Johns Hopkins’ Neuroscientist Explains why Big Pharma does not want You to Fast

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No, this is not clickbait. This is pure science. But what is skipping food got to do with Big Pharma, you would ask? Food, or lack of it impacts health; a healthy mind and body –  or lack of diseases –  impacts Big Pharma. Skipping meals doesn’t take a toll on your system, but it does take a toll on price-gouging Big Pharma’s fat profits.

Dr. Mark Mattson, Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute of Aging, as well as professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, analyzed how fasting twice a week could help reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. He discussed his findings, as well as the previously discovered health benefits of fasting, during a TED talk.

This is what he has to say:

“I just want to point out that there’s evidence not just from animals but from humans that fasting is good for the body. It will reduce inflammation. It will reduce oxidative stress in organ systems throughout the body. And one thing that happens when you fast that does not happen when you eat three meals a day is that your energy metabolism shifts so that you start burning fats.

“The fasting is a mild energetic stress and the neurons respond adaptively by increasing mitochondria which helps them produce more energy and… by increasing the number of mitochondria and neurons it can increase the ability of the neurons to form and maintain synapses and thereby increase learning and memory ability. In addition to the increasing neurotrophic factors and increasing the energy neuronal bioenergetics if you will, we have found that intermittent fasting will enhance the ability of your nerve cells to repair DNA.”

The intermittent fasting advocated by Dr. Mattson for overall brain health is linked to how humankind has evolved. There are reasons why the intermittent shocks of hunger do a brain good. He explains:

“Our ancestors undoubtedly had to go without food for stretches of time. It hasn’t been that long since humanity lacked regular supplies of food. When you search for food when you’re hungry, the brain is really engaged. The individuals who survive the best—the ones whose brains are more attuned to predators and who can remember where food sources are—are the ones who’ve survived.”

Why then, don’t you hear about the importance of fasting – instead made to believe all of its ill effects? Because you are being told so with ‘evidence’ by countless ‘studies’ sponsored and manipulated by the Big Pharma for their own evil motives.

Dr. Mark Mattson elaborates:

“There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern [three meals a day plus snacks]. There’s a lot of money involved. The food industry — are they going to make money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they’re going to lose money. If people fast, the food industry loses money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do intermittent fasting and exercise periodically and they are very healthy, is the pharmaceutical industry going to make any money on healthy people?”

Dr. Mark Mattson is not alone in his analysis. Researchers from the University of Southern California have found that fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system, and when the body rebounds, it uses stem cells to create new, completely healthy cells.

The authors observed:

“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. What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?”

In 2007, a review of multiple scientific studies was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which determined that fasting is an effective way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as have the potential to treat diabetes.

There’s a reason why you don’t hear about the benefits of fasting more often from the mainstream media, and it’s the same reason why you’re told to eat at least three meals a day with snacks.


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15 COMMENTS

  1. Very interesting article. But had ignored the spritual benefits of fasting, they are not less important than things mentioned and proved scientifically. I hope scientists may look into this. Islam had ordered muslims to fast days of a whole month as ONE of Five pilars of Islam 14 centuries ago. Thank you.

  2. I’d like clarification on what count as fasting. Skip eating for an entire day? Several days? Just one meal skipped a day? Just eat one meal on a day?

  3. People starve at night, and that’s also a time when willpower goes down. Effective drugs and techniques are needed to stave off hunger. Maybe that’s a role for big pharma.

    • You start fasting, and before you know it, your body gets used to it. Generally, you eat at a certain time every day. Your body knows that and says “it’s time for me to eat, so feed me.” Say that you normally eat dinner at 7 every night. Well, every night at 7, your body says “Hey, it’s time to eat!” For me, I normally eat lunch around 2. Right around 2 my body says to me “I’m hungry!” However, on a day when I’m fasting, right around 2 my body says “I’m fine.” I don’t start feeling hungry till maybe just a few minutes before it’s time to break fast. Say maybe 5 or so minutes. Yesterday, I fasted for 16 hours, 10 minutes. I did not feel hunger for about 16 hours, 9 minutes.

      There already is a supplement that you can take that helps when you are fasting. It is an Over The Counter supplement. It is not made by Big Pharma. Big Pharma would not be able to make $$$ off any hunger suppressing supplement they made.

      People starve at night? People normally sleep at night.

      • yeah Anonymiss, your an idiot, breakfast is called that because you are breaking the fasting you have done all night. so yes you do technically “starve” at night. educate yourselves people, before its too late

        • I don’t support your name calling, but the word breakfast, now that’s interesting!

          I actually don’t eat breakfast, and haven’t been eating lunch for a while. At around 10, I open a small bag of chips or other snacks, then around 12-1 I’ll have more heavier snacks (I don’t take a full lunch to save time at work, I snack as I work), then around 6 or 7 I’ll have dinner. I don’t eat very much but I’m pretty healthy, maybe this is why. Maybe this is “habitual” fasting, or “level” fasting, instead of a once in 2 weeks fasting, who knows?

          I’ve always thought fasting was a religious thing, but this article is very interesting!

  4. You don’t need drugs to stave off hunger, just drink warm water or plenty of non claorific fluids. I have been using the fasting method since last year. The things I noticed were: my energy levels increased, the tennis elbow that had been bothering me for months started to get better (quite quickly, my cognitive ability increased. Also, and as a side benefit I lost weight, my cholesterol levels dropped, and my near type 2 diabetes retreated to less dangerous levels.

    I did stop fasting for a few months and became less energetic. I also got a tooth infection that really hurt but since I started fasting again my energy has increased again and my tooth is feeling much better.

    I am not suggesting for a moment that it is a cure all. I am suggesting that it does help in more ways than is currently understood.

    • Hello im not understanding how yo fast quite well. Could you tell me how you do it in order to give it a try mydelf?
      Thanks very much!

  5. It takes roughly 12 hours for your body to digest food. After that time your body is in a fasted state (converting excess fat in the body into energy). So, if you eat dinner at 8pm and do not eat breakfast till 10am, then you have fasted for roughly 2 hours. The longer you push your first meal of the day, the longer you are fasting. My advice is to start small. No need to jump into intermittent fasting and push your first meal till lunch time (12pm). The body will adjust and water drinking a lot of water in the morning is a tool to assist your fast times as they get longer.

  6. I have neglected fasting for a few years now. I fast as a spiritual discipline , and as I neglected prayer , I neglected fasting . Thank you for the reminder . I shall repent and renew my commitment . God bless you .

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