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Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration of Damaged, Old Immune System

Soulskill posted about a month and a half ago | from the fasting-counters-slowing dept.

Medicine 148

schwit1 sends word of research showing that cycles of prolonged fasting can both protect the immune system from harm and also induce regeneration by causing stem cells to start renewing themselves. 'In both mice and a Phase 1 human clinical trial (abstract), long periods of not eating significantly lowered white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles then "flipped a regenerative switch," changing the signaling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems, the research showed. "PKA is the key gene that needs to shut down in order for these stem cells to switch into regenerative mode. It gives the OK for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," explained [study author Valter Longo], noting the potential of clinical applications that mimic the effects of prolonged fasting to rejuvenate the immune system. "And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting. Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system."'

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148 comments

And Ramadan is coming... (5, Interesting)

jaeztheangel (2644535) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187107)

I've always felt stronger after the Holy Month - that surprised me as a kid. Nice Article.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (5, Informative)

borcharc (56372) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187143)

This would not be caused by the effect in this study. You wold need to fast continuously for 48-72 hours or more to get the benefit they found. Eating after sundown would replenish the body's supply of glucose and prevent the energy conservation required.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187185)

This would not be caused by the effect in this study. You wold need to fast continuously for 48-72 hours or more to get the benefit they found.

I am fortunate to eat once or twice a week aside from a can of Coca-Cola. My body must be on rejuvenation overdrive!

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (1)

Urkki (668283) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187255)

I am fortunate to eat once or twice a week aside from a can of Coca-Cola. My body must be on rejuvenation overdrive!

Only if it is Zero. Getting the load of carbs that are in regular sodas will keep the body happily saturated with sugar, even with only a few cans per day.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188117)

Plus fructose (50% of sugar, 55% of corn syrup) is metabolized by the liver into glycogen and triglycerides. Both of those are used as energy sources during fasting periods.

This is why when you're on "juice" fasts you can feel peppy all day, even in the morning before your first drink. But doing this all the time is probably not smart as it stresses the liver, and can also maybe lead to high blood sugar because the liver releases glycogen at nighttime, and it might release too much if you have too much. Both scenarios (fructose induced stress, and high fasting blood sugar) can ultimately contribute to the development of insulin resistance.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187273)

given I'm too lazy to read the artice. I have to stop eating for 3 days. how often do I have to do this to get a beneficial effect ?

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187795)

Per the article... Don't eat for 3-4 days, and do it every 6 months. Frankly, doing it once will give you a basically sparkling new immune system.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187311)

Interestingly, the native american tradition of fasting before a sweat lodge (for 2/3 days) fits into this perfectly though.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (4, Interesting)

flyingsquid (813711) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188247)

An alternative to fasting might be ketosis. During fasting, all available sugar is consumed and the body starts producing fat bodies called ketones that are burned by the mitochondria instead of sugar. It's impossible to continue a fast indefinitely because the body eventually runs out of fuel- in other words, it starves. But if the diet is sufficiently low in carbohydrates (>60 g/day) and high in fat, the body can burn fat-derived ketones indefinitely and remains in a state of ketosis, in effect a long-term fast. Nobody understands quite how it works, but it's been shown to produce dramatic improvements in people with epilepsy (major improvements in most patients, complete remission in a handful), bipolar depression, and perhaps neurodegenerative disorders as well. At any rate, it's clear that how you eat can have profound effects on your health, and that more research needs to be done into dietary therapies.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (4, Informative)

reboot246 (623534) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188473)

Did you mean <60 g/day?
< is 'less than'
> is 'more than'

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (0)

liquidpele (663430) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188459)

Probably won't stop Muslims from adding this to their list of "science in the Quran" though :/

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (1)

Jason Goatcher (3498937) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188771)

Christians sometimes fast as well, it's just not as common. The Bible also advises you to drink your own urine, probably another health benefit thing, but I'll ignore that one since puking is obviously NOT healthy.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47189127)

"The Bible also advises you to drink your own urine"

False, it does not.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about a month and a half ago | (#47189069)

Of course, all religions claim the good stuff to make themselves look good.

doing this fasting is probably more like the way humans used to eat before we became farmers, it was more the norm to eat randomly because food was not always available.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (3)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188717)

That's not supported by any evidence I can see. The 48-72 hours was more likely chosen because it would allow the postdocs, grad students, and techs to not have to come in at midnight on a weekend to kill a mouse and drain them of their blood (and then quit and join a different lab). Not because that time frame was empirically determined to be the minimum fasting time required for the effect.

Skimming the article and paper, it's pretty clear that they're establishing that this is a real effect, not determining the most efficient method to get it. I don't have any background knowledge about the molecular mechanism they're proposing, or much about nutrition and fasting (scientifically or personally) but I'd be surprised if fasting for shorter periods of times but for more periods wouldn't have some of the same effect, possibly even moreso.

Anyway, the article says they tested it in a handful of chemotherapy patients to prove the point, but most of the work was done in mice. Mice, obviously, aren't perfect metaphors for humans. It wouldn't be terribly shocking to me at least that mice fasting for three days would have the same response that humans used to at least three square meals a day would in 12 hours.

It could go the other way of course, humans with much greater masses and probably a lot more body fat might require longer fasting. I don't know.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (4, Informative)

Dahamma (304068) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188761)

The 48-72 hours was more likely chosen because it would allow the postdocs, grad students, and techs to not have to come in at midnight on a weekend to kill a mouse and drain them of their blood (and then quit and join a different lab). Not because that time frame was empirically determined to be the minimum fasting time required for the effect.

I guess you've never been a grad student/tech, then? In the lab I worked in (with rats and mice, actually, though it was sleep & circadian research) they had no problem sending the grad students - or even better, the undergrad interns - in at midnight to do various studies.

Yes, I have sat after midnight in a lab lit only by dim red light (doesn't interrupt rat rhythms) for several hours basically keeping rats awake when they start to nod off. Which is also why our lab invented a cage that would automatically tip the rats into a pool of water when they fell asleep. Which I guess is a bit ironic that the pursuit of a decent night's sleep led to a device that prevented a decent night's sleep...

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about a month and a half ago | (#47189081)

There have also been human research on these fasting techniques. I watched a BBC Horizon program a few years ago out of which the 5/2 fasting diet evolved. They interviewed an Italian scientist in USA who was doing trials on the 3/4 day fasts plus interviews with others being trialed other daily combinations of fasting.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (2)

mikeabbott420 (744514) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187147)

Maybe Ramadan style fasting has benefits as well, perhaps even unrelated to spirituality but the study was about " periods of no food for two to four days at a time over the course of six months ", not sunup to sundown for a month.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187535)

Starvation is also linked to massive internal organ failure.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187619)

Starvation is also linked to massive internal organ failure.

Yes, *starvation*, which is NOT *fasting*.

I find your comment a little bit comical as your only real reference for starvation probably comes from not eating your regular lunch.

As for GP with their comments about "ramadan and fasting", please. Not eating for 12h is hardly any real fasting. Fasting, for the purposes of this experiment, is not eating for 2-3+ days, not a few hours. For humans, it would probably require 3-4 days fast to get similar results.

Starvation, FYI, is *chronic* lack of calories. Like eating 1000 calories a day for a few months would result in starvation. Anorexia is an example of people starving themselves.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187181)

My reduced diet of only one meal each day must be the reason I look younger than my chronological age. Not that I reduced my meals by choice; it is not possible to eat what is not in the cupboard and my girlfriend is a sociopath in her decision to ensure I do not eat; she eats when out of the house.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187427)

Your post saddened me so much :( You think you have a girlfriend...

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (3, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187943)

You misspelled the word girlfriend. The word you should have used is spelled this way: girlenemy.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47190047)

Why are you with her? If you want sex why don't you use hookers instead? There must be some decent ones.

If you want babies, please do NOT breed with your "girlfriend" and risk producing more sociopaths to plague this world.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187581)

How can a month be holy? a month is a unit of time. "holyness" is stone age nonsense. Let's make an effort to stay science focused here.

Re:And Ramadan is coming... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187723)

How can a day be Saturday? There's nothing intrinsic about the days which fall on Saturday which make them Saturday. A day is a unit of time, and Saturday is not a unit of time. Ergo Saturday's are nonsense. Let's stay science focused.

Probably not. Cancer? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187109)

You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve been further even more decided to use even go need to do look more as anyone can. Can you really be far even as decided half as much to use go wish for that? My guess is that when one really been far even as decided once to use even go want, it is then that he has really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like. It’s just common sense.

Re: Probably not. Cancer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187129)

Fasting might also regenerate your syntax.

Re: Probably not. Cancer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187133)

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that. Does not compute.

Re:Probably not. Cancer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187179)

.....What!?

Re:Probably not. Cancer? (2)

graphius (907855) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187911)

i'm sorry, your random word generator does not pass the Turing test.

Immortality (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187121)

Stop eating and you'll live forever.

Re:Immortality (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187139)

Stop eating and you'll live forever.

...Except it's the starting to eat again that causes regeneration.

So if you want to live forever, you're going to have to find some way to starve for just as long as possible, then eat just enough to support the regeneration.

I know, this ruins the joke. But the joke wasn't really that good in the first place.

Re:Immortality (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187787)

It's known that when brain cells (neurons) are starved of nutrients, they start eating each other. Perhaps that is happening across the body. Starve cells of nutrients and they go into "cannibal mode" and start killing and eating the weakest ones. Then when normal supply of nutrients is restored, they go back into "regeneration mode".

Re:Immortality (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47190537)

It is also known that after around 32-36 hours of starvation, brain waves intensity multiplies and 60% of people develop super-human math abilities. For a long time there were rumours that Einstein practiced starvation sessions, which coincidentally happened before his greatest discoveries.

Re:Immortality (3, Funny)

sir-gold (949031) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187869)

Build a man a fire, he's warm for a day.
Set a man on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life.

Re: Immortality (2)

Adriax (746043) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188013)

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Give a fish a man and you leave no evidence.

Re:Immortality (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a month and a half ago | (#47189131)

"Stop eating and you'll live forever."

The good news is it doesn't affect your appetite.

lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187149)

I read this article on the NP two days ago.

Re:lol (4, Funny)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187175)

All that time and you still couldn't think of anything worthwhile to post?

Re:lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187201)

Already did on the original article. Sucks when even /. is slower on geeky/sciency news than mainstream media.

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187219)

Classic!

Re:lol (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187929)

Wait another 2 days and you might see it on soylent!

Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (0)

dbreeze (228599) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187157)

.... it's surely just a bunch of superstitious nonsense......

Fallacy of excluded middle. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187191)

The scriptures of the world's great religions include a wide variety of topics. Some of them are very practical. And some are clearly mythological. Trying to lump them all together under a single interpretative approach is obvious folly.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (3, Interesting)

Urkki (668283) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187197)

.... it's surely just a bunch of superstitious nonsense......

Which scripture recommends the quite specific kind of fasting this study suggests will trigger the regeneation cycle? Link to relevant verse (or whaever it's called) would be good too.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187601)

You'll have to read the scriptures yourself. Translations can be bought.

However, to ask this is ludicrous as these scientists would not have had any idea what to test if not for fasting being practiced all over the world:
http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1981/emay81/hindu.shtml
http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1981/emay81/fasthea.shtml

We have much to learn and uncover about ourselves and reality.
That modern science can confirm and ascertain such things is wonderful.
A true seeker will rejoice wether illusions are confirmed or dispelled.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (4, Funny)

whistlingtony (691548) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187817)

So, what are the health benefits from stoning people for doing things I don't like? :D What? It's in the scriptures!

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188033)

Pretty obvious stress relief....

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188427)

Being stoned all the time?

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188041)

It's good exercise of course!

Re: Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (4, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188043)

Increased upper body strength.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188417)

Stones seem a bit low tech...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOrgLj9lOwk [youtube.com]

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188593)

[2:183] Yusuf Ali
O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-

[2:184] Yusuf Ali
(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.

[2:185] Yusuf Ali
Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.

[2:186] Yusuf Ali
When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.

[2:187] Yusuf Ali
Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and ye are their garments. Allah knoweth what ye used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them, and seek what Allah Hath ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) Allah: Approach not nigh thereto. Thus doth Allah make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188595)

link: http://tanzil.net/#2:183

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about a month and a half ago | (#47189099)

thats all just to make you say "oh god please feed me" or "oh god help me survive the hunger" and when you do survive, you thank god. its just mind tricks for the gullible.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187203)

Actually no...

If this is true then fasting regularly is bad, resetting your immune system is not good, unless it is in need of it, and cell division causes DNA damage during replication too, you want to do this as little as possible.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187363)

Even in a script of superstitious nonsense some idea may be of value.

Fasting is a requirement by the god or for some other reason?

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (0)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187915)

Fasting is to renew the body and immune system.

Western science has slowly been catching up to what yogic science discovered millenia ago.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188375)

Ah yes "catching up" because modern medicine is so far behind yogic "science", and also because no one else came up with the idea of fasting. Also worth noting is the fact that driving your immune system to replace itself when unnecessary will age the set of stem cells from which it is derived, as such, this trick, if it works, is something to do when you need it and not one jot more.
In addition if your science is different because it is "yogic" then it is bad science, if it is right then it is right and if it is wrong then it is wrong.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188507)

Why so anonymous? It's not like you was wrong.

Hopefully you just lack a user and the reason isn't that you're too afraid to post as yourself.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (2)

aliquis (678370) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187375)

.... it's surely just a bunch of superstitious nonsense......

Oh yeah, that (what I said before) and with scientific evidence it carries some interest and use whereas as a religious scripture it's totally useless.

Clothing (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187647)

Are you wearing clothing only made from 100% of one material? Have you shaved? You certainly better not be a woman and quoting the bible.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187667)

Yes, it is.

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (2)

dbreeze (228599) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188561)

I figured that post would fly like a brick around here.

Chew on these heathen....
http://www.kingjamesbibleonlin... [kingjamesbibleonline.org]
http://www.ucg.org/christian-l... [ucg.org]
http://www.freedomyou.com/bibl... [freedomyou.com]
http://www.path2prayer.com/art... [path2prayer.com]
https://danielfast.wordpress.c... [wordpress.com]
http://www.jentezenfranklin.or... [jentezenfranklin.org]
http://www.precious-testimonie... [precious-testimonies.com]
http://www.precious-testimonie... [precious-testimonies.com]
http://www.precious-christian-... [precious-c...ionals.com]
http://www.christian-faith.com... [christian-faith.com]
http://www.allaboutgod.com/chr... [allaboutgod.com]
http://christunlimited.com/ans... [christunlimited.com]

Pray pardon my attitude, I suffer from pretty much the same thing Jonah suffered from. Y'all please repent from godlessness while you have the chance.....

Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about a month and a half ago | (#47189113)

definitely a good post for the gullible. i look briefly at one of those and this was in the first sentence "fasting is abstaining from food, drink, sleep or sex to focus on a period of spiritual growth" - abstain from water during your fast for 3/4 days and you'd be in serious trouble http://www.livescience.com/323... [livescience.com]

Good News (0)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187161)

For unscrupulous nursing homes.

Human clinical trial in Somalia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187171)

And the clinical trial was done where? In Somalia?

Is it dose dependent too?

I guess they must be super-rejuvenated there and having rock solid immune system even in old age.

Re:Human clinical trial in Somalia? (4, Informative)

Urkki (668283) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187231)

Fasting and being starved are quite different things...Fasting is not about getting too little energy and nutrients in the long term, or being malnourished. Even suggesting that starvation is just a form of fasting is naive and ignorant.

Re:Human clinical trial in Somalia? (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187823)

" Even suggesting that starvation is just a form of fasting is naive and ignorant." Don't forget Assholeish. It's definitely that too.

Not that surprising. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187199)

Plenty of foods cause immune reactions, especially after a food chemist screws it up even more than it would be normally. People will continue to eat garbage, and plenty of it, till it kills them. Getting people to fast is like asking a heroin addict to switch over to cannabis.

Re:Not that surprising. (2)

sir-gold (949031) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187877)

This might be a possible solution to food allergies as well, since allergies are immune related.
I don't know where exactly allergies are "stored" in the body, but it's possible that a regenerated immune system might make the problem less severe, or even solve the problem entirely.

Re: Not that surprising. (3, Insightful)

Adriax (746043) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188115)

Dear dog I hope not. If this makes the immune system forget allergies then it also forgets all the thousands of strains of bacteria and virus you have been exposed to. All your immunizations, chicken pox, colds, flu, mono, ect...
A newborn would have a better immune system than a clean slate.

Plus you would have a much greater chance of becoming allergic to new stuff.
Would suck to get rid of a minor hayfever just to become allergic to all nuts.

Re: Not that surprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188309)

Ouch, that would be a painful way to solve allergy problems. Fast to reset your allergies until you get an acceptable level or distrbution of them and then get a metric shitload of vaccines.

YOU FAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187511)

My friends don't fart... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187627)

when they fast. Maybe that has more to do with why people are healthier when they fast. I'd love to see a study to determine if people that live with people that stop farting are healthier. Both of my parents have IBS, and our house smelled quite foul at times. I was noticeably healthier after moving out. I had the same symptoms when I lived in a college dorm room next to a bathroom. The cafeteria food was quite bad and a lot of people drank a lot of cheap bee so there was quite a lot of farting.

Re:My friends don't fart... (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187839)

I'm guessing that has more to do with available sugars. Farting is, I think, caused by gas buildup created by your gut bacteria. If they have WAY too much food, they're going to try to eat it, and make a lot of excess gas.

I keep careful track of my diet, and I notice more flatulence when I indulge in sweets. I eat a nice salad twice a day, some yogurt, nuts, drink some tea, i'm good. If I have a few extra cookies, or just eat Shit Food when i'm out with friends or something, and yeah... Bloaty McFarterson.

I wonder if this will get modded Too Much Informative? :D

Re:My friends don't fart... (4, Interesting)

serbanp (139486) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187963)

Farting is caused by the inability of our intestine to break complex sugars (lack of specialized enzymes), examples of which can be found in legumes. These sugars then reach the gut, where bacteria have no problems breaking them, releasing gasses in the process.

There are even pills you can take with your food (e.g. when eating beans) that provide the missing enzyme so that you won't fart. In US, Beano is probably the most popular one.

You won't fart just because you ate a chocolate bar. And b.t.w., these complex sugars are not sweet, therefore there is no connection between eating sweets and farting.

Re:My friends don't fart... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188699)

Although milk chocolate contains lactose, which is a complex sugar that cannot be fully digested by some leading to fermentation by bacteria in the gut and excess gas.

Re:My friends don't fart... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188733)

Could you please clarify the difference between intestine and gut. Technically I believe they are synonyms.

From all the diabetics out there (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187687)

Fuck you very much!

okay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47187689)

On the one hand, it's awesome that anything exists that can make chemo more tolerable, and speed recovery. On the other hand, who the hell thought it was a good idea to go up to a group of cancer patients and say, "we're going to give you some really heavy duty meds that will make you incredibly sick. Would you mind skipping food for three days before we poison you so we can see what happens?"

Re:okay... (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187845)

actually, it's probably best to do AFTER the chemo. Let the chemo destroy their immune system, then fast for 4 days, and bingo! New immune system. Theoretically.

And low-cal? (1)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187711)

Does anyone have any idea whether the same effect has been observed for long-term calorie deficit, or low-calorie diets?

Re:And low-cal? (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187861)

Probably not. That's just starving. I have seem some research to indicate that too much food lowers lifespan, mainly due to the health effects of being overweight.

Re:And low-cal? (1)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188137)

But what would be intrinsically different between fasting for a few days so the body says "hey I gotta metabolize some stuff so let's burn up the deadwood" and going low-cal for a longer period of time where the body essentially has to do the same thing?

As long as you follow this with a period of maintenance or balanced intake so the body can then rebuild said immune system stuff, why would fasting be so different from caloric deficit?

Re:And low-cal? (1)

u38cg (607297) | about a month and a half ago | (#47189329)

There is evidence that extremely low calorie diets have a significant (years) impact on lifespan, however you're talking about calorie intakes that would leave you barely functional and without energy. So nothing that you can use. But it does open up research pathways to investigate why those effects occur, which might produce something you can follow.

Bodybuilding (4, Interesting)

zakeria (1031430) | about a month and a half ago | (#47187771)

As a natural body builder I fast for 3 days every two weeks, the results are more muscle mass less body fat stronger faster trigger muscle...

Re:Bodybuilding (1)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188607)

Would you be so kind as to comment a bit on your methodology?

There seems to be no small confusion over terms such as "intermittent fasting". I've seen lots of folk use this to mean essentially 16 hours from after an early dinner to a late breakfast. But some of the earlier studies used this term to mean fasting 1 day out of 4 or something like that. A quasi-periodic approach yet indeed fasting for 24 hours (or more) at a time.

I'm curious how you manage your macro-nutrients overall? Do you eat fairly regularly the 11 days? Do you increase protein or caloric intake in general on the eating days? Anything special on the day after the fast? Anything special the day before?

Next, what about your workout regimen? Do you avoid workouts on fasting days? Or specific kids of workouts?

Bodybuilding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188701)

Would you care to elaborate on why you think it results in more muscle mass? The less fat part makes sense. If you fast it means you take in less calories overall. It would make sense that muscle growth would be impaired. Do you fast for three consecutive days without food or three separate days during the two week period? Have you tried working out while fasted? I would imagine strength would be significantly lower on those days.

Will my new immune system be less allergy prone? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47188177)

If rebooting the immune system like this clears out allergic sensitivities it would be far more important than it's impact on people with more seriously damaged systems as allergies are far more common. Perhaps this explains why in first world nations where food is so abundant there is a coincidental rise in allergies?

No harm in individuals testing this hypothesis, but a properly designed study would be needed to confirm it in a scientifically valid way.

Hype? (1)

mynamestolen (2566945) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188429)

There's not enough info here to draw any firm conclusions. And I must say my BS detector went haywire hearing that the signal is given to "rebuild the ENTIRE system" (my emphasis). The appalling analogy about lightening the load of a cargo plane left me wondering also. Finally, this sort of science journalism fits too nicely into the destructive and silly meme of 'cleansing' your immune system. So I'm not swallowing it just yet.

Water. (1)

rbrandis (735555) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188647)

Does fasting omit the consumption of water?

Re:Water. (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about a month and a half ago | (#47189175)

i would not think so, that's a death wish if you don't drink water.

Or Coffee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47189861)

Coffee has like 5 calories...and is basically water.

Obviously not quite true (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a month and a half ago | (#47188669)

My guess is the placebo effect at work. If fasting is 'healthy', then people in poor countries with inadequate food, will outlive people in rich countries. That obviously isn't happening.

Re:Obviously not quite true (1)

fabioalcor (1663783) | about a month and a half ago | (#47189065)

Fasting is different of malnutrition. Fasting is just pause your healthy diet for some time. Malnutrition is not having an adequate diet for long periods or for life. The latter is not healthy for obvious reasons. The former can be healthy since your body has reserves of nutrients and fasting just make the body to use them. You'll not suffer any harm for fasting, if done correctly.

Re:Obviously not quite true (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about a month and a half ago | (#47189179)

you'll need to check the difference between starving and fasting. its vastly different because starving people have food, it is not packed with the nutrients etc

Re:Obviously not quite true (1)

u38cg (607297) | about a month and a half ago | (#47189337)

You are assuming your ceteri are paribus. Such people are at risk from a whole host of other issues as well, but it's true to say they do not suffer from many of the so-called lifestyle diseases that we do. Remove the crocodiles, malaria, violence, and occasional famines and they would do quite well.

induced coma (1)

bigtreeman (565428) | about a month and a half ago | (#47189525)

I was put on a heart lung machine in an induced coma for three days when suffering congestive cardiac failure.
Came out feeling great, as well as seeing flying elephants up around the ceiling when I was coming to.

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