Fasting- It’s Good for the Immune System

fastingWant to live healthy and longer? Want to avoid cancers?

Many religions incorporate a fast into their traditions. Fasting has not been something I have done regularly, but after reading this article and giving this some thought, I think once or twice a year, this should be the practice of most of us. Some people do a body cleanse, where much like a fast, you avoid inflammatory foods like dairy, gluten and most grains, white potatoes, night shade family vegetables (tomatoes, egg plant, and peppers), drink lots of water, and often take certain supplements.  We eliminate toxins through our stools (don’t stay constipated), urine (drink plenty of water), skin (sweat), the lungs (take some deep breaths) and our liver of course. But one forgotten means of releasing toxins is our emotions (a good cry may be just what you need if there are pent up emotions).

The article “Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA to promote hematopoietic-stem-cell-based regeneration and reverse immunosuppression” June 2014 (you can view the article here… ) showed that the bone marrow responds by producing more of the key hematopoietic and white blood cells by down regulating a IGF-1/PKA pathway in stem cells.  This effectively protects cells from toxicity of chemotherapy (for those being treated for cancers) and renews the immune system thus reducing the effects of aging.

Since the immune system is a key to aging and many chronic diseases, the ability to reverse this with a 2-4 day fast is a powerful reminder to incorporate some form of this technique once or twice a year into our health plan. I recommend you get professional advice on how to safely fast or cleanse.  For those in the Portland area, Natura Integrative Medicine (the clinic I have started for adults and families with Naturopath Dr. Erica Zelfand ND) offers periodic classes/ workshops for a healthy monitored cleanse.  Contact them here to get on the waiting list for the next class. Or take a look at their website to see other services that they offer. 


Dr. Paul

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