The Ancient Treatment to Battle Cancer and Aging: Fasting

This post talks about the biological effects of fasting and how it destroys tumors, helps cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, has anti-aging benefits, and can activate dormant genes within our DNA to make our cells stronger.

Fasting can literally kill cancerous tissue. Not convinced? Well, it might help to know that multiple pharmaceutical companies have invested massive amounts of money and resources to utilize the SAME chemical and biological signals released when an individual fasts to develop anti-cancer medications.

Fasting was a major component of most ancient religions. For all we know, it could have been used as a ploy to help people get through tough times when food was scarce. However, modern science has gathered enough empirical data to show that fasting is actually very beneficial for the body, providing evidence that these ancient cultures knew a lot more than originally thought.

Before a cancer has metastasized, fasting can potentially destroy the tumor in its entirety! Even if a tumor has metastasized, fasting can be VERY beneficial in halting or slowing down further growth, giving the immune system some time to fight the cancer, and can help increase potency of chemotherapy to target cancer cells. Starvation (fasting) releases anti-growth factors, biological and chemical signals, which instruct cells to stop growing or dividing. Typically, cells grow and divide when there is ample energy and resources. However, when the body experiences a shortage of energy or recourses, cells begin to release anti-growth factors to slow down or halt cell growth and division. Cancer cells, however, have lost the innate ability to respond to these inhibitory signals sent by the body, thus growing and dividing uncontrollably. Anti-growth factors typically don’t affect cancer cells as much as they do healthy cells. However, the beauty of fasting is that we can literally starve the cancerous tissue and kill it.

Cancer cells secrete multiple biological and chemical signals promoting angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels), encouraging new blood vessels to form, supplying essential nutrients for a tumor to grow. If left unchecked, cells inside the tumor will enter the blood stream through the same blood vessels that feed it, spreading around the body in a process known as metastasis. Starvation (fasting) induces cells to release angiostatin and endostatin, proteins that inhibit angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels. Logically, by stopping the formation of new blood vessels, we can limit and possibly stop the flow of blood to the tumor; it cannot grow as fast and as large. Furthermore, when the body is starved, it begins to ration the remaining resources to the most essential organs and processes. The body naturally diverts blood flow away from tumors and other non-essential organs and directs it to the heart, kidneys, liver, et al. Also, since the digestive system isn’t using up any energy because there isn’t any food to digest, the body utilizes the nutrients and energy found in the blood that would otherwise be utilized by the digestive system, to help the immune system and other organs, thus giving the body more power to fight the cancer. Not convinced? Well, it might help to know that multiple pharmaceutical companies have been developing treatments that incorporate angiostatin and endostatin to cure cancer.

Research has shown that fasting increases chemotherapy potency

According to a study conducted at the University of Southern California by Dr. Valter Longo and his team, fasting for as little as 48 hours protects healthy cells against chemotherapy.  Experiments conducted in test tubes confirmed normal human cells were two to five times more resistant than cancer cells to chemotherapy after a short period of starvation. Mice administered large doses of chemotherapy after 48 hours of starvation thrived whereas the same dose killed half of the normally fed mice and caused noticeable weight and energy loss in the remaining survivors.

Starving induces healthy cells to utilize certain genes that make them more resistant to stress and tolerable to higher doses of chemotherapy. It’s kind of like applying a protective shield around the healthy cells while the cancer cells are left vulnerable. If you recall, cancer cells have lost their ability to either die or stop dividing. Apparently, the piece of genetic code altered to cause cancer cells to divide uncontrollably also affects their ability to strengthen cells, or so this particular lab states.

Fasting has anti-aging benefits

Fasting also has wondrous anti-aging benefits. Every time a cell divides, the DNA gets shorter and shorter. At the ends of our DNA, we have long strands of non-essential code called telomeres. They are considered non-essential because they don’t code for anything. Their purpose is to act as a buffer for every time the cell copies the DNA. Every time a cell divides, it has to copy the DNA, and every time the DNA is copied, the ends get shorter and shorter. It finally reaches a point where the telomeres have gotten so short that if theDNA is copied any more, it destroys the genes closest to the ends. One of the major benefits of fasting is that we temporarily halt or slow down the cell dividing process. Now I know some of you are thinking, “what about the good cells, like our immune system, I don’t want them to stop dividing”. Here’s even better news, the body will use its energy and resources to keep its vital processes going, at the expense of the non-vital processes. If we can stop our cells from dividing as much, and if we can prolong the inevitable demise of our DNA, we can live younger and healthier. Once vital genes within the DNA are destroyed when a cell is dividing, it begins to produce malfunctioning or even toxic cells, which consequently destroy the body.

Finally, multiple studies have found that animals with low calorie diets stay younger and are better shielded against a multitude of diseases, especially cardiovascular (heart related) and neuro-degenerative (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.).

10 comments on “The Ancient Treatment to Battle Cancer and Aging: Fasting”

  1. Hunter says:

    Maybe this is why fasting is a part of so many religious doctrines. I’m not saying they knew about the intricate biological ramifications you mentioned above, but I imagine throughout the generations, they realized that it was beneficial one way or another. Great articles man, keep them coming.

    1. Hoang says:

      Bladder cancer (assuming it has not adelary spread beyond the bladder) is one of the best kinds to get, if you insist on getting cancer, LOL. It responds well to chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery, and worst case scenario, the entire bladder can be removed and replaced with a fake one made from part of your colon or with a synthetic replacement.There are no effective home remedies for ANYTHING, if they worked they would become conventional medicine; the reason so many misguided people believe in home remedies is that many (most, even) illnesses cure themselves, given time. This is NOT the case with cancer!Try this experiment: next time you get a headache, eat a teaspoonful of salt with a large glass of water, then bury the teaspoon in the front garden. Your headache will be gone within a few hours.It’s not a home remedy , the salt water and the teaspoon have NOTHING to do with your headache! What cured it was time

  2. kdog says:

    wow guys this is an amazing article. i agree with hunter, it seems as if this religious tradition really did have an impact on peoples lives. I’m sure it also helped with their diets and overall lives, especially since food was very scarce at times, as mentioned above. this is really fascinating, because now i know that if, god forbid, i know anyone who is in need of such medical care and cannot afford it, i can share this information with them and potentially save their life. Remarkable article, i cant say that enough.

  3. Farhad says:

    You are exactly right. I think fasting is really a treatment for cancer patients. Although it’s true that there are many different types of cancers and need different kind of treatments to targets these different cancers but fasting is kind of a treatment that can hit all types of cancers.

    1. Product-Boy says:

      Farhad, yes, fasting is a great tool for fighting cancer. However, while fasting, especially if you’re terminal, you NEED to be very closely monitored since a lot of chemo can weaken you and not eating can make it very bad for you.

      Fasting is a great way of preventing cancer from EVER forming! Before enough blood vessels have been harvested, the cancerous tissue can be suffocated. Also, you’re absolutely right about the fact that it can target all types of cancer. It had not occurred to us to include that in the post.

  4. Hollywoodstarrs says:

    I find that this article is a perfect detailed introduction to the biology of cancer and fasting. I have been searching the internet for info and all i find is varying personal experiences. They are good for referencing but not in the ultimate understanding of the cancer’s behavior in and during a fast.

    This article tells me that starving cancer (fasting) does not kill the cancer but stops the growth of blood vessels to the “developing” tumor. My question is does it regress the blood vessels that have already formed around the existing tumors?

    If, so then the tumor would eventually die of malnutrition, but it would take a while. The duplication of the cells is constant with cancer but the use of energy is lower than normal cells, since it is an abnormal cell.

    1. Product-Boy says:

      Hollywoodstarrs, blood vessel regression is a characteristic of long fasts and can destroy the tumor, however, if the tumor has metastasized, then one would have to take a different approach and fasting may not be the best form of treatment.

      In either case, I would highly recommend you watch the documentary on Dr. Burzynski and his antineoplaston cancer treatment.

  5. Sarah says:

    – there are many other options avabalile in the US.The real question is BETTER than chemo or radiation really better? I’m a Cancer survivor who owes his life to chemo and radiation therapy. It worked for me. Cancer Treatment Centers of America bases it’s advertising on providing the most and best therapy’s avabalile for Cancer. I may be biased, being an American- but even so, the research I’ve done rates America’s treatments, drugs, and general procedures a healthy cut above the rest of the world. I guess my best advice based on my opinion- would be to go with the usual course of treatment prescribed , unless the prognosis or results were terminal.

  6. Metastase au foie says:

    Fantastic site. Lots of helpful information here. I’m sending it to several pals ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks for your sweat!

  7. google earth says:

    I have CLL and Parkinson’s. In the next 2 weeks I am going to fast for 3 days. Then
    at my next checkup and will see what my white blood count is.

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