Fasting for three days can kick-start stem cells into a rejuvenation mode that can bolster the immune system, especially for the elderly and those undergoing chemotherapy, according to new research from University of Southern California.
The research results of blood vessel cells’ ability to repair and re-grow damaged tissues and organs were discussed at a recent conference, “Ansary Stem Cell Symposium: Is Regenerative Medicine Ready for Prime Time?”.
“The results suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy,” said Tanya Dorff, a co-author of the research published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
The study reveals those fasting for a few days can regenerate their entire immune system as it creates new white blood cells critical for battling infection.
“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,” states Valter Longo, corresponding author of the study and a professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the USC Davis School of Gerontology.
While there have been studies stating that fasting is not a good thing, in this case it can prove beneficial, say the researchers given the immune system is not healthy either due to age or chemotherapy.
“While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy,” states a release on the study.
The fasting, whether for two or four days, drives the human body into a “survival” mode in which it begins using up stores of sugar and fat and also breaks down old cells.
“With a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system,” Longo said.
But fasting shouldn’t be something done often and deserves further research, states the report.
Provided by Judy Mottl
Note of Lyranara.me: I do not consider this to be a solution to boost immune system or trigget any healing process. When going into starvation and survival mode, several essential conflicts and physiological processes are immediately started; thus in survival mode kidney collector tubules block immediately urine elimination and water retention (edema) occurs. In a more advanced stage (over one week of fasting) urine starts to be recycled to provide necessary proteins, this can lead to uremia if urea accumulates in blood. Uric acid overproduction can trigger gout and kidney stones. Liver is the “cook” of our body and it does not like not to have food to cook, it will increase production of liver enzymes, reading more toxicity for the body and joints pain. I can enumerate even more side effects with a tremendous impact on our health. Best would be to reduce the food intake, maintaining however proteins, lipids and some carbs, to withdraw grains and starchy food.