Fasting for MS & Auto-immune disease

Did you see this paper that came out over summer? http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605141507.htm

fasting

Explains how, in both laboratory mice and humans, fasting for 2-4 days at a time caused cells in the immune system to first be depleted, with damaged immune cells being destroyed,  being followed, once eating was re-introduced, by stem cell regeneration of new immune cells.

They liken the effect to ‘flipping a regenerative switch’, and the work has implications for people with auto-immune diseases aswell as those going through chemotherapy, or with lowered immune systems.

Wouldn’t it be great if those new immune cells were not programmmed to destroy the body’s own tissues?

Many ancient cultures and systems of medicine used fasting to treat illness, and there are in fact many benefits to intermittent ( obviously not starving yourself, but on & off) fasting, many of which you can read about in the popular book ‘ The Fast Diet’ by Micheal Mosely

I for one am not going to wait. I have found the benefits of intermittent fasting to be excellent since losing loads of weight on the Fast diet a couple of years ago, and I regularly don’t eat until night time. I don’t have an auto-immune disease, but my little 9 year old daughter does. Tonight I’m going to sit down with her and ask if, if I stay with her and we light the fire, get a duvet down, stack up the biggest pile of films and programs, and she can watch as much and as long as she likes, she would go for a 2 day fast to see what happens.

Watch this space.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chia-Wei Cheng, Gregor B. Adams, Laura Perin, Min Wei, Xiaoying Zhou, Ben S. Lam, Stefano Da Sacco, Mario Mirisola, David I. Quinn, Tanya B. Dorff, John J. Kopchick, Valter D. Longo. Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA to Promote Hematopoietic-Stem-Cell-Based Regeneration and Reverse Immunosuppression. Cell Stem Cell, 2014; 14 (6): 810 DOI:10.1016/j.stem.2014.04.014
  2. Chia-Wei Cheng, Gregor B. Adams, Laura Perin, Min Wei, Xiaoying Zhou, Ben S. Lam, Stefano Da Sacco, Mario Mirisola, David I. Quinn, Tanya B. Dorff, John J. Kopchick, Valter D. Longo

    Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA to Promote Hematopoietic-Stem-Cell-Based Regeneration and Reverse ImmunosuppressionCell Stem Cell, Volume 14, Issue 6, 5 June 2014, Pages 810-823

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9 thoughts on “Fasting for MS & Auto-immune disease

    • Hi Fiona
      Thanks. I’m so keen to get on with this but need to find a 2 day period with no parties or feasting, and the space to just go for it… haven’t even managed to broach it yet!! But I like the idea of doing a ‘re-set’ on the immune system. Take care 🙂

  1. A lot of what I see on this topic indicates fasting must be for 72 hours, though the research on that is not available as is the cell article (sans $39 USD). We need to know more.

    • Thanks for your comment- ok, 72 hours- that’s 3 days – hard!! But could be very worthwhile. Absolutely right we need to know more, and I welcome any further links or leads. I’m thinking for a child though, should need less hours.

      • Hi, wondering if you ever got your daughter to do the fast, and if it seemed beneficial? My understanding is that it should be regular, like once every month. Both my mother and sister have different autoimmune diseases, and my other sister recently underwent chemo, so I’m very interested in this area of research and in trying it out for our family. Any comments would be helpful 🙂 Thanks

      • Dear Tara,
        Hi! Kind of mixed response! We did fast together, with a pile of Harry Potter Dvds, for 24 hours, then only steamed veg for tea, and another 12 hours. It definately seemed to calm down symptoms, but we have not managed it again, and that short burst was not a cure. I have carried on doing intermittent fasting and find it very powerful for my own health. I think the difficulty is in that she’s 9 years old, and life just sweeps you along – work, cubs, gym, over to friends, events etc etc etc…
        I agree that fasting i think needs to be regular. At present I am investigating FMT… take a look at that – will blog soon on the subject!
        all the best! Miranda

  2. Hi Miranda,

    Intermittent fasting does have some real, positive health benefits. And, as you point out, Professor Valter Longo is a great proponent of the practice although he is also strongly opposed to the consumption of red meat.

    I love your idea of the fasting causing stem cell regeneration and I will certainly try it. I have had MS for many years nnd have considered stem cell replacement therapy, but fasting would be a far better way of achieving this.

    I have a number of posts on Intermittent Fasting on my own blog.

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