Study: Fasting for Three Days can Regenerate the Entire Immune System of Humans

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Researchers at the University of Southern California have announced that fasting for as little as three days, can regenerate the entire human immune system for a very healthy living.

The researchers described their study as “remarkable and a major breakthrough” in finding natural methods to boost the immune system.

In the past, fasting diets have been criticized by nutritionists for being unhealthy. However, this new study by the Americans suggests that starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection. The researchers said their discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy. Elderly people, too, are said to benefit greatly from the study.

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As people grow, their immune system becomes weak, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases. As per this study, fasting could help them get their immune system back on track.

Fasting for 72 hours also protects cancer patients against the toxic impact of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy saves lives, but it also causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.

Detailing the study, the researchers said fasting “flips a regenerative switch” that prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.

Lead researcher of the study Professor Valter Longo, who serves as professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California, said the study proved that fasting could indeed help the human body to produce a new immune system.

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It gives the ‘OK’ for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire 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 ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.” Professor Longo said.

At the Experimentation stage of the study, some people were asked by the researchers to regularly fast for between two and four days over a period of six months.

The researchers then found that the fasting helped to produce a new immune system, as well as reducing the enzyme PKA, a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumor growth that is linked to ageing.

Professor Longo expressed how the research team became surprised upon realizing the outcome of their experiment: “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?”

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The study said prolonged fasting not only forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat, but it also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells. During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system. 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,” Professor Longo added.

With the study having been experimented already, more clinical trials will be able to determine other factors. If that is done, one can see a physician for an appropriate fasting recommendation.


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39 COMMENTS

    • Read the Complete Guide to Fasting and The Obesity Code by Dr Jason Fung who is a nephrologist and supervises hundreds of patients reverse insulin resistance and metobolic diseases.

  1. That’s what we Muslims have been doing for over 1400 years, for one month out of the year.
    No studies needed,just follow the word of God and u will be in good shape.

      • What professor Longo saying is right, but mr hugh you really miss understand the article, because immunes system is quietly difference with obesity, the knowledge of fasting and its important was acknowledge by muslim’s for about 1400 years back. please remove the religious barrier and grave the fact. We do appreciate the work of the prof.

    • Exactly and also recomanded to fast three days each month. One can also fast Mondays and Thursdays. Science will may discover many other things that are already taught by Islam.

    • Ramadan fasting is useless. It does not heal. I’ve done ramadan fasting and it useless compared to real fasting. Real fasting is atleast 32hrs once a week or 16 hrs every day no food or water.

      • rofl, that’s what the prophet Mohamed used to do, fast every Monday and Thursday, and it’s not Ramadan fasting, it’s fasting Ramadan, the month matters, otherwise it’s useless, any other month won’t work! so in short, you’re right but you’re right, pretty much what you told Asim lol.

      • We do fast for 16-17 hours a day in the month of Ramadan or on Mondays and Thursdays Islam is the only religion for humanity peace health and so on….

      • How would the bod function after three days of no food or water? If you have job like many of us do, would be able to function to our fullest capacity?

    • I was sure that a Muslim will post that they fast Ramadan since they like to think that their religion got it all. What about sun set, how much do you eat till sun rise of the following day??? Think before you talk.

    • Sorry to disappoint you, but islamic fasting also prohibits drinking during the day (which this article didn’t mean FYI). And we all know water is by far the most important substance of a human being. We consist of 60% of water. Our brains, organs, skins, eyes, muscles,… Not to mention the damage (both little and bug) dehydration can bring to the human body. Name it: narrowing of our blood veins, more craving to eat (which causes you to eat more at sunset than necessary), dehydration of our cell structures, eyes, muscles,… And decrease of making white blood cells, faster aging, … Tons of disadvantages, so no, islamic fasting doesn’t have the benefits named in this article. And of course, don’t forget this professor was talking about three days and not an entire month 🙂

      • They have fasting three days each month, the days of the full moon (13-14-15), that’s what he was talking about, they also have the fasting of Monday and Thursday each week (ofc) apart from Ramadan each year, so they fast each week, each month and each year! can you beat that XD?

        • Yes I can 🙂 as I said, dehydration isn’t healthy in any way, no matter how you turn things around 🙂 restraining from food for some short periods is healthy, yes. I don’t deny that, but restraining from water isn’t. Now you can tell me all you want it is healthy to dehydrate yourself, but the fact doesn’t change. How about that? 🙂

          By the way, please don’t take this as an offense. It’s my opinion and my apologies if I offended you because that wasn’t what I meant to do. It’s okay to have different meanings, but there doesn’t need to be any hate, right? 🙂 Anyway, that being said, I don’t intend to make trouble, just tried to state my opinion. Have a good day 🙂

  2. It’s sad you religious nut jobs keep on posting religious ideas. There is no God. That’s the reality you fools.

    Next time you get sick, don’t go to a doctor, pray and ask your god for a cure. idiots!!!

  3. Be good by each of you. We are of the same matter made. Look at the good in each culture and leave a part the bad side.

    We colud be one world with no barrier and not what power families wants from us as their game to be played.

    War is their games and Love Could be our against them.

    Scienze have one word as math, be disciplinate as it and be lovers as humans been has been created.

    Fasting is good . That’s it.
    Every religion have fasting time and no one is better than other. Each one is good for the person who believes in it as it clean the body and regenerated. Focus on it. Be nice.

  4. Fasting was practiced long before Islam was founded and Judaism and Christianity it is also associated with prayer.Prayer is more focused when we fast.The Bible says that we must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that dillegently seek Him.Read 1John5:14-15 and discover why all prayers don’t achieve our desired answer.Not eating will always cause a scientific change in the body,by the way.

  5. Fasting maybe good for a long life though getting old may not be a good thing so just enjoy every day instead of arguing if Islam is better than judasim or hinduisim.

  6. In Greek Orthodox faith we have the same – fasting for a few days a week and also prolonged days before Easter and Christmas. But ‘fasting’ for us means no meat, no animal fat and sometimes no oil at all – of any kind. I don’t know how it’s meant here??

    • That is not a fast. When you are consuming anything you are not fasting. The only real type of fast is absolute fast ie no food and water. Anything else is a waste of time. I’ve tried all types of fast and this is the only true fast where nothing goes in your mouth. When you drink water you break your fast, when you eat anything you break your fast. There is very little if any healing with the fast you have described and will not help you heal in the long run.

  7. I did a 21 day water only fast in 2013. It cured my stage two kidney dysfunction completely, restored my lungs to full breathing capacity after years of smoking, restored my vision to 20/20 (wore glasses before the fast) and took my blood pressure from an average of 160/90 to an average of 118/78. I went from 248 pounds body weight to 187 (after water weight came back after the fast).

    I went on a raw vegan whole food and smoothie diet thereafter and everything stayed normal.

    Haven’t had flu, cold, strep throat, or any infection since then.

    I stay away from processed foods (white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, store-bought flour, etc), packaged foods, vaccines and chemical drugs.

    I used myself as my own ‘anecdotal’ guinnae pig as the experiment, and to my surprise it worked beyond my wildest imagination.

    • Good for you Kurt. I’ve been fasting on and off for over 20 years. Twice a year (average, 6 to 10 days). I too only fast with liquids and always notice great changes in my body and mental health. I’m currently on day 9 of a 10 fast.

    • Fasting works wonders for the body
      As well as eliminating fried,processed, sugary, red meats, and starchy Foods

  8. Why is this article even being made about religion to begin with? Good lord people like to go off on a tangent of their belief systems to enforce their thinking in anything. This is a scientific article, not something to argue beliefs over.

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