mg?” I would say. “No!” He would say, “ZERO!”
Some recent research is beginning to show how the centuries-old suggestion of fasting is a great option to heal oneself of illness (or at least a great complement).
My father would approve of this research. He for years has been telling his patients to fast. He has noted for years that fasting would help us live as long as Abraham did: over 100years old, which is my dad’s plan he says.
For the first time in history, fasting research is showing, on a molecular level, the benefit of fasting.
The key result of periodic fasting is to decrease Inflammation which is the underlying cause of many diseases including eye pain and dry eye, as well as the other disease listed above.
Fasting decreases less inflammatory markers from the Liver and can reset inflammatory markers.
Cancer cells hate when you fast. Cancer cells are very susceptible to fasting. Fasting makes normal cells more resistant to toxins and chemicals.
The Anti-Cancer diets of Dr. Gerson and Dr Moerman below are likely working or have worked in some patients, due in part to its fasting components.
(Poor Dr. Moerman, he really was likely on to something!)
Since most people hate fasting and it is hard, Dr. Valter Longo and colleagues are looking to see if
Fasting Mimicking Diets (FMD), which are diets which trick the body in to feeling like it is fasting for weeks, will achieve the same results as long term fasting (meaning for weeks of just water).
Though more research is needed, I would suspect that fasting before a Stem Cell transplant, might be a good idea. It will take years to prove this, but it is exciting to think we could make stem cell transplantation treatments better.
The key risk of fasting is the weakness to the heart muscle and other protein based tissues. All long term fasting should be done as part of a study and under the guidance of an knowledgeable MD.
Dr. Valter Longo has done a great deal of research in this area.
We propose that the combination of FMDs with chemotherapy, immunotherapy or other treatments, represents a potentially promising strategy to increase treatment efficacy, prevent resistance acquisition and reduce side effects
Considering all clinical trials on fasting or FMDs in patients with cancer so far, at least 200 patients have undergone multiple cycles of fasting or FMDs in combination with cancer treatment and there is no evidence of severe adverse events in terms of malnutrition or of weight loss.
While Dr. Longo has shares in a company that cells Fastiing-Mimicking Diet (***below), I think he is right, fasting can improve our health and increase our longevity.
Sci Transl Med. 2017 Feb 15;9(377). pii: eaai8700. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aai8700.
Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Calorie restriction or changes in dietary composition can enhance healthy aging, but the inability of most subjects to adhere to chronic and extreme diets, as well as potentially adverse effects, limits their application. We randomized 100 generally healthy participants from the United States into two study arms and tested the effects of a fasting-mimicking diet (FMD)-low in calories, sugars, and protein but high in unsaturated fats-on markers/risk factors associated with aging and age-related diseases. We compared subjects who followed 3 months of an unrestricted diet to subjects who consumed the FMD for 5 consecutive days per month for 3 months. Three FMD cycles reduced body weight, trunk, and total body fat; lowered blood pressure; and decreased insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). No serious adverse effects were reported. After 3 months, control diet subjects were crossed over to the FMD program, resulting in a total of 71 subjects completing three FMD cycles. A post hoc analysis of subjects from both FMD arms showed that body mass index, blood pressure, fasting glucose, IGF-1, triglycerides, total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and C-reactive protein were more beneficially affected in participants at risk for disease than in subjects who were not at risk. Thus, cycles of a 5-day FMD are safe, feasible, and effective in reducing markers/risk factors for aging and age-related diseases. Larger studies in patients with diagnosed diseases or selected on the basis of risk factors are warranted to confirm the effect of the FMD on disease prevention and treatment.
The vulnerability of cancer cells to nutrient deprivation and their dependency on specific metabolites are emerging hallmarks of cancer. Fasting or fasting-mimicking diets (FMDs) lead to wide alterations in growth factors and in metabolite levels, generating environments that can reduce the capability of cancer cells to adapt and survive and thus improving the effects of cancer therapies. In addition, fasting or FMDs increase resistance to chemotherapy in normal but not cancer cells and promote regeneration in normal tissues, which could help prevent detrimental and potentially life-threatening side effects of treatments. While fasting is hardly tolerated by patients, both animal and clinical studies show that cycles of low-calorie FMDs are feasible and overall safe. Several clinical trials evaluating the effect of fasting or FMDs on treatment-emergent adverse events and on efficacy outcomes are ongoing. We propose that the combination of FMDs with chemotherapy, immunotherapy or other treatments represents a potentially promising strategy to increase treatment efficacy, prevent resistance acquisition and reduce side effects.
Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093.
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093.
The objective of this review is to provide an overview of intermittent fasting regimens, summarize the evidence on the health benefits of intermittent fasting, and discuss physiological mechanisms by which intermittent fasting might lead to improved health outcomes. A MEDLINE search was performed using PubMed and the terms “intermittent fasting,” “fasting,” “time-restricted feeding,” and “food timing.” Modified fasting regimens appear to promote weight loss and may improve metabolic health. Several lines of evidence also support the hypothesis that eating patterns that reduce or eliminate nighttime eating and prolong nightly fasting intervals may result in sustained improvements in human health. Intermittent fasting regimens are hypothesized to influence metabolic regulation via effects on (a) circadian biology, (b) the gut microbiome, and (c) modifiable lifestyle behaviors, such as sleep. If proven to be efficacious, these eating regimens offer promising nonpharmacological approaches to improving health at the population level, with multiple public health benefits.