How does fasting contribute to cell renewal?

There is now evidence that fasting could help contribute to regenerating new cells in the body to help fight against disease and ageing.  One of these studies looked at how prolonged fasting (for periods of 2 to 4 days) not only helped protect the immune system but also helped to induce immune system regeneration in people who had undergone chemotherapy. 

Here is how it works:

When you starve your systems tried to save energy and one of the things it can do is to recycle a lot of immune cells that are not needed, especially damaged ones.  So the white blood cell count does go down, but then when food is re-introduced back into the diet the cells come back.  Prolonged fasting has also been associated with lower levels of a particular growth-factor hormone , IGF-1, that has been linked to aging, tumour progression and cancer risk. 

This research seems to have supported the recent study that showed that a low calorie diet that mimicked a fast can yield a wide range of health benefits including cutting belly fat, elevated stem cell renewal in the brain and slowed ageing.  The study looked at a group that ate normally for 25 days/month and for 5 days per month did a low calorie diet based mostly on fruits and vegetables, with plant based fats and very little animal based protein.  It’s about re-progamming the body to enter a slower aging mode but also rejuvenation through stem cell based regeneration!  Exciting times ahead!

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Catherine Craig
Catherine Craig