Fasting, or the abstinence of food for a specific period of time, is an ancient practice that has recently made scientific news. Fasts have been observed by just about every religious sect for thousands of years. With the benefit of science, we can better understand the wisdom of that practice.
Interestingly, food and calorie restriction is associated with improved health and a longer life span while obesity is associated with an increased cancer risk, heart disease and other metabolic dis-eases.
Research published in the June issue of Cell Stem Cell demonstrated that prolonged fasting of 72 hours protected the immune system from damage and actually induced regeneration of the Immune System. In fact, “this study suggests that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.”
In this study, volunteers were asked to fast regularly for 2 – 4 days over a 6 month period. The scientists found that the fasting reduced the production of an enzymes called PKA. PKA is linked to a hormone which increases the risk of developing cancer and increases tumor growth.
There is an association with high sugar levels and inflammation increasing the risk factors for Benign Proliferative Breast Disease which may eventually lead to Breast Cancer development. Fasting and calorie restriction reduces those factors.
If you are on a healing journey with cancer, here are some interesting facts that can encourage you to add fasting to your protocol:
- There is ample proof that fasting has many beneficial effects on all aspects of your health.
- Fasting may even have mood-enhancing effects.
- Fasting extends life-expectancy, reduces inflammation and cancer promotion in animal models.
- Calorie restriction and intermittent fasting decreases the incidence of spontaneous tumors and slows the growth of primary tumors.
- The protective effect of calorie restriction on Breast Cancer has been conclusively demonstrated in animal studies for over 100 years and more recently in women who had bariatric surgery.
- Removal of Cancer Stem Cells that are circulating in the blood can be achieved through Calorie Restriction and Annual Fasting before a tumor develops.
- Fasting helps to balance the flora in the gut which enhances the Immune System.
Studies have shown that fasting 1 day per weeksuppressed cancer development in mice that were deficient in the p53 tumor-suppressor gene.
What is involved in a fast?
There are many different types of fasts that range from simple water fasts to juice fasts to simple calorie restriction. All of them have benefits, but if you are really serious about fasting, consider a water and lemon juice fast.
During a water and lemon juice fast, you are consuming a 2 quarts of clean water mixed with the juice of 6-8 lemons. The Master Cleanse and Lemonade Diet suggest that you add cayenne and maple syrup to the water. If you are on a healing journey, you can add the cayenne but I don’t recommend the syrup because of the sugar. (sugar feeds cancer cells) . If you really need to sweeten the taste, add a few drops of stevia.
Don’t jump into a fast without being prepared. The day before a fast, eat very light food and only raw. Fast on days when you are not physically active and have the ability to be home to rest. Improving the detoxification process with a coffee enema can help take away the hunger pains and the slight nausea that may accompany a fast.
Years ago, I had the habit of fasting 1 day per week and 3-4 days once per month. The fasts were very cleansing and really boosted my energy. I think it is time for me to begin to experience the benefits of fasting once again. If you want to live a longer life, boost your Immune System and slow down the growth of cancer in your body, make fasting and calorie restriction a habitual part of your healthy lifestyle.