Fasting is now a practice that's gaining momentum as a miracle cure for diseases thought incurable such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity to name a few. It is also gaining momentum as a way to stimulate stem cell production, rebuild a damaged immune system, help fight Alzheimer's disease, trigger testosterone and growth hormone production and the list goes on. But is that all true? Is any of it true? We tried to look at some of the literature on the subject.
The John's Hopkins magazine in an article titled "Do Not Feed Your Brain" discusses the findings by a group scientists at the National Institute on Aging, led by prof. Mark Mattson, suggesting that fasting twice a week (here the fast is consuming 500 Calories in one day while drinking water or unsweetened tea) significantly lowers the risk of developing Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.
Children who suffer from epileptic seizures have fewer of them when placed on caloric restriction or fasts.
Fasting also triggers the generation of stem cells and the renewal of the immune system damaged by, for example, chemotherapy. This, among other revelations are discussed in an article in the USC magazine focusing on the work of Valter Longo, professor at USC Davis School of Gerontology and the director of the USC Longevity Institute.
In another study Longo finds that fasting slows the growth and spread of cancers, including human cancers, in mice and that a combination of fasting with chemotherapy is more effective against cancer (and some times a lot more effective) than chemotherapy alone.
In his 2016 book, The Obesity Code, Dr. Jason Fung shares a massive body of science that points to the fact that the consumption of refined sugars, and the amount of snacking between meals which keeps an elevated blood insulin level for most of the day, results in insulin resistance causing, among other things obesity and triggering a series of chemical changes in the body which eventually result in obesity, type 2 diabetes as well as a host of other sicknesses. In fact, cutting down on refined sugars, and eating 2 to 3 meals a day without the intake of food or beverages that can be broken down into sugars in between meals, can re-calibrate insulin resistance and reverse obesity and some of the harm it causes.
There is a vast body of scientific literature on the topic. We cannot, nor did we attempt to, provide a comprehensive survey of the happenings in the field. What we tried to do, and we hope that we were able to, was to demonstrate enough credibility to fasting, intermittent fasting, and eating time regulation, to entice you the reader to look into it and see whether it can be helpful for you or someone who's suffering you wish to reduce. If you're not familiar with the field we recommend that you start by reading the material we linked in this article. We tried to link material that's rigorous enough so as not t not waste any reader's time, yet not so technically specialized that only specialist in the field can access.