Fasting is an Interesting THEORY

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I was reading The Economist earlier and came across this interesting article which clearly is only, as yet, a theory. It does seem to have some grounding in a level of common sense I can equate to.

My choice would I think be, should I have the need for chemo. again, to drink a high level of vitamin C juices take vitamin C tablets disolved IN the juice and sweeten with pure honey.

That would provide nutrient, stave off hunger and could do you little harm if it failed to help =- Though I am ambivalent on the issue as sound high nutrient food does seem to feed and support the imune system and provides reserves you may find you need if you have a period where you are unable to eat, as with sickness or ulcerated mouth and gullet!

The first time around, which seems to have worked so far I made sure I drank at least 2 pints of freshly squeezed fruit juice ate half a pint of Greek yoghurt with honey AND used ‘Difflam’ oral rinse to deaden the pain of ulcers to make eating a possibility.

Through my Chemo. & Radiation Treatment my weight did not seem to vary and I made efforts to NOT miss my main meal a day which includes lightly cooked green veggies and salads WITH good quality meat or fish in moderation.

Make of the article what you will and I have provided a host of other links:

Fasting and cancer

Starving the beast

Feb 9th 2012, 22:02 by T.C.

DENIAL, famously, is good for the soul. It is also good for the body. Scientists have known for decades that animals fed near-starvation diet in laboratories see dramatic boosts in their lifespans. A lack of nutrients seems to spur the activity of cellular repair mechanisms, which help to slow the gradual accumulation of cellular damage that is one cause of aging.

Some humans, too, try to cheat aging by starving themselves. No one yet knows if such forbearance has the desired effect on members of Homo sapiens. In the meantime, though, boosting a body’s repair mechanisms may have other uses. One could be in cancer treatment, where fasting seems both to protect healthy tissue and to make tumours easier to treat.

In 2008 a group led by Lizzia Raffaghello, a biologist at the University of Southern California (USC), published a paper suggesting that a short, sharp course of fasting—not eating at all for a few days, as opposed to months of eating much less than normal—could make ordinary, non-cancerous cells more resistant to the side-effects of chemotherapy, at least in yeast and mice. If the same results were found in humans, it could mean less suffering for cancer patients; or it could free doctors to use higher doses of chemotherapy in an attempt to tackle cancers more aggressively.

But fasting may bring other benefits, too. On February 8th Valter Longo, one of Dr Raffaghellos’ colleagues at USC (and a contributing author to her paper from 2008) published a paper of his own showing that—again in yeast and in mice—fasting can actually make cancerous cells more susceptible to chemotherapy than they otherwise might be. Cancerous mice treated with a combination of chemotherapy and fasting had better survival chances and smaller tumours, for several different types of cancer, than those treated with either fasting or chemotherapy alone. In some cases, the combination treatment eradicated even metastasised cancers completely.

The researchers suggest that the explanation for this double bill of fewer side effects and more vulnerable tumours is that cancer cells do not do what the rest of the body would like them to. In thin times, normal cells switch their attention away from reproduction and towards preservation, beefing up their repair mechanisms, and hunker down to wait for better days.

Not so cancer cells which, after all, are distinguished by their reckless proliferation. So while ordinary cells become resistant to chemotherapy drugs following a fast, cancer cells do not. In fact, in Dr Vango’s study, tumour cells seemed to boost their activity levels during times of famine. That, in turn, boosted the quantity of free radicals, highly oxidising and damaging chemicals produced as a side-effect of metabolism, inside them. Thus stressed, the tumour cells found it much harder to cope with the added battering from chemotherapy drugs.

The usual caveats apply, as they do to all studies of lab animals; mice and yeast cells are not human. But if fasting shows similar effects in humans with cancer—and early-stage clinical trials are already under way—then the attractions are obvious. Fasting is cheap, safe and, in theory, should work against a wide variety of cancer types. Not quite a magic bullet, then, but not far off.

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE
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