Does Intermittent Fasting Help In Cancer Treatment?

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Fasting is a process of complete abstinence from all substances except water in a restful environment. It is a powerful way of detoxification and is practised by different people across the world.

Intermittent fasting 

It is one such method by which people follow a time pattern of cycle for eating and fasting. Naturally we fast during sleeping but people increase their fasting time and follows these;

  • Avoiding breakfast
  • Having first meal at noon
  • Having last meal before 7 or 8 PM

During the fasting period, the human body neutralises toxins and eliminates through kidneys, lungs, liver, colon, lymph nodes and skin.

Fasting triggers the healing process by utilising the energy in metabolism and immune system rather than in the digestive system for digestion of food that occurs naturally. During fasting, our body uses fat reserves that are stored in the liver and removes toxins from the body.

When it comes into cancer prevention, intermittent fasting is a promising nutritional approach. It protects from many risk factors such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and inflammation as these may trigger cancers in the body.

Fasting helps in reducing the nutrient sensors such as insulin, mTOR and AMPK and the growth pathways such as PI3K, mTOR and IGF-1.

It helps in increasing autophagy and mitophagy in the mitochondria. Mitophagy is the process of removing old and damaged mitochondria whereas autophagy is the process of degrading cellular components and recycled to new ones

Research studies on Intermittent fasting

  • Recent study reveals that recurrent Breast Cancer is reduced by following intermittent fasting of 13 hours per day.
  • Major studies profoundly reveal that fasting during chemotherapy may also reduce the side effects of treatment. Keeping normal cells in a quiet state during fasting controls the chemotherapy side effects such as hair loss and nausea. This quiet state is not possible with cancer cells as their genetic programming is designed for continuous growth mode.
  • Recent clinical trials also suggest cancer patients had no difficulty in fasting before and after the chemotherapy. It can protect against side effects of fatigue, weakness and gastrointestinal upset.

By this fasting plays an important role in regulating cancer cells growth and keeps our body in a well balanced state. Incase of cancer patients, fasting can prevent the progression and recurrence of cancer whereas fasting supports the detoxification process and prevents risk of cancers in healthy people.

Incorporating intermittent fasting in our daily life will be a healthy lifestyle habit that keeps us healthy.