Clinical Fasting

Submitted on July 28, 2017 - 1:56pm

This article originally appeared in Sonoma Medicine: the summer 2017 edition.  

Summary: Modern humans evolved while surviving prolonged periods without food and have voluntarily fasted for spiritual and therapeutic reasons since ancient times. Water-only fasting (complete abstinence from all foods and beverages except for pure water) is now used therapeutically to initiate physiological responses that may promote self-healing.

In a fasted state, increased autophagy (breakdown and recycling of damaged and non-essential tissue) provides a source of amino acids, fatty acids, and minerals, and the energy previously used for digestion may be directed towards cellular regeneration.

The physiological adaptations that occur in the fasted state may produce various health improvements. Clinical evidence in humans suggests that fasting may improve hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chemotherapy side effects, and quality of life.

Despite the possible good outcomes, water-only fasting is also not a cure or treatment in the traditional sense; it is simply intended to promote the body’s self-healing mechanisms. In order to maintain the results obtained by water-only fasting, it is necessary to adhere to a health-promoting lifestyle that includes a diet of minimally processed plant foods, adequate sleep, and robust physical exercise.  

To read the full article, please click on the attached file below here...

Fasting in the Treatment of Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

Submitted on May 30, 2010 - 4:16pm

Summary: High blood pressure (HBP) is the most common contributing cause of death and disability in populations of industrialized countries. The majority of patients that suffer morbidity and mortality as a consequence of hypertension have blood pressure (BP) in the high-normal range, with systolic BP between 120 mm Hg. and 140 mm Hg. No medication options are available for these patients because the risks of HBP medication clearly outweigh any potential benefit for most patients with BP in this range. 

Fortunately, there are numerous complementary and alternative strategies that have been demonstrated to be safe and effective for treating HBP. One such approach was reported in the October 2002 issue of JACM (Goldhamer et al., 2002). In this study, 68 patients with high-normal blood pressure who underwent a period of water-only fasting (average 14 days of fasting) experienced average blood pressure reductions of more than 20/7 mm Hg. 

Click on the attached file below to read the full letter. [original publication unknown].