Fasting is an ancient practice found in many religious doctrines and cultures around the world; It has been around for practically all of history, and has commonly been used it as a form of medicine. When one fasts, they cut off all sources of food, only drinking water for an extended period of time.
Despite its history in medicine, fasting's health benefits have only recently been discovered, thanks to the establishment of modern medicine. Perhaps the most exciting discovery has been its effect on cancer treatment. At the University Of Southern California, scientists preformed an experiment on mice with cancer to see how depriving them of food would affect chemotherapy. They starved the mice 48 hours before chemotherapy, only giving them access to water.
The results of this study were astounding. The mice experienced fewer negative side effects after chemotherapy. Apart from that, the cancerous cells were killed with far greater success as opposed to mice who did not fast. Regularly, chemotherapy kills normal cells and cancerous cells with a ratio of about 1:1. However, after fasting, 1,000 cancerous cells were killed for every one normal cell.
Normal cells have a special function: when they are starved, they rigorously protect themselves. Cellular regeneration processes are accelerated and the cells become more resistant to harmful substances, such as the ones found in chemotherapy drugs. However, in cancerous cells, this function is lost. Therefore, cancer cells are much more susceptible to chemotherapy. It is also important to note that after the fasting and chemotherapy, the T regulatory cells that protected the cancer cells in the mice were also eliminated. This allowed the immune system to attack the cancer cells much more vigorously; a 33% increase of cancer fighting white blood cells was observed.
While fasting, the immune system begins a regenerative cycle. Old and damaged white blood cells are replaced with new ones. When your system starves, it wants to conserve as much energy as it possibly can, and it does this by recycling immune cells it doesn't need anymore. This process can give someone an entirely new immune system in the span of just a few days. For a body that is damaged by drugs or suffering the effects of aging, this regenerative cycle has great implications. There are also possible uses for autoimmune disorders.
Many fasting centers exist all throughout the world. These centers or "retreats" put their visitors on fasting regimens and monitor their bodies during the process. Many of these people report positive results after undergoing a period of fasting. Generally, they feel much more energetic, happy, and healthy. It can be said without question that fasting is capable of cultivating greater healthiness, and in many cases, helping treat diseases.
Information from the University Of Southern California:
Immune system regeneration
Fasting and chemotherapy