Studies Find That Fasting for 3 Days Can Regenerate Your Immune System
We all are familiar with the concept of fasting, but is it healthy? Well, a series of studies shows it has boosting benefits. Fasting promotes many health improvements, since our body has ability to heal when all the obstacles are removed. It is also a great treatment for a variety of medical conditions.
The boosting properties of fasting are now science-backed
According to some new studies, fasting is a powerful healing modality. During the first 48 hours of fasting glycogen stores (the body’s stored glucose for energy) are reduced. This is how the complex biochemical pathways in the body start to conserve energy while adequately fueling vital organs. The energy saving actually has beneficial effects. It regenerates the immune system in patients with cancer as well as healthy individuals.
A group of scientists has made an extensive series of experiments with mice, to show that fasting has the power of healing and regeneration of the cells. They showed that fasting reduced DNA damage and cell death in white blood cells and bone marrow cells, and decreased chemotherapy-induced mortality in mice. After 4-5 cycles of chemotherapy accompanied by fasting, the white blood cell count of the fasting group returned to normal, but the control group’s WBC count remained reduced by the chemotherapy. Next, they looked at fasting without chemotherapy, and found similar results: a six-fold increase in newly generated hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). HSCs are produced in the bone marrow to give rise to all the cells in the blood including white blood cells that modulate immune function. Fasting was able to provoke regeneration of the immune cells in healthy mice, and also returned the HSC profile of aging mice to that of younger mice.
Fasting can help patients who undergo chemo
In a clinical trial patients who are undergoing chemotherapy were put in a 3-day fasting group. The result was an improvement of immune cell count. This trial was done in order to reduce the negative effects of chemotherapy, and what the researchers found was fascinating.
“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 … What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fastin,” says Tanya Dorff, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.
This study has shown that fasting could have immune-boosting benefits for healthy individuals and those undergoing chemotherapy. By simulating an energy shortage with a few days of fasting, we can regenerate the immune system and replace the old immune cells with new ones.