The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Cancer
Fasting and Cancer
Fasting is nothing new. In fact, the practice has been part of medical recommendations and religious practices for centuries. But now we have scientific evidence to back up what we intuitively knew: Fasting can help the body rid itself of disease. One of the first major studies took place in 1945 and showed that intermittent fasting not only prolonged life but reduced the prevalence of breast cancer tumors in rats. Another more recent study in 2009 proved the practice can even reduce the severity of side effects due to high-dose chemotherapy.
Jonathan Landsman and Thomas Lodi, MD(H) talking about how fasting boosts immunity; a little known truth about cancer patients plus when is the best time for the body to heal and why.
So what’s going on here? How does simply moving food from one time of day to another really make that much difference? The answer lies in how the body and its cells react to what they perceive as “starvation mode.” Valter Longo, associate professor of gerontology and biology at USC, was part of the 2009 study. His study results were explained this way:
“In essence, these cells are waiting out the lean period, much like hibernating animals. But cancerous tumors respond differently to starvation; they do not stop growing, nor do they hibernate because their genetic pathways are stuck in an ‘on’ mode. Longo realized that the starvation response might differentiate healthy cells from cancer cells by their increased stress resistance and that healthy cells might withstand much more chemotherapy than cancer cells.”
A few years later, Longo also reported that fasting alone was enough to treat many types of cancer in mice. Because the body’s healthy cells were in this hibernation mode, the cancer cells tried to find other ways to divide and spread, without much success. As Longo explained,
“The cell is, in fact, committing cellular suicide. What we’re seeing is that the cancer cell tries to compensate for the lack of all these things missing in the blood after fasting. It may be trying to replace them, but it can’t.”
Of course, fasting is no magic bullet, nor is it appropriate for everyone. For those cancer patients who have already lost 10 percent of their body weight, or who have chronic diseases (such as diabetes), fasting could prove to be dangerous. Always consult your physician before beginning any fast.
The Fast-Mimicking Diet For Use On It’s Own Or With Chemotherapy
A periodic diet that mimics fasting promotes multi-system regeneration, enhanced cognitive performance and health-span, according to last year’s Cell Metabolism publication. There is more. After studies run on yeast, mice and humans at the University of Southern California, it has been proven that a diet which mimicks fasting halves tumors, abolishes cardiovascular disease, diabetes and reduces significantly the risk of Alzheimers.
Article: You might like to read our article on the Fasting May Protect the Body from Chemotherapy toxins.
“When normal cells are starved, the body uses up stores of glucose and energy to keep them functioning; in response, the cells shift into survival mode, revving up repair mechanism and protective processes to resist anything,” writes Dr Valtor D Longo who shows that a water fast of 4 or more days can trigger a reset of the immune system and promote stress resistance for healthy cells.
It does this multi-system regeneration and rejuvenation by activating stem cells. During studies on mice who re-feed after fasting, the stem cells started to proliferate in a coordinated manner to regenerate parts of systems and organs. They believe the same occurs with humans.
See our Fast Mimicking Diet
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Cancer Patients (video)
By Dr. David Jockers DC, MS, CSCS
Video Transcript: Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Cancer Patients
Ty Bollinger: Do you ever recommend fasting for health and for cancer patients?
Dr. David Jockers: Absolutely! And you just brought that up. Just talking about the ketogenic cleanse, it is a fast. I’m a big fan of intermittent fasting. It’s something I do every single day. I think it’s a critical piece of a cancer killing diet. When we break down fasting, I want all our listeners to understand this, I look at a building phase and a cleansing phase.
So our building phase is a time between our first meal of the day and our last meal of the day. The typical American they might eat at 8:00am and finish eating at 8:00pm. So it’s about a 12-hour building phase. And the cleansing phase would be the time from our last meal to our first meal. Okay. That’s like a one-to-one ratio. In our society today we’ve got so much toxicity that it’s that much more important that we have a greater cleansing phase than building phase.
On top of that, the great thing is when we’re on this ketogenic diet our hormones become balanced. Insulin and leptin, which is our satiety hormone so it helps us say that we’re no longer hungry. We’re satisfied. They become very balanced. Our body becomes very sensitive to it. So we’re really not as hungry. For myself I like to have anywhere between a 16 to 18 hour and sometimes even a 24-hour cleansing phase on a regular basis.
We’re doing this interview here. It’s 11:30 – 12:00, I haven’t eaten anything yet today. I worked out this morning. And you know what, my blood sugar is extremely stable. I feel really good. I feel really mentally clear. Now I’ll typically eat around 1:00pm or so and then finish eating by, let’s say, 6:00 – 7:00pm. And so that’s really my building phase.
I’ve gotten all the nutrients I need, but my body’s also been able to really cleanse and detoxify as I’ve gone through this cleansing phase. On the cleansing phase like, for example, the fasting, this morning I’ve drank probably about a half gallon of water so far today. So water is key because I want to move toxins out of my body. I don’t want them to just recirculate as they’re being released; as my body’s breaking down fat cells.
Intermittent fasting is a very, very powerful strategy that’s been shown to improve brain function, improve lean body tissue, [meaning] your percentage of muscle to body fat. It’s been shown basically to improve almost every aspect of your health. And so very, very profound when it comes to killing off cancer cells in your body too.
Sometimes we’ll recommend longer fasts and longer cleanses, but I think something that most people can do, unless you have a state of adrenal exhaustion or extreme adrenal fatigue, which some people do. Unless that’s the case, I always highly recommend going on a ketogenic intermittent fasting lifestyle because of the profound effects it has on destroying cancer cells in your body, regulating your hormones, and improving overall brain function. So very profound effects with that.