How Fasting Can Help Prevent Cancer

Cancer is such a life-changing, deteriorating disease. It affects the individual's way of life, mental health, the individual's family, their finances, in addition to the person's physical health.

Let's Talk About Cells
The human body generates cells every day and it kills cells every day (apoptosis). Cells that have a defect are pre-programmed to die because they won't be able to work properly. What if a cell that should be programmed to die does not die, then we got ourselves a problem. That cell will duplicate and grow at a slow rate or at an alarming rate. At any rate, the duplication of that cell grows abnormally, which is what we define to be cancer.

One of the most common things about cancer disorder is that it generates an acidic environment. Also, cancer cells need energy and it feeds off of glucose (the body's sugar energy source), to grow. You wonder why people with cancer do not gain weight, instead, they lose weight; cancer redirects the body's energy to itself, which enables it to grow.

How is Fasting Good For You
Fasting is a common practice in many religions: Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. Fasting is also practiced among bodybuilders because it triggers internal growth-hormone production for the promotion of lean muscle growth and fat reduction. Fasting also helps put your body in an alkaline state (alkaline state is better than putting your body in an acidic state).

How Can Fasting Help Prevent Cancer
By understanding the pathophysiology of cancer, one can basically figure out how to prevent it from developing. Keep in mind, this information does not substitute the official consultation of a licensed physician. Moving on, cancer metabolism creates an acidic environment, but the body should be in a slightly more alkaline state to be healthy. Cancer cells, like most cells, get their energy from glucose or glycogen (the storage form of glucose). When a person fasts, the body’s glucose gets depleted, the body turns to ketones for energy, because the body needs a constant supply of energy to survive, especially the brain. Cancer, on the other hand, cannot use ketones to survive, hence it won’t be able to grow. Also, during the fasting state, the alkaline environment helps enzymes work appropriately.

I wrote this post in simple words, but if you really want to get technical then you can refer to the links below. They are the readings from which I obtained my information.

  1. Longo VD, Fontana L. Calorie restriction and cancer prevention: metabolic and molecular mechanisms. Trends in pharmacological sciences 2010;31:89-98.
  2. Lee C, Longo VD. Fasting vs dietary restriction in cellular protection and cancer treatment: from model organisms to patients. Oncogene 2011;30:3305-16.
  3. Lee C, Raffaghello L, Brandhorst S, et al. Fasting cycles retard growth of tumors and sensitize a range of cancer cell types to chemotherapy. Science translational medicine 2012;4:124ra27.
  4. Colman RJ, Anderson RM, Johnson SC, et al. Caloric restriction delays disease onset and mortality in rhesus monkeys. Science (New York, NY) 2009;325:201-4.

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