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New study from USC that fasting can regenerate damaged immune system!

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Gingergrrl, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Here is the link:

    https://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-triggers-stem-cell-regeneration-of-damaged-old-immune-system/


    I am not sure if this has already been posted on PR and if so, I missed it. This article is about a recent study conducted at USC with both mice and humans that intermittent fasting for 2-4 days can cause stem cells to regenerate the immune system and get rid of the damaged parts. It is not about ME/CFS and is speaking about cancer patients and chemotherapy but said that it can pertain to anyone with a damaged immune system.

    Has anyone heard of this before or tried it? I would be willing to try it but would still drink water/electrolytes and take meds, just no food for those days. Maybe someone more scientific than me can summarize the article and how it could pertain to ME/CFS. When they said that stem cells could regenerate, does this include damaged mitochondria?
     
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  2. Bob

    Bob

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  3. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Bob darn, I figured this had been posted before but didn't see it. Thanks for including the link. I read the whole thing and the responses seem really mixed. I am still unclear if it is a good or bad idea for PWC's? Does fasting rebuild mitochondria?

    I know I often feel better and can breathe better when I do not eat so the idea is intriguing to me.
     
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  4. Bob

    Bob

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    I'm the opposite. I quickly start feeling light-headed, and even more run-down, if I go without food on a regular basis. I need to eat three times a day.

    I can't remember the discussions on the other thread, but I think that anyone with our sort of chronic illness would need to be very cautious before deciding to fast, and to think it through very carefully, because of the added strain that it might place on the body.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  5. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    @Gingergrrl I don't know if this is useful in this situation, but...I eat only twice a day, leaving a long 'fasting' break in between, about 8 hours. I understand this to be good for the body to work on regeneration rather than digestion, but whether this is anywhere near enough time for stem cells...
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I can't even imagine eating three times per day and that would trigger horrible digestive and breathing problems for me. I usually eat one meal around noon and then something small in the evening (but could easily skip the evening and feel okay.)
     
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  7. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    Same here. I once (before my illness) fasted for 4 days. I felt horrible. I started getting dizziness, coldness and numbness. Can't even imagine how I'd feel doing it now.
     
  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I tried intermittent fasting for exactly this reason two or three years ago and had to abandon it because I was becoming chronically lightheaded. My doctor had prewarned me that this would be the sign to stop.
     
  9. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    Before I was sick I fasted for something like three days and felt fine. I also fasted for a little over a day last year and felt fine (but very hungry!) but obviously that was not a long time really. I suspect that I couldn't manage three four days without having problems. I think caution is probably needed. Interesting things happen to your gut flora when you fast.
     
  10. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    Interesting article. This may not be the greatest idea if you're suffering from a persistent infection. They're saying that during the fast, the number of white blood cells declines as those cells are destroyed. This might temporarily weaken the immune system.

    This does have interesting implications for autoimmune disease though. It seems like autoimmunity is yet another disease of modern society. Ancient humans were likely forced by circumstances to fast for days at a time and thus had a higher turnover of immune cells and less of a chance to develop autoimmunity perhaps.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
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  11. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    A fast might also save you of the negative effects of the SAD for a few days...just avoiding a crapload of omega-6, lectins, glutens, fructose-syrup and additives might do some good by itself...
     
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  12. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

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    I feel terrible if I miss meals. My fatigue and other symptoms are much worse.

    I eat small meals and snacks 6 times a day. I'm a skinny type 2 diabetic who has trouble keeping weight on.

    For me, it is important to have the best nutritional intake possible to help my body to function and heal (taking into account all of my food allergies and intolerances).

    I am interested in the theory of fasting and immunity though and would be interested to hear if you give it a go @Gingergrrl
     
  13. Revel

    Revel Senior Member

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    My GI symptoms unfortunately force me to fast regularly. I know from experience that it's the best thing I can do to help improve the situation.

    I feel infinitely better whilst fasting - not only do GI issues resolve quickly, but also levels of both mental and physical functioning are noticeably higher.

    I usually fast for 3-4 days, sometimes longer. I wait until I start to feel hungry (it's the only time this ever happens as normally I have zero appetite).

    As soon as I reintroduce solid food its as though I am poisoning my system and within a few days my symptoms flare and I'm back to my pre-fasting state.

    I occasionally use fasting to my advantage. If I need to keep an appointment, I will start a fast the day before as this means that I will have a greater chance of actually making it.
     
  14. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @AndyPandy I have no idea if I will actually try this but will let you guys know if I do!

    @Revel Me, too! I know I do not have even remotely as bad GI symptoms as you do but when I don't eat, I can breathe better, think better, do more etc. It's like the energy that goes into digesting food can now be saved for other tasks like breathing! This is why I am curious if this experiment could help me.
     
  15. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    + I find missing meals almost always triggers headache :(
     
  16. Ren

    Ren .

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    Another recent article, "Does Intermittent Fasting Have Benefits? Science Suggests Yes" (1) is based in part on the November 2014 study, "Meal frequency and timing in health and disease"(2). The study abstract is available, but the full text is behind a paywall. If I understand correctly though, PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) articles can be accessed for free six months after publication. Maybe older, related studies are available now then?

    (1) http://news.yahoo.com/does-intermittent-fasting-benefits-science-suggests-yes-173453757.html
    (2) http://www.pnas.org/content/111/47/16647.abstract


    Also, the following link (3) is for the study referenced in post #1, "Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA to Promote Hematopoietic-Stem-Cell-Based Regeneration and Reverse Immunosuppression." Summary available; study behind paywall though.
    (3) http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/home

    QUOTE]Summary: Immune system defects are at the center of aging and a range of diseases. Here, we show that prolonged fasting reduces circulating IGF-1 levels and PKA activity in various cell populations, leading to signal transduction changes in long-term hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSCs) and niche cells that promote stress resistance, self-renewal, and lineage-balanced regeneration.

    Multiple cycles of fasting abated the immunosuppression and mortality caused by chemotherapy and reversed age-dependent myeloid-bias in mice, in agreement with preliminary data on the protection of lymphocytes from chemotoxicity in fasting patients.

    The proregenerative effects of fasting on stem cells were recapitulated by deficiencies in either IGF-1 or PKA and blunted by exogenous IGF-1. These findings link the reduced levels of IGF-1 caused by fasting to PKA signaling and establish their crucial role in regulating hematopoietic stem cell protection, self-renewal, and regeneration.[/Quote]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  17. JPV

    JPV ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹoıuǝs

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    Paul Jaminett is a proponent of daily fasting...

    http://perfecthealthdiet.com/category/diets/perfect-health-diet/

     
  18. JAM

    JAM Jill

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    This is like food in general. Different things are good for different people at different times. If I tried to fast right now I think it would kill me. As soon as the bulk of my energy isn't going to rebuilding my systems I will transition into a mostly raw diet for a short time, then a juice fast with supplemental support, then a water fast for a few days. Before my last major crash 5 years ago I did a weekly fast and felt really great on it.

    My advice to you (according to what I know of your situation) would be to wait for a fast, and then to only do it under supervision of an herbalist, Ayervedic doc, Traditional Chinese Medicine doc, or ND. Fasts are powerful and that can be powerfully good or powerfully bad. It sounds to me like you need to be building right now, bone broth, cooked veggies, gentle foods. Have you ever worked with an Ayervedic or TCM practitioner? They are usually very knowledgable about diet and can help you work through what would support your healing process best.
     
  19. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    It is hard to see quite what relevance this would be to long term immunity or immune problems. s far as I can see they are just talking about phagocytic white cells like polymorphs and macrophages that can get 'old' and damaged and are good to replace. You would not want to get rid of old T or B cells because they hold the memory of all your immunity to infections. So it does not seem to have anything to do with autoimmunity or the strength of your immune resistance. I am also not quite sure why you need to clear out 'old' phagocytes because they will get cleared away within a day or two anyway if they are damaged. All a bit puzzling.
     
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  20. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    Of course I can't read the actual paper due to the paywall, but that doesn't seem like what they're talking about. It looks like they're saying aging or chemotherapy leads to a bias of those types of cells (myeloids) and fasting then refeeding triggers hematopoietic regeneration of lymphoid line cells which would improve immunity. Perhaps the mention of autoimmune disease in the article was a bit sensationalist, but again I can't read the whole paper.
     

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