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Cass Ingram

Fasting as Medicine and For Long Life

Fasting as Medicine and For Long Life

There can be no question that fasting and/or caloric restriction is associated with improved health as well as the potential for longer life. In this regard it is clear that eating excessive amounts of foods is derogatory. It simply depletes good health.
Eating less has the opposite affect, which is to boost good health.
The habit of three meals per day plus snacks is health diminishing. Eating heavy meals on a regular basis increases the risks for the major killers, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.
Can anyone believe it, that is following the American way of three meals per day every day causes a loss in the potential years lived? Yet, it also leads an increased risk of the development of degenerative disease?
In a variety of test models it has been demonstrated that caloric restriction has a vast power over age-associated diseases. In many other modes dietary restriction routinely increased lifespan, often by as much as 20%.
A 20% increase is significant. It means a person who might have lived to be 70 will live some 84 years, while a 80 year-old will potentially live to be some 96 years of age. This is not just in laboratory rats or other animals. Caloric restriction in monkeys has been shown to increase lifespan, while dramatically reducing the incidence of degenerative disease.
The Islamic fast is ideal. A controlled fast, it leads to a reduction in the total calories and food consumed. The gut is rested for up to 18 hours per day. It’s essentially a dawn to sunset fast. Nothing is consumed internally.
The resting of the gut plus the caloric restriction leads to an improvement in overall health. Even so, it is a form of reducing the impact of food intake on the gut. Resting the gut is a significant prevention against cancer and diabetes.
In the following article in Cell Metabolism fasting, aka caloric restriction, led to a variety of benefits, including the promotion of increased mental powers in laboratory mice:
See what is said. Fasting “rejuvenates the immune system” while also reducing the risks for cancer. There can be no doubt about the cancer-reducing risk for any system which gives significant rest to the gut and its secretions.
It’s not just in test mice. Scientists have discovered similar consequences in humans, giving substance to the original claims in rodents and monkeys. For instance, following a diet designed to mimic the effects of fasting for just five days a month reduced risk factors for a range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. All this is seen without the slightest negative effect.
To quote
At first glance, it seems an odd concept that slashing calorie intake should exert positive effects on health. But dietary restriction is known to induce changes in the cell and metabolism that affect things like inflammation and cellular damage caused by reactive, oxygen-containing molecules in the body, both of which are associated with a variety of diseases, such as cancer and dementia.
In support of this, intermittent fasting — an extreme form of dietary restriction — has been shown to help mice stave off cancer, heart disease and the progressive degeneration of brain cells. Furthermore, it has also been demonstrated to have some beneficial effects on humans, such as reducing blood pressure. But fasting is difficult for humans to follow, and can also be dangerous. So in order to examine its effects further, researchers from the University of Southern California instead came up with a diet that mimics fasting, eliciting the same effects on the body.
They first tested it out on mice in bimonthly cycles of just four days and starting during middle age, which was found to induce an impressive list of positive effects. It promoted the regeneration of multiple organs and systems, trimmed them of fat, reduced the incidence of cancer, rejuvenated the immune system and helped them outlive control animals by several months, which is lot for these short-lived animals.
Additionally, when they tried it out on old mice, it promoted the growth of brain cells in the region responsible for learning and memory, an effect complemented by an observed improvement in cognitive tests. And these effects weren’t simply due to an overall reduction in calories consumed since the control animals and the fasted animals were provided with the same total number of calories each month.
Taking this one step further, the researchers enrolled a small group of 19 human participants and trialed their diet on them. Daily Calorie intake was reduced to between 34 and 54% of the normal amount, or roughly 725 to 1090 Calories, which was followed for five consecutive days per month. After the fasting stint, they ate as they normally would.
As described in the journal Cell Metabolism, just three cycles of this diet tidied their waistlines, lowered blood glucose and reduced levels of molecules associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, compared to the control group.
These results are encouraging enough for the researchers to start thinking about seeking FDA approval for similar regimens, but they warn that people shouldn’t try fasting on their own as it isn’t suitable for everyone. Furthermore, if not carried out properly, it could be dangerous for health.
The bottom line is it would do the human good to cut down on food intake. If possible, some sort of controlled fasting should be undertaken. The Islamic fast is the most controlled and regulated of this, occurring once per year in the Month of Ramadhaan.
Virtually anyone could do it. For many it might be easier to achieve when doing the pre-dawn meal in order to stabilize blood sugar, breaking the fast at sundown. Even if this is done for a few days it is beneficial. The intestinal system is readily overwhelmed by the constant plucking down of food and the continuous consumption of beverages, that is it never gets a chance to rest.
There is another option, which is the consumption of fasting mimics. The most powerful of these is blueberries. The berries themselves may be consumed and/or their concentrates or extracts. When this is done, a similar benefit as seen in caloric restriction is seen, which is a reduction in the incidence of degenerative disease as well as an increase in lifespan. For high grade organic and/or wild blueberry extracts and concentrates see the following link:

2 thoughts on “Fasting as Medicine and For Long Life”

  1. I am a 79 year old former attorney, a type two diabetic. Constantly I just don’t feel good. When asked “what doesn’t feel good” I have no good reply. My balance is off. I fall frequently. I can’t get started to do the simplest things. The simplest task is too much. I just heard Dr. Ingram on the radio. I recognized his description of his problems. I am going to give his “cure” a try. I’ll post the results. Here’s hoping he’s right.

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