Okay. That's all well and good, but I couldn't do it. I have one of my shaky spells if a regular meal is late. Anyway, many nutritionists criticize fasting diets as being bad for the health.
But new research suggests starving the body can kick-start stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection. Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy.
Phew! That's a relief. They're not talking about me. I'm safe—at the present time.
Scientists say it could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases. Prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to aging and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumor growth.
According to research, fasting flips a regenerative switch which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially reforming the entire immune system.
In trials, people regularly fasted for between two and four days over a six-month period. Prolonged fasting forced the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also broke down a significant portion of white blood cells.
There we have the evidence. But, at this time, my body does best with a regular, although small, intake of food. Besides, I like eating.
Replete with food, I carry on at my computer all morning, not finishing my task, mostly editing a novel, until mid-day. A light lunch consisting of a wholemeal bread sandwich sees me through to a proper meal at 6 pm, finished off with peppermint tea. Nothing else passes my lips 'till the next morning.
Fasting is not for me. I'd get what my grandmother used to call the shakes. If I stopped eating, I couldn't function—might as well be dead.
How about you? Could you fast if you knew it would be good for you?