Study: Three Day Fast May Reboot Immune System And Produce Other Benefits

300px-MahavratasThere is an interesting study out of the University of Southern California on fasting. The study is fascinating in what it found to be benefits from three-day fasts. The researchers found that such fasts could protect against immune system damage and actually induces immune system regeneration. I was so intrigued by the study, I decided to give it a try. I am on my third day of only water.

The researchers were surprised by their results and concluded that fasting not only force the body to eat stores of glucose, fat and ketones but devours white blood cells. Once you begin to eat again, new cells are produced — a type of reboot.

They also found that fasting reduced the enzyme PKA that is linked to aging and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumor growth. This was particularly important for people undergoing chemotherapy who reported positive effects.

The study suggests that periodically doing a three-day fast each year could be highly beneficial.

As for me, I must admit that I am feeling the fast today as I complete my third day. I fasted many years ago and I was interested in just seeing if I could go the distance. It is an interesting collection of sensations and reactions as you pass through the three days. I am looking forward to dinner tonight, however.

Source: Medical News

75 thoughts on “Study: Three Day Fast May Reboot Immune System And Produce Other Benefits

  1. Nice story about rice booty from fields nearby your home. It sounds like a time prior to modern farming practice, before chemical fertilizers replaced natural fertilizer such as manure, before herbicides displaced the cultivator, back when all food was still organic, maybe when some horse power still remained, more nutritious and better tasting than anything available today, something almost all contemporary generations will probably never get to experience.

  2. Stanley said:
    The more processing, the worse the end product tends to be. I can’t stand the rice that is gooey when cooked. My single most favorite rice dish is rice pudding with raisins.

    Nice story about rice booty from fields nearby your home. It sounds like a time prior to modern farming practice, before chemical fertilizers replaced natural fertilizer such as manure, before herbicides displaced the cultivator, back when all food was still organic, maybe when some horse power still remained, more nutritious and better tasting than anything available today, something almost all contemporary generations will probably never get to experience.

    BTW, isn’t rice pudding gooey? Processed, by definition? You must have a weakness for sweets and fats, prefering wholesome rice with toxic, nap-inducing sugar, dairy and probably butter? I’d sleep like Rip Van Winkle if I ever ate rice pudding.

  3. mespo,
    I am not all that big a fan of rice. It is like all grains, there is bad and good. The more processing, the worse the end product tends to be. I can’t stand the rice that is gooey when cooked. My single most favorite rice dish is rice pudding with raisins. My mother made it a lot when I was a kid.

    For a time during WW2, we lived in the heart of Arkansas rice country, and we could get free rice fresh from the rice fields near our house when it came harvest time. There was enough spillage near where they loaded trucks and rail cars, you could pick it up off the ground. There were threshers operating, so we had a choice of winnowing unhusked rice by hand, or just snagging spilled rice that was already threshed. I preferred the latter.

    It just occurred to me that would probably not be possible now. Between Homeland Security and insurance companies, there is no way they would let kids roam unhindered around the rail yard or truck loading docks.

  4. davidm:

    “When someone exercises his Fifth Amendment right not to testify, do you take that as evidence? That is what science basically does here. What science doesn’t say establishes nothing. Agreed?”

    *********************

    The absence of contrary evidence is not evidence in support of a proposition. That takes affirmative evidence. All you can say is that it’s possible and that much anyone will concede. There are no studies that Venus is not made of green cheese. I suppose its possible that it is but that is hardly probable except to the delusional. There is proof and there is conjecture based on anecdotal evidence which is the least convincing kind of evidence by the way because it is rarely reproducible and the observer is always suspect . Spotted any Big Foot lately?

    You really need to understand that the burden of proof of all facts is always on the asserter, or as Kant says ” Affirmanti incumbit probatio.” It’s a problem I see with many conservatives. They are willing to believe most anything on faith. Must be all those days in church parsing fairy tales.

    And to answer your query about the 5th Amendment, many juries do consider the accused’s invocation of rights to be some proof of guilty – a factual inquiry. It is however credit to the system that we don’t allow that type of “evidence” to be presented or argued for that purpose for just the reasons I cited. Absence of proof is not proof.

    • DavidM wrote: “What science doesn’t say establishes nothing. Agreed?””

      Mespo wrote: “Absence of proof is not proof.”

      Exactly, so why are you trying to make it a proof? If science has not produced significant studies to establish that fasting purges toxins from the body, you should not present that fact as an assertion that the contrary assertion is without merit.

      Since you brought up how the religious are prone to this error (and I don’t disagree — many of them do), there is actually quite a bit of talk among the denomination known as the Church of Christ about this principle. For example, many in this religion have argued on the basis of the silence of Scripture that worshippers of God are not allowed to use musical instruments to worship him. Why? Because in the New Testament, there is no mention of believers doing that. They usually follow it up with the story of how Aaron’s children were killed because they offered strange fire in their worship of Yahweh. In response, a large number of Christians have developed the theology that arguing from the Silence of Scripture is a failed logic. It is the same principle as what you explained from Kant. You might comfort yourself to think that only the noble secularists know how to think logically, but that simply is not true.

      Mespo wrote: “You really need to understand that the burden of proof of all facts is always on the asserter…”

      I do understand that, but when there is no thorough proof because of the lack of interest in science, then all we are left with is anecdotal evidence and creating a testable hypothesis based upon reason. I did take some time to present the logic for my hypothesis about this, but my posts would not go through. You can study for yourself why it seems logical to think that fat soluble toxins would be purged from the body when fasting. Nevertheless, is it really that critical for a forum like this? I must ask, must we always be proving what we assert? If I say its raining over here, do I really have to prove it to you? If I make the assertion that fasting has been beneficial to my health, do I really have to offer proof for that assertion? Is that what this forum is about, being ready and able to prove every single assertion we might make? I just don’t see it that way.

  5. Michael Haz, twice I tried to answer your question about which toxins, but WordPress ate my post. I guess the names of the toxins are banned by the WordPress filter. LOL.

  6. mespo

    there’s another old time remedy for removing toxins from the body. cut an onion in half and tie the onion cut side to the soles of your feet. it’s also suppose to make you sleep better. never tried it myself though.

  7. Chuck:

    I’m not as sold on rice as you may be. I’ll do a wild rice now and then but not that carb laden white variety. I prefer nuts to grains anyway and always opt for the almonds.

  8. Davidm:

    I think you just agreed with me. First there is no science to back up the fasting results in detox claim just annecdotal evidence. Second bile does break down fat cells but not in the blood stream. I never suggested that it did. Ketosis is merely the presence of ketones in your urine and could signify burning of fat or many other conditions. You get there by fasting or simply lowering your carb intake.

    • Mespo wrote: “First there is no science to back up the fasting results in detox claim just annecdotal [sic] evidence.”

      When someone exercises his Fifth Amendment right not to testify, do you take that as evidence? That is what science basically does here. What science doesn’t say establishes nothing. Agreed?

      Mespo wrote: “Ketosis is merely the presence of ketones in your urine and could signify burning of fat or many other conditions.”

      Actually, science knows a bit more than this. The presence of ketones signifies a change in the metabolic pathway known as the Kreb’s cycle. Bodybuilders that want to get shredded make use of testing for ketones because it means their body has switched from burning carbohydrates to burning fat.

  9. Chuck, I don’t eat much gluten at all, if I have any bread or pasta, it’s home made from spelt or kamut, low gluten, ancient grains. I do love good oatmeal, I use the old fashioned rolled oats, the steel cut takes a long time to cook, from what I recall.

  10. Annie,
    Rice is definitely a healthy grain. Pasta, not so much, but a lot depends on what kind of flour is used. My daughter insists on getting whole grain pasta when she uses it.

    A lot of people don’t know the difference between the two main forms of oats. Rolled oats are what we normally find on the cereal counter. However, traditional Irish/Scottish steel-cut oats are closer to the real thing. You cannot make true porridge or haggis with anything but steel-cut oats. In the UK, you will hear it referred to as “pinhead oats.” Most good supermarkets will carry it, but you have to look for it. American supermarkets carry only a very small amount compared to other cereal grains if they have it at all.

    http://www.prevention.com/whats-healthier-steel-cut-oats-or-rolled-oats

  11. Chuck, have you heard of the latest fiber that our gut biome really loves? Resistant starch, found in cooked and then cooled legumes, potatoes, rice and even pasta. Eat cold or slightly warmed. Our digestive tract will thank us by making all the good bacteria and crowding out the bad. Lots new info about all the related health benefits of resistant starch.
    ****************************
    Oh hello there Michael Haz, how’s things at Lem’s? Everybody getting along? 🙂

  12. I worked in a restaurant @ the Jersey shore one summer. There was the nicest man who was the chef. Henry was 88 years old. He had been head chef @ the UN. He was from Sweden. He retired comfortably until his wife got ALS. So, in his late 80’s he returned to work. We all loved the guy. Henry was healthy as a horse. He ate all day. He would make a small plate, sometimes just a monkey dish size, sit down quietly and eat slowly. He ate maybe 7 times a day, never after 7p or so. I learned much from Henry. Not all of it was cooking and eating. The man loved his wife deeply.

  13. I am not a fan of extended fasting for a number of reasons. Normal eating in smaller amounts and sticking to healthy foods is more likely to create better health without putting so much stress on organ systems. A variety of veggies, lower fat meats, and less bread would do people more good than fasting. The witches brew of chemicals we call “soft drinks” should be eliminated altogether–and it’s a toss-up between sugar free and sweetened with high fructose corn syrup as to which is more unhealthy.

    At our house, we rarely eat beef any more. Mostly chicken and turkey, but when we do have red meat, we get bison, mostly ground as hamburger. Makes good burgers and great meat loaf.

    Most people don’t get nearly enough fiber. A daily breakfast bowl of oatmeal will help that right along. If you really want to clean out your system, include oats in your daily diet.

    If anyone wants my haggis recipe, I will be happy to publish it.

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