How to rebuild your immune system just by stopping one thing

By Tucson Functional Medicine on August 14, 2017 0 Comments

Greetings All, Dt T here


Have you ever fasted? I had an instructor in Naturopathic School that taught a seminar on fasting. He fasted for 100 days. I have fasted off and on over the years for religious reasons, but never thought I was helping my body in the process. BUT, I guess fasting is good for rebuilding your immune system.

This study was published  in June by USC’s Valter Longo, who studies aging and longevity.

“Longo and colleagues described remarkable metabolic changes that occurred as a result of prolonged fasting.  He found that fasting for 3 days or longer-drinking only water and eating less than 200 calories per day-can truly “reset” some components of your immune system.”

Their experiment was run on mice and humans.”Fasting lowered white blood cell counts, which intern triggered the immune system to start producing new white blood cells. White blood cells (or lymphocytes) are a key component of your body’s immune system”

Longo’s hypothesis is that fasting (or starvation) forces your body to “recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed” which explains the drop in the white blood cell count. Two of the key mechanisms are an enzyme called PKA and a hormone called IGF-1; both of which are reduced by fasting. Once you start eating again, your stem cells kick back into high gear to replenish the cells that were recycled.

So what does that mean to you and me. When your body has a drastic reduction in food (calories) it goes into survival mode. So it wants to preserve as much energy as it can. So one of the things that it does is eliminate the old or non-functioning white blood cells. These are the cells that make up part of your immune system. I does not want anything that is using energy that is not helping the body stay alive during this period of “starvation”. When you start to eat again the body replaces those old or “broken” white blood cells with new ones that are ready to defend the body. For all purposes rebuilding your immunes system.

For ever we were told that fasting was bad for the body and now it seems that the “experts” were wrong on this also. So it seems that periodic fasting helps your body stay new and functioning correctly.

The study also was used on human cancer patients. They fasted for 1, 2, and 3 days prior to chemotherapy. They were trying to see if fasting had any effects on the harmful side effects of chemotherapy. One of the side effects of chemo is the suppression of the immune system. Now take this with a grain of salt because the results are not verified with other studies yet. But, “the results indicate that a 3-day fast (but not a 1-day fast) was beneficial for these patients”

The real findings of this study is that you must fast for multiple days to get any real benefit for the immune system.

So does a 3-day fast truly reset your immune system? Well. Maybe not an total reset but at least a mild refresh. The science suggest that , if you can do it, a prolonged fast for 2- days or longer may induce your body to clean out some old immune cells and switch on production of new ones.

We will see what the research shows us about this in the near future.

But you are on the cutting edge of the rebuilding of your immune system. See all the neat things you learn when you are involved in the functional medicine world!

Link to the original article


Never fasted before here is an intro article on fasting if you want to try this on your own. REMEMBER YOUR HEALTH HAS TO BE IN A PLACE THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO GO WITHOUT FOOD FOR A PERIOD OF TIME!!

http://dailyburn.com/life/health/intermittent-fasting-methods/.  (This article deals with several different types of fasting.

NOTE:  You should always consult your doctor before you attempt to do a fast to make sure that it is not going to compromise your health in any way

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