Fasting as part of a chronic disease management protocol
August 3, 2017
(Edited version of an original Facebook post 30 June 2017.)
I have added fasting recently to my health and cancer management lifestyle.
There is sufficient science telling us that we all (yes all) need to be undertaking some glucose/glycogen restriction activities if we are to avoid many of the chronic diseases and conditions that are showing alarming increases in frequency: cancer, Alzheimers and diabetes to name just 3.
In the case of cancer, Cancer Research UK analysis suggests that one in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives (…if you don’t change what you are doing). This means that you (yes, you) have a 50% chance of getting cancer. That means if you are lucky enough to avoid it, then your partner is going to get it. And if that does not shock you into action, think about the 2 children you have. One is going to get cancer, as well as your partner. Scary.
So, this post is to urge you to take the decision to lead your life differently. Don’t do what I have done. Take action for yourself and for others dear to you who look to you for a lead in life.
To lessen your chances of getting cancer, glucose reduction is a hugely important strategy: cancer cells need glucose for energy. And they need energy to replicate. They can’t use the other forms of energy (such as fat and ketones) that healthy cells can. Therefore, an anti-cancer strategy involves putting your body/blood status into periods of highly restricted glucose levels, where the cancer cells will starve to death and healthy cells will thrive.
Fasting as part of a wider protocol
My personal belief is that, in any programme, I should adopt a strategy where I am using many paths to achieve my goals. Being a one trick pony is too risky; too hit and miss.
Therefore, you might like to use aspects of my multi-faceted strategy on glucose restriction activies:
- Daily physical exercise: cardio & HIT. Muscles burn glucose.
- A daily cognitive work out (research or writing for me). The brain burns glucose.
- Restrictive time eating (a type of fasting). Eating only in the 8 hours: 10am – 6pm and drinking only water all other times. This depletes your glucose and glycogen levels and forces your body to burn fat and ketones for energy.
- 60 hour water fasts once every two weeks for more acute glucose depletion and for the rebooting of many biological processes, including those involving the immune system and toxin removal.
There are other fasting protocol variants too, such as the 5:2 method, where fasting is condensed into two days every week. Which method you chose depends on which one your body feels most confortable with.
There is a general message doing the rounds that you should exercise caution when you set out fasting for the first time, or fast for longer than 48 hours. In additon my advice is that you should not fast when your BMI is lower than 20 because your fat reserves are getting too low – you may start to feel unwell if your dietary fat intake is too low or your ability to metabolise dietary fat is compromised.
I would certainly advocate that regular fasting, or fasting longer than 48 hours is done with the support of your nutritionist.
Watch this excellent TEDx talk given by Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging for more sciencific rationale behind fasting.
Good luck with your fasting. And if you would like to learn more about how I use it in my health management protocol, do come to one of my events.