Dry Fasting - A New Trend - Cure for Cancer?
I have been hearing a lot of buzz about dry fasting lately and even hearing that people are kicking cancer with it. Of course, you hear all kinds of things. Personally, I am intrigued, but how true can claims like these possibly be?
What is dry fasting?
Dry fasting is said to be a way for the body to heal itself by going without food or water for an extended period of time.
In a regular dry fast, the person can brush his teeth or shower, but in a 'hard' dry fast, the person does not touch water whatsoever.
Sound extreme? It certainly does compared to what we have heard the modern, western medical establishment prescribing. From what we have been taught to believe by the medical community of late, going without food and water sounds scary - for even a day. Going without for more than two days sounds downright frightening.
We have been taught so long that we need food in our system all of the time, that breakfast is utterly crucial, and that we need to keep feeding our bodies. For decades we were told three times a day and some health professionals recommend that it is actually beneficial to eat as many as 5 or even 6 times a day.
However, the fact remains that fasting has been a part of human history for literally thousands of years. In various religions, fasting is normal and regularly done. Of course, people have died from going without food for long periods of time as well. If one decides to fast, exercising wisdom and doing research should be a part of the process.
I have fasted for as long as 2 days with great results. I At some point, I would like to go longer than that, perhaps as long as 3 days.
In any case, our modern medical professionals, often seem to advise everyone that we continue to eat regularly, and even advise this to those who already face a possible death sentence with cancer and other diseases.
Is going without food scarier than chemo?
Is going without food and water scarier than chemotherapy? That's the question I have. As much as going without food for a day sounds scary to some, chemotherapy, the regularly-prescribed treatment, has some absolutely, unquestioningly, horrifying side effects. If you are not aware, the side effects include fatigue, infection, mouth sores, hair loss, anemia, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, tingling, burning, achy, loss of balance, shaking, stiff neck, headache, vision problems, hearing problems, clumsiness, changes in thinking and memory, sexual and reproductive issues, weight loss and heart problems. Some of these symptoms can be permanent.
Even more frightening than the symptoms, is the fact that there is a good chance that it will not even rid the body of cancer.
I once heard an analogy about chemo that I thought was appropriate, personally. "It is like spraying toxic weed killer all over your garden while hoping that just the flowers grow back"
Dos and Don'ts of Dry Fasting
First off, consult your doctor before going on any diet.
Some information on the subject of dry fasting advises people to work up to a fast and to properly prepare the body for the fast by having a few days consuming just juices beforehand. Here is more detailed information on that.
It is said that larger people, wanting to lose weight, can handle a longer fast than those who are just slightly overweight or at a normal weight.
Be warned: The first days of the fast are the toughest because the body is still holding out for food and water.
The theory of dry fasting
When the body figures out that food and water are not available, after a few days of dry fasting, it makes a switch to the survival mode. This is the mode where you want your body to be at. The body feels that death is imminent and goes into its deepest level of healing itself. It no long has the option to support any disease or parasite. These are non-essentials and the body eliminates them to sustain the essentials and cellular renewal occurs. This healing state comes into being by no other means than dry fasting. It is believed that every cell in your body 'cleans house'.
Side effects of the dry fast include: weakness, fatigue, sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, and feelings of depletion.
The study on dry fasting
There is not a lot of data to support the idea of dry fasting, although in this study, 10 healthy adults were restricted from food and water and researchers came to this conclusion: "The intervention of 5 FWD (food water deprivation) days in 10 healthy adults was found to be safe, decreased weight and all measured circumferences, and improved renal function considerably."
Proponents make claims that the dry fast is three times as effective as a water fast.
From Hell to Inspired, is a book with glowing reviews, in which author, Hilde Larson, extols the benefits of dry fasting and healthy eating, Hilde claims that after years of living with severe rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, Lyme disease, anxiety, and ulcers, she was able to get off medications and say goodbye to her miserable existence, to a life where she enjoys complete healing.
A plus for chemo patients
In this study , researchers found that
prolonged fasting protect against a major side effect of chemo, immune system damage. As well, induce immune system regeneration occurred, which meant that there was a shift of stem cells to a state of self-renewal, from a dormant state.
Some quotes from the lead researcher, Valter Longo, Edna M. Jones Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute:
“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system,”
"There is no evidence at all that fasting would be dangerous while there is strong evidence that it is beneficial"
“What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back.”
Ironically, is it not true that chemotherapy patients are encouraged to eat? Would it be more beneficial for them to fast instead? Do oncologists changed their patient recommendations? Or suggested fasting?
"No, don't fast", says Professor of Regenerative Medicine
Chris Mason, professor of regenerative medicine at University College London, in response to the 72 hour fast study said that it “could be potentially useful because that is not such a long time that it would be terribly harmful to someone with cancer. But I think the most sensible way forward would be to synthesize this effect with drugs. I am not sure fasting is the best idea. People are better eating on a regular basis.”
Despite new evidence, some remain unyielding in their thinking. I wonder if this is true of most? Do doctors on oncologists now suggest fasting after chemotherapy, based on the new findings?
I wonder what fasting, water or dry, could do in a cancer patient who had not received chemotherapy?
Due to the fact that cancer has been around for decades, and fasting has been around for centuries, and there is anecdotal evidence to suggest fasting is helpful, why are the studies that combine the two, as a potential cure, so remarkably scarce?
Please share your thoughts, comments and questions below.