Fasting is Worth the Trouble
Fasting Benefits - We need to look at the physiological processes of the body when deprived of food... before looking at the benefits.
Due to the absence of received food energy, the body must turn to its own resources, a function called 'Autolysis' - resulting in 'Ketosis'.
Autolysis is the breaking down of fat stores in the body in order to produce energy. The liver is in charge of converting the fats into a chemical called a ketone body, and then distributing these bodies throughout the body via the blood stream.
"When this fat utilization occurs, free fatty acids are released into the blood stream and are used by the liver for energy." The less we eat, the more the body turns to these stored fats and creates these ketone bodies, the accumulation of which is referred to as ketosis.
This process is encouraged by fasting because when food is no longer entering the body, the body turns to fat reserves for energy.
These fat reserves were created when excess glucose and carbohydrates were not used for energy or growth, not excreted, and therefore converted into fat. When the fat reserves are used for energy during a fast, it releases the chemicals from the fatty acids into the system which are then eliminated.
Chemicals not found in food but absorbed from the environment, such as DDT, are also stored in fat reserves that are released during a fast. Read more...
During a fast energy which is usually used for the digestive system is diverted to the metabolism and immune systems. The healing process during a fast is precipitated by the body's search for energy sources.
Abnormal growths within the body, tumors and the like, do not have the full support of the body's supplies and therefore are more susceptible to autolysis.
Furthermore, production of protein for replacement of damaged cells (protein synthesis) occurs more efficiently. A higher efficiency in protein synthesis results in healthier cells, tissues and organs.
Animals stop eating when they are wounded, and humans lose hunger during influenza… the natural process to rebuilding damaged cells. Therefore, during a fast, the person diverts energy from the digestive system to the immune system.
This is a direct result of the slower metabolic rate and general bodily functions. Following a drop in blood sugar level and using the reserves of glucose found in liver glycogen, the basal metabolic rate (BMR) is reduced in order to conserve as much energy within the body as possible. Growth hormones are also released during a fast, due to the greater efficiency in hormone production. fasting benefits
Part of this phenomenon is caused by a number of the benefits mentioned above. A slower metabolic rate, more efficient protein production, an improved immune system, and the increased production of hormones contributes to this long-term benefit of fasting. In addition to the Human Growth Hormone, released more frequently during a fast, an anti-aging hormone is also produced more efficiently.
A study was performed on earthworms demonstrating the extension of life due to fasting. The experiment was performed in the 1930s by isolating one worm and putting it on a cycle of fasting and feeding. The isolated worm outlasted its relatives by 19 generations, while still maintaining its youthful physiological traits. The worm was able to survive on its own tissue for months. Once the size of the worm began to decrease, the scientists would resume feeding it at which point it showed great vigor and energy. The only reliable way to extend the lifespan of a mammal is under-nutrition without malnutrition.