Does intermittent fasting cure all types of cancer?

by - April 21, 2019

Intermittent fasting may help cancer treatment, as there is more and more evidence supporting the role of fasting in cancer treatment and prevention.

Some research suggests that fasting helps fight cancer by lowering the levels of insulin resistance and inflammation. Fasting can also reverse the effects of chronic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes- cancer risk factors.

In addition, researchers believe that intermittent fasting can cause cancer cells to respond better to chemotherapy while protecting other cells. Fasting can also stimulate the immune system to help fight cancer already present.

Insulin is a hormone that allows cells to extract glucose from the blood for use as energy.
When more food is available, the body's cells become less sensitive to insulin. This insulin resistance means that cells no longer respond to insulin signals, resulting in higher blood glucose levels and greater fat storage.

When food is scarce, the human body tries to conserve as much energy as possible. One way to accomplish this task is to make cell membranes more insulin sensitive. Cells can metabolize insulin more effectively by eliminating blood glucose.

Better insulin sensitivity prevents the growth or development of cancer cells. One way that a fasting diet can help cancer patients is to activate the immune system. The immune system attacks and destroys pathogens, such as viruses that enter the body.

For cancer patients, the immune system seems to lose the ability to detect, attack and kill abnormal cells such as cancer. New cancer treatments are being developed to boost the immune system. However, research have suggested that a simple fasting diet could achieve the desired result.

The University of Southern California recently conducted a study on laboratory mice. The researchers found that when the mice were given chemotherapy and a fasting diet, the immune system was better able to attack and kill the breast and skin cancer cells. Fasting mice produced more cells of the immune system, including B cells and T cells, which actively attack and destroy tumor cells. Another exciting discovery was that regulatory T cells, the cells that normally protect tumors, stayed out of them. This may have helped chemotherapy drugs work better.

The same researchers also conducted a pilot study of cancer patients to determine if fasting regimens with chemotherapy would be safe. The researchers found that a two-day fast with water was safe for cancer patients. In addition, when practiced under the supervision of a physician, a four-day low-calorie diet that mimicked fasting was considered safe. All these results indicate that fasting or a diet imitated by fasting, as well as chemotherapy, could be used to slow tumor growth in patients with cancer.

Treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy, can cause side effects ranging from discomfort to debilitation. Studies suggest that intermittent fasting may offer protection against these side effects. In one study, patients with cancer fasted for a few days and then ate normally before treatment. These patients did not lose a dangerous amount of weight and found no interference in cancer treatments. However, patients experienced a reduction in side effects (fatigue, headache, nausea and vomiting) compared to a control group without fasting. Fasting patients also had fewer incidences of dry mouth, mouth sores, numbness and cramps.

People who are curious about intermittent fasting and if it will benefit them during their cancer treatment should consider talking to their doctor.

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