A recent research conducted at the University of Southern California discovered that fasting for 3 straight days can completely regenerate our body and make us more resistant. The study is certainly a major breakthrough when it comes to natural ways of reinforcing the immune system.
Fasting diets have been bashed by many nutritionists in the past. They were labeled unhealthy and destructive, until recently when science confirmed how beneficial they are. Fasting (literally starving the body) was found to promote the production of white blood cells that fight infections, which is highly beneficial for people with weakened immune system, primarily cancer patients. Besides them, the elderly can benefit from fasting as well.
As we age, our immune system loses its ability to fight diseases and conditions, but as the research showed, fasting can regenerate it and help the body fight infections and various ailments effectively. This is not the only benefit of fasting for 3 days – this method has shown that it can also protect the body from the harmful effects of chemotherapy. Although this treatment should actually save lives, it destroys healthy tissues and cells which leads to a complete breakdown of the body’s defenses. Luckily, fasting can neutralize the dangerous side-effects of chemotherapy.
According to the scientists involved in the research, fasting flips a switch in the body which makes the stem cells create new white blood cells that regenerate the immune system and repel infections. The lead researcher on the study, Valter Longo, says that the research is a groundbreaking discovery which completely changes everything we’ve previously known about our immune system.
“What it basically does is it gives the stem cells the “Go ahead” sign to proliferate and strengthen the immune system. The body will then eliminate all the old parts, and you’re left with a new and improved immune system which will work better than before,” Longo says.
In the beginning, the participants in the study fasted for 2-4 days for 6 months, and the results showed significantly reduced PKA enzyme, a hormone which raises the risk of cancer and tumor growth.
“During the course of the study, we noticed that prolonged fasting actually reduces the count of white blood cells, but they come back when you start eating,” Professor Longo says. “We were baffled and started asking where does this come from?” he continues. “As it turns out, the prolonged fasting didn’t only make the body use glucose and fat for energy – it also broke down white blood cells. During each period of fasting, the reduced count of white blood cells stimulates certain changes that trigger stem-cell based regeneration and reinforce the immune system,” Longo explains.
No one on the team thought that they would uncover such as remarkable thing, and now they’re hoping that medicine will accept it as a natural way of strengthening the immune system of cancer patients.