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New Study: Fasting Renews Immune System

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Jon_Tradicionali, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. Tunguska

    Tunguska

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    Can't remember the last time I fasted for even 2 days... But with intermittent and 24-hour fasting the only way I managed to do it was using caffeine. Specifically caffeine pills and home iced green tea, less than 200mg/day. They work wonders and shred through fat in combination with low-/med-intensity aerobic exercise and fasting, and keep brain active. Best done a few times a week only...

    Without caffeine I can't fast more than about 16 hours. Specifically I seem to require carbs or go braindead, high protein and any kind of fats (including short-chain fats) don't cut it, and I think too much fasting with caffeine worsened my problems in the medium-term, so I stopped intermittent fasting entirely some time ago. Probably worsened adrenals, thyroid, or god knows what now, and definitely impacts sleep. But of course caffeine had a role in that. It trimmed the fat at least.

    I have no doubt fasting can help the immune system but as they point out in the perfecthealthdiet carbs also have a role in immune response. So it must depend highly on the person and type of infection, in terms of whether it will help (or do more harm than good).
    cigana likes this.
  2. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    Maybe this is why I can't eat in my very severe relapses - the immune system is trying to recover itself and makes me too sick to eat for a while? I can only sip on fluids every 10-15 minutes and nibble on little bits of food.
    I find lemonade drinks help to pick me up on about the 2nd-3rd day.

    The body is always trying to heal itself, so this could be how it operates at times. But I wouldn't attempt to fast willingly as I don't think it would be the right thing for me.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
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  3. RYO

    RYO

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    Yes, there are many diabetics who are thin. I have several family members with this problem. If you have been diabetic for extended period of time, one theory is burn out of beta cells in pancreas. This is usually when postprandial blood sugars become problematic and meal time insulin is required.

    Two potential questions. Is there a link between certain variants of diabetes and infectious etilology. Second, type II is considered hereditary. Are these patients with dysfunctional glucose receptor also at higher risk for CFS / ME.
  4. RYO

    RYO

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    Also, I wonder about the effects of fasting on gut ecology.

    Can someone also clarify where and which type of immune stem cells get "rejuvenated" after 3 day fast. I read white blood cells get recycled thereby potentially helping dose with autoimmune disease. Again, which specific cells get recycled?
  5. manna

    manna Senior Member

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    ive messed around a little bit with fasting but not much. i wouldn't do it now. my blood sugar needs topping up every few hours, 4 at most, else i feel fluey...not a healing feeling either. now i might cut back alot on quantitiy, if im ok weigthwise, but still eat 3 times a day, or more. breakfast might be a plum. still have oil, protein and starch, just so little that my body will still have plenty of resources left clear to sort itself out a bit. eating only what i can digest fully, helps as it reduces metabolic waste, which is a big hindrance to improvement i think. . at very least, if someone fasts, i think they should take some form of natural sugar. even if its a little mollasses in warm water. i think it would aid any internal cleansing and regenerating.

    plus healthy test subjects would probably fare better than someone with me/cfs
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  6. knackers323

    knackers323 Senior Member

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    Maybe this is why I feel better when I don't eat
  7. Butydoc

    Butydoc President

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    Here is the actual article, a bit hard to follow with little mention about humans.http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/abstract/S1934-5909(14)00151-9
    Sushi likes this.
  8. Lillybelle

    Lillybelle

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    Anyone know if the fasting could be done with some protein powder in water? Or would that negate the whole concept? I've been told to keep blood sugar stable I should have reg small protein.
    Thought I may as well try this haven't had a full fast day the whole time with me/ cfs. However immune system is very compromised and don't want to go downhill again.

    Any thoughts? Thanks
  9. RYO

    RYO

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    Thanks for the link. After "quick read", you are right re: most of paper shows data from mice. It specifically looks at effects of chemotherapy and aging. Not sure we can apply data to CFS / ME patients. I don't know whether CFS patients have myeloid disposition.

    Someone also pointed out on previous post that those on chronic medications or with blood sugar issues may be at higher risk of adverse effects of prolonged fast. Also, I have heard anecdotal reports from friends who went on "cabbage soup" diet that experienced unexplained palpitations and dizziness. This may be risky for those suffering from POTS or autonomic dysfunction.

    However, effects of prolonged fasting on hematopoietic regeneration is interesting. I have read other posts on abnormal cytokine levels in CFS patients. I might be more tempted to try prolonged fasting if there was study showing it can "rebalance cytokine" levels.

    In general, the concept of additional stress resetting immune system makes me question the potential flaw of many who try supplements in the hopes of "boosting" immune system. I am certainly guilty of trying this in vain. The idea of a "rebalanced" immune system seems more attractive.
  10. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    There are claims of cure of every diseases with fastings, product x-y-z. my mom fell for it 20 some years ago when she got cancer. She was convinced that natural cure X-Y-Z was better than medicine. She lost. Her 40 days fast did absolutely nothing, but she lost a great deal of weight, energy and her tumor ddid not shrink at all.
    Christopher, NK17 and Valentijn like this.
  11. Jon_Tradicionali

    Jon_Tradicionali Senior Member

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    I used to know someone too with cancer. He water fasted for 3 weeks at first. This extended his mortality by three months or so. As soon as symptoms started again, he'd water fast for 3 weeks again.

    But he was 65 years old and just couldn't do it anymore.
    So he gave up and waited for his day to arrive.
  12. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Here's the USC explanation of the study:

  13. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    When I was reading up on fasting (before I had a diagnosis), juice or broth fasts were recommended. Water fasts were generally not recommended for even healthy people.
  14. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    i wanted to highlight that fastings, just like cure X-Y-Z and their associated theories are fads. If fasting was such a miracle cure, it would be used in medicine, but it is not, perhaps except in the cases of small bowel obstruction, where adding more food into the GI tract will cause more harm than good.

    Starving the body does not end up starving the tumor cells. In fact the tumor cells use what is available, and surrounding tissus/nutrients will be used.

    The second example is the foetus who uses available nutrients from the mother. If the mother does not ingest sufficient nutrients then the foetus is using the mother's stores, calcium, iron, and other
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
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  15. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    Autophagy happens all the time. I don't see why it would not accelerate during fasting.
  16. Jon_Tradicionali

    Jon_Tradicionali Senior Member

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    I don't believe in a simple solution to something as complicated as CFS.

    The little story I posted was just an account of ONE person that I know used fasting to treat cancer.

    Although fasting is not a broad-spectrum cure for anything, I can only speak for myself when I say it helped me when I did it for three days. I don't know the exact reason why. But it did.

    Being skeptical of X-Y-Z cures is a very good approach, but never dismiss anything without at least looking into it further and making YOUR own mind up.
  17. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Hi Joe, I can agree to disagree, since my own family experience of XYZ and fastings have all proven tragic for me. One person clinical trials need to be validated, tested in higher numbers, and should be submitted to the ultimate double blind randomized trial (mind you double blind may be difficult in the case of fasting). Then and only the could we say that XYZ cure really helps-or not- patients with ME or any other disease.
    Valentijn likes this.
  18. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

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    I am a skinny type II with no relevant family history. Diagnosed about 15 years before CFS/ME. No obvious cause for diabetes, was always fit, skinny and ate healthily.
    Valentijn likes this.
  19. stevesayshi

    stevesayshi

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    This could be the poor man's Rituximab. Very interesting. Once I have worked through a bit further on my current regiment I will give it a shot.
  20. cigana

    cigana Senior Member

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    I don't see fasting as a fad, as it has been around for a long time, and there are actually many studies advocating its use.
    The book "Fasting and Eating for Health" by Joel Fuhrman contains a balanced account of the uses of fasting from an MD who uses it therapeutically. In it he states where fasting is useful and where it is not. For example he states it can eliminate non-cancerous tumors but that it is not useful in cancer. The main uses seem to be in high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory skin diseases. Relatively long fasts are required, usually more than 10 days.

    The book contains a large number of references...far too many for me to type them but here are a couple of examples:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1001058/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6859089
    Jon_Tradicionali likes this.

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