Rejuvenate your entire immune system, just fast for as
little as three days. Sounds great! But is that scientific? Well that's what a
new study suggests. Fasting is said to trigger the release of new white blood
has been considered a natural therapy for so
many of the ailments since time immemorial. It is nature's ancient, universal
'remedy' for many problems. Animals instinctively fast when ill. Fasting not
only helps you to heal with greater speed but can also help you lose weight;
cleanse your liver, kidneys, and colon; purify your blood; help you lose excess
weight and water; flush out toxins; clear the eyes and tongue; and cleanse the
breath. Fasting gives the body an interlude or a much needed break, without the
usual stressors so that it can speedily repair or accomplish healing that could
otherwise not occur in the feeding state.
New Study on Fasting at USC
professionals are also convinced of this 'age-old' theory. They feel that
fasting will alleviate a host of ailments that plague us in our modern world. Scientists from the University of Southern
California (USC) in Los Angeles have discovered a solution for people with
weakened immune systems. They conducted a study, which is incidentally the
first of a kind to demonstrate that a natural intervention can trigger
regeneration of an organ or system through stem cells. The results of this
study have been published in the journal Cell Stem Cell
The scientists think that
fasting for a particular period shifts the stem cells of the immune system from a dormant state to an active state of
self-renewal. They feel that fasting for as little as three days can actually regenerate the entire
immune system. This is true not only for young adults but applies to the
elderly as well. This discovery is a 'significant and remarkable' breakthrough
in the scientific world.
past, fasting diets had been criticized by nutritionists for being unhealthy,
but this new research shows otherwise. This study demonstrates that during the
'starving' or 'fasting' period, the body kick-starts stem cells into producing
new white blood cells, which fight off infection. In other words, fasting
"flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create
brand new white blood cells, leading to regeneration of the entire immune system.
scientists feel that this research could be particularly noteworthy and
beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer
patients on chemotherapy.
Apart from that, it could help the elderly patients, whose immune system
becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even
Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at USC commented "We could
not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in
promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system. 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 fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we
started thinking, well, where does it come from?"
Prolonged fasting forces the body to utilize
glucose, fat and ketones stores in the body and at the same time it also breaks
down a significant portion of white blood cells. Prof. Longo compares this
effect to lightening a plane of excess cargo.
This depletion of white blood cells induces changes
that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells, which
occurs during each fasting cycle. It has been observed that prolonged fasting also reduces the enzyme
PKA, which is linked to ageing and a hormone, which reportedly increases cancer risk and
Longo explained "PKA is the key gene that needs to shut down in order for these stem
cells to switch into regenerative mode. It gives the OK for stem cells to go
ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system. And the good news
is, during fasting the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be
inefficient, damaged or old.. Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged
by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune
Meanwhile, more clinical studies
are needed and there is no suggestion that people should try to get these same
effects by prolonged fasting, which should only be done under medical
supervision and under the guidance of a physician.
Prof. Lango and his associates
are also investigating the possibility of extending these effects to other
organs and not just the immune system.
Benefits of Fasting
When we fast, energy is freed for a thorough
cleaning of our system. When the physical toxins are cleared from the brain
cells, mind-brain function automatically improves and spiritual capabilities
expand. It is a calm and exhilarating experience, that
gives a great feeling of well-being and even greater intuitive power. Problems
suddenly become solutions and ideas flow from nowhere. You have to experience
it to believe it, but only under the guidance of a medical expert!!
- Detoxification: In this process, the body
neutralizes or gets rid of any kind of accumulated toxins in the various organs
like the colon, liver, lungs, or skin. During the fasting process, the blood
becomes filled with better levels of endorphins, which makes you more alert and
provides a good mental health state.
- Weight loss: Fasting triggers the liver enzymes to break down fat and cholesterol
into essential bile acids, which in turn stimulate the metabolism and convert
the excess fat into heat. Fasting can prove to be the simplest and surest way
to shed the excess fat with an acceptable amount of minimal side effects.
However, it should always be done under the supervision of a medical
- Promotes healing: Fasting also increases or promotes the
healing process in the body. In a fasting state, the body focuses on other
vital functions like metabolic activity and the immune system, rather than
digestion, which is not necessary until a fed state is achieved. This leads to
the overall production of healthier cells and tissues in the body.
- Feeling of Rejuvenation: In the fasting state, the body
gets an opportunity to repair itself as a result of a slower metabolic rate, leads to improved mental
state, improved blood circulation, and a feeling of rejuvenation. It leads to
lower depression rates, stops insomnia, expands your creative thinking and
transports the mind to a tranquil and joyful state. These effects in turn
contribute to an extended life expectancy.