Water-Only Fasting Protocols Found to Enhance Cancer Treatments
Intermittent fasting has become popular for health and weight loss. But could fasting also be a highly effective tool for fighting and reversing cancer?
Across the world, nearly every culture has a tradition of fasting, but in our modern lives we’ve created a world of surplus and with it a constant and easily satiated hunger. With this excess food, our society has become plagued by diseases of excess.
Dr. Alan Goldhamer is the founder of True North Health Foundation, a therapeutic clinic for water-only fasting that helps patients suffering from a range of illnesses including hypertension, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and cancer.
“We’ve gone from being criminal quacks to cutting-edge researchers because this idea of fasting has definitely gained some popular support,” Goldhamer said. “Our approach is very different, we believe that there is a cause of real health and the cause of health is healthful living. So, we focus on diet, sleep, (and) exercise, and we use fasting to undo the consequences of dietary excess, essentially. That’s why the conditions that respond the best to fasting are the conditions caused by dietary excess – so, obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and certain forms of cancer, including Lymphoma.
Studies have shown that fasting acts to help the body’s natural ability to destroy dead or diseased cells — a process called autophagy. Now, doctors have begun to study how fasting protocols in conjunction with drugs, such as chemotherapy, can improve the efficacy of cancer treatment.
“It turns out autophagy is the process the body uses to get rid of cellular debris — aging cells and cancer cells — and it turns out that fasting is one of those things that may profoundly enhance autophagy in, not just humans, but also in other animals. In fact in rats, if you do periodic fasting with rats you can double their lifespan (everything else being equal). So, this is something that’s very interesting and promising. I don’t know that we have what I would consider definitive research on the issue, but it certainly raises one of the mechanisms by which fasting may also be effective,” Goldhamer said.
“You know, you get weight loss with fasting — about a pound a day — it’s probably the most efficient way of mobilizing, not just weight, but specifically fat and preferentially visceral fat. So, it turns out fasting is probably the most efficient way shown to date, at preferentially mobilizing visceral fat — the type of fat associated with inflammation and ill health,” Goldhamer said.
Goldhamer stresses the importance of a holistic and healthy lifestyle approach after seeing positive results from a fasting regimen; a concept that is often absent in mainstream medicine.
“You can get people to live healthfully even if you don’t fast, many of these conditions will begin to improve,” Goldhamer said. “We’ve noticed that recently because we’re booked out for several months and so people can’t come in right away, they’ll work with our doctors through our telemedicine practice; and they’ll work with these doctors, and annoyingly, they’re often getting well before we even get to them! Because health results from healthful living, it’s diet, sleep, exercise — these are the dominant factors that promote health. Fasting is a useful tool as a facilitator to speed that process and, in fairness, sometimes people have done the diet and lifestyle, but they’re still struggling. Therefore fasting can be a very important tool that allows a lot of things to happen more quickly.”
Goldhamer’s clinic offers free consultations to potential candidates for long-term water fasts and will continue to conduct research into the therapeutic benefits of fasting for treating chronic illness.
Intermittent Fasting: Meal Plans and Schedules
I love intermittent fasts. I have found them to be physically healing, emotionally cleansing, and spiritually uplifting. As the body experiences a shift in its attachment to food, the mind and heart experience something similar in relation to their attachments to ideas, feelings, people, and experiences.
Intermittent fasting refers to eating plans and dietary protocols that cycle between periods of fasting (no food or some food) and periods of non-fasting. There are a variety of intermittent fasting diets, along with several types of intermittent diet meal plans.
The benefits of intermittent fasting include lowering insulin levels, reducing inflammation, improving brain health, possible weight loss, and helping you feel more hopeful and prayerful. Overall, intermittent fasting has shown promising results in broad trials involving mice and a few limited human trials.
To learn more about intermittent fasting, check out my other article about the benefits, trends, spirituality, and dangers.