New research from the University of Southern California has come to light that fasting as little as eight (8) days a year could deliver significant health benefits, especially when it comes to stem cells.
Believe it or not, fasting two to four days at a time (every six months) causes stem cells to awaken from their normal dormant state, and start regenerating.
Essentially, researchers discovered that fasting helped eliminate damaged and older cells, allowing new healthier cells to replace them completely, effectively renewing the immune system.
This is one of the first times any natural intervention has ever been shown to trigger this self-renewal.
Going a bit deeper… In mice and humans, white blood cell counts were significantly lowered after long periods without food. These bodies are vital to the human immune system.
But, when their numbers decline to a critical point, pathways for hematopoietic stem cells were switched on. These cells manage the immune system and generate new blood.
“When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” Valter Longo of the USC Davis School of Gerontology, said.
Fasting for an extended period of time (up to 48 to 96 hours) changes the human body to consume fat reserves, glucose (sugar), and ketones. Unhealthy white blood cells are also broken down, so that in part, their components can be reused for new, thriving cells.
This is considered to be a cell “recycling” of sorts.
After a period of fasting, the body’s immune system will generate new blood cells when nutrients begin flowing back into the body.
The main point of interest in this study at USC, they were committed to knowing what drives body systems to rebuild the cells.
To go further into the science a bit…
The study found that Protein kinase A, an enzyme known to inhibit cell regeneration, was reduced in the systems of people who are fasting. Concentrations of a growth-factor hormone called IGF-1 were also lowered in those who have not eaten in days.
Important note: you will want to be careful if you decide to fast on only waterfor extended periods of time. To protect yourself, fasting for two to four days at a time should be done under medical supervision.
Another approach to fasting which has produced beneficial results is time restricted eating or “intermittent fasting”. This form of fasting involves eating in an 8 hour window and not eating during the remaining 16 hours.
This could be during a span from noon to 8:00 pm or 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. This time period will be completely up to you, just as long as you limit your intake to a single eight hour duration.
You’re not limited to the amount of water, and intermittent fasting is growing in popularity but is still considered a “secret” in the stem cell community.
Fasting has been a widely used approach for generations — going back to early civilization, but either as a survival, ritualistic, or weight loss tactic.
But now, we have the research to support that fasting is an incredibly powerful stem cell boosting “secret” that can return powerful results.
After this study (and others) surfaced, we became inspired to see what other natural alternative “secrets” are out there.