WHY YOUR BODY MAY BENEFIT FROM FASTING?
Fasting is an ancient practice, our ancestors were forced to fast often due to lack of food and means to get nutrition on a regular basis. However, even many religions in the world exalt the benefits of fasting as seen in fasting at times; among Christians: “Always ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) in regards to how and for how long He wants you to fast” and also common among Muslims during their holy month of Ramadan. If fasting was so ingrained in our human society, is there a true medical benefit from it.
As stated, people may fast for a variety of reasons. Some fast to prepare for a medical procedure or blood test. Others for religious reasons. And the hottest diet trend these days is intermittent fasting, a weight-loss strategy that focuses more on when you eat rather than what you eat.
Also, fasting has been used by many health celebrities as way to detox your body. The theory behind fasting is to give your digestive system a rest from breaking down and absorbing food. It is also believed that fasting is an opportunity for the body to heal itself.
As you know extreme fasting is starvation and does not benefit anyone. However, there is a growing body of evidence in medical literature that points to many benefits of fasting and our physiological wellbeing. In this article we shall touch on the new major aspects of this body of evidence regarding cancer.
WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES TO FASTING?
You may also have heard that fasting reduces cancer risk or improves your ability to fight it. Could fasting-related changes to your metabolism really make a difference, either by hurting cancer cells or enhancing the effectiveness of cancer-fighting drugs?
First it should be remembered that anyone who plans to fast must do so under great care and supervision. Cancer patients who plan to fast should first consult their oncologist or care team. Fasting may not be appropriate for malnourished individuals or those with cancer cachexia, which results in a continuing loss of skeletal muscle mass, or for people with chronic diseases. Those with diabetes need to be very careful, because of the risk of hypoglycemia, fasting also is not recommended for people with a history of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia, or for those with wounds that need adequate nutrition to heal.
You need to remember, whenever we stop eating, elimination of nutrients starts and is evidenced by a loss of weight and other symptoms according to the individual. As the fast goes on, elimination slows down because it uses up the body's stock of vitamins and minerals. Depending on the individual, this stock of vitamins and other essential elements lasts approximately 7 to 20 days.
FASTING AND CANCER: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The vulnerability of cancer cells to nutrient deprivation are emerging as a major hallmark future fight against cancer. Fasting or fasting-mimicking diets (FMDs) lead to wide alterations in growth factors and in metabolite levels, generating environments that can reduce the capability of cancer cells to adapt and survive and thus improving the effects of cancer therapies. “In addition, fasting or FMDs increase resistance to chemotherapy in normal but not cancer cells and promote regeneration in normal tissues, which could help prevent detrimental and potentially life-threatening side effects of treatments”, states A. Nencioni a scientist at the forefront of this research. While fasting is hardly tolerated by patients, both animal and clinical studies show that cycles of low-calorie FMDs are feasible and overall safe for patients.
Recent research in animals published in Journal of American Medical Association shows that fasting for 13 hours a day may reduce breast cancer recurrence and death from the disease. Scientists at two other California universities concluded separately that calorie reduction and fasting may help reduce cancer risk and improve the effectiveness of the treatment in attacking cancer cells. A 2016 University of Southern California study suggests fasting may make cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapy, and may protect normal cells and promote stem cell production.
Fasting may reduce glucose levels in the blood, making it harder for cancers to grow. Cancer cells feed on glucose, consuming it at a much higher level than normal cells do. During fasting, one way cells try to conserve energy is by making it easier for cell membranes to metabolize insulin. This improves insulin’s ability to remove glucose from the blood. Reducing the glucose available to cancer cells may hinder cancerous growth.
Autophagy is a self-degradative process that is important for balancing sources of energy at critical times in development and in response to nutrient stress. Autophagy also plays a housekeeping role in removing misfolded or aggregated proteins, clearing damaged organelles, such as mitochondria, as well as eliminating intracellular pathogens. Thus, autophagy is thought of as a house cleaning although its deregulation has been linked to cancer. Studies suggest that a lack of autophagy decreases the levels of tumor-suppressing genes. One way to activate autophagy is through fasting, which puts the body’s cells under stress. Autophagy kicks in to make the cells function more efficiently and clean up house.
CAN YOU TAKE VITAMINS WHILE FASTING?
While fasting has many proven health benefits, including improved nutrient absorption, but any food restriction, whether it's fasting, juicing, or dieting for weight loss, may lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Taking vitamins and supplements while fasting can help prevent this and keep you energized. Ideally, choose a formula with no added sugars and fillers and as clean as possible, and make sure it provides close to 100 percent of the nutrients (vitamins and minerals) listed on the label.
Under the tongue or sublingual supplements administration through direct absorption into the mouth provides an advantage to other supplements that you swallow. Under the tongue supplements go into effect more quickly because they do not have to go through your stomach and digestive system before being absorbed into the bloodstream.
Also, there is a growing body of evidence pointing to fasting along with vitamins to improve response to cancer therapies. A study of Vitamin C and fasting Synergistic effect of fasting-mimicking diet and vitamin C against KRAS mutated cancers by Maira D. Tano and his team published in PUBMED shows a strong correlation between usage of Vitamin C along with fasting with increased death of colon cancer mutated cells. The scientists believe cancer will eventually be treated with low-toxicity drugs in a manner like how antibiotics are used to treat infections that kill bacteria but can be replaced by other drugs if they prove ineffective.
Another study published by NIH concludes cancer cells appear to uptake and compartmentalize vitamin C which is detrimental to their function and this appears to be crucial and has direct implications for rational development of new vitamin C intervention procedures in human cancer along with fasting and lowering of glucose for the cancer cells to survive.
At least five clinical trials — including one at University of Southern California (USC) on breast cancer and prostate cancer patients — are now investigating the effects of fasting-mimicking diets in combination with different cancer-fighting drugs and vitamins.
VITAMINS ARE DIFFICULT TO TAKE DURING FASTING, WHAT IS ONE TO DO?
This is due to the simple fact that when fasting many swallowed vitamins (liquid, gel cap, tablets, powders, etc.) can cause stomach upset and nausea. Also, many supplements such as Turmeric require food to be better absorbed. This goes against the idea of fasting. Or Iron is best absorbed on an empty stomach. Yet, iron supplements can cause stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea in some people. You may need to take iron with a small amount of food to avoid this problem (Beware that taking vitamins and minerals on an empty stomach, such as when fasting, may cause digestive discomfort), So how can you get the supplements and vitamins that you need while fasting. One way to do it is to avoid all vitamins until your fast is over. This may not be acceptable to some and we at Frunutta agree.
One advantage that our vitamins and supplements have is that they are very small tablets that contain the simple vitamin and no unnecessary or unnatural additives or preservatives. This on top of the fact that our vitamins are meant to be taken under the tongue, dissolve very quickly, and directly absorb into the blood stream , gives us the advantage of being well tolerated while fasting.
There needs to be more studies in this promising field of research before any conclusions can be obtained from the studies done so far. However, fasting ‘may’ be beneficial for improved health. One thing is clear that the ancient populations knew something about fasting and its benefits and only now our science is starting to identify all its benefits.
When fasting one should not avoid their needed supplements and vitamins and we at Frunutta pride ourselves in providing vitamins that do not put any pressure on your gut specially during fasting. Since Frunutta vitamins and supplements are absorbed under the tongue and avoid the nausea and stomach upset which comes with swallowing ordinary vitamins during your fast.
It’s good to be extraordinary with Frunutta.
This information is only for educational purposes and is not medical advice or intended as a recommendation of any specific products. Consult your health care provider for more information. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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- "What Is Diabetes?". Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, 2021.
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- Marinac CR, Nelson SH, Breen CI, et al. Prolonged Nightly Fasting and Breast Cancer Prognosis. JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(8):1049–1055. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.0164
- "Breast Cancer: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments". Cancer Treatment Centers Of America, 2021.
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- Di Tano M, Raucci F, Vernieri C, Caffa I, Buono R, Fanti M, Brandhorst S, Curigliano G, Nencioni A, de Braud F, Longo VD. Synergistic effect of fasting-mimicking diet and vitamin C against KRAS mutated cancers. Nat Commun. 2020 May 11;11(1):2332. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16243-3. PMID: 32393788; PMCID: PMC7214421.
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