If you need a boost to your health, starving yourself probably doesn’t sound like the way to go. But a new study is now suggesting that fasting for three days can come with some serious health benefits that have nothing to do with losing weight.
The Telegraph reports about the University of Southern California study that finds fasting for as few as three days can cause stem cell to produce new white blood cells which can work wonders for a damaged immune system. Researchers involved in the study say the fasting “flips a regenerative switch” which may prove beneficial for cancer patients and even the elderly who see their immune system become less effective in later years.
Participants involved in the study were told to fast for anywhere between two and four days over a six month period. While fasting the body will use stores of glucose and fat and breaks down a good deal of white blood cells. The breakdown of the white blood cells sets off some kind of trigger that causes stem cells to regenerate the entire immune system with new white blood cells. Researchers also found another bonus to the 3 day fast in that the enzyme PKA, responsible for aging and a hormone that increases cancer risk and tumor growth, was reduced.
Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California, explains how fasting can boost your health. He says, “It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system. And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting. Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.”
What do you think of the new study that suggests fasting can benefit the immune system?
Have you ever tried fasting for your health? What were your results?