Basic Fasting Guide
Fasting is emerging as a powerful tool against cancer. With the epidemic of cancer in western societies, it is becoming clear that our overabundance of poor quality food in our society needs to be tempered with the age old wisdom of fasting along with healthy eating in between.
The guidelines laid out below are meant to allow patients to effectively use periodic fasts to take advantage of our body’s metabolic toolkit to regulate unchecked cell growth (aka cancer).
Cancer is a disease of metabolic derangement of the mitochondrial engines that drive each of our cells growth and function.
Studies of populations show that societies that burn fewer calories daily or have periods of fasting have significantly lower rates of cancer.
Western societies have such an abundance of food, especially foods that are high in carbohydrate and sugar (see also corn syrup, GMO wheat, etc.).
We are constantly pouring more fuel into our engine than burns efficiently. This leads to chronic inflammation, metabolic malfunctioning and genetic alterations.
Cancer arises when this pattern leads to mutation that essentially sticks the gas pedal to the floor and drives cells to constantly divide and grow.
Cancer cells, contrary to normal cells, depend on steady glucose availability in the blood for their energy and growth demands, and are not able to metabolise significant amounts of fatty acids or ketones because of cellular dysfunction.
Cancer cells thrive on glucose and starve on fats and ketones.
These are the energy units used when our body enters a fasting state.
Many specific metabolic pathways have been identified that drive cancer growth. Some critical pathways include insulin use and angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), both of which cancer tries to use to fuel its growth.
Fasting directly impacts and resets the environment cancers try to create through these pathways, and even triggers signals for cancer cell death.
Our bodies are genetically programmed to fast. Before the modern era, fasts were a part of crops failing, game becoming scarce, weather and so fourth which we survived thanks to the body’s ability to enter a fasting state.
Fasting hits the reset on a system that is designed for a periodic clean-out. We know fasting is safe and healthy as it’s been done for millennia and has even made it into many cultural and religious doctrines for its cleansing and purifying benefits.
Research being done at Duke University (USA) and the University of Southern California (USC), among others, is starting to elucidate and quantify the wisdom behind fasting.
Research has shown it can be a powerful tool to slow and reverse cancer cell growth and can even be combined with chemo to make it more effective and less toxic.
Citations at the end are just a few of hundreds of studies all pointing to the same thing.
In a recent mouse model study, Dr. Longo at USC, compared a standard chemotherapy regimen given every three weeks with a periodic fast on a similar schedule. He found that the tumour reduction seen was comparable between chemo and fasting, while the mice who fasted had less weight loss and far fewer side effects.
Of course, fasting may not be appropriate for everyone.
Patients with diabetes or metabolic disorders, or those who have lost over 10% of their weight, are carefully assessed before deciding if fasting is appropriate.
Are you interested? Get in touch with our team.
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