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Combat cancer and heart disease with THIS powerful practice

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intermittent-fasting(NaturalHealth365)  The numbers are staggering, even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admit: a shocking 60 percent of American adults live with a potentially life-threatening chronic disease, while 40 percent are affected by two or more.  This deadly cluster of chronic illnesses include heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and diabetes.  Researchers report that all of them have inflammation as an underlying cause.

Holistic healthcare providers have long maintained that the standard American diet – high in factory farmed (toxic) fats and overly processed foods loaded with sugars and unwanted chemicals – promote the chronic inflammation that underpins these severe diseases.  But, thankfully, a newly published study conducted by Cambridge University and the National Institutes of Health suggests we may be able to “hit the brakes” on destructive inflammation through intermittent fasting.

Let’s see how a (carefully controlled) program of “doing without” could pay off in a healthier and longer life.

Scientists identify a troubling substance linked to heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative conditions

Inflammation, the body’s natural response to injury and infection, can promote healing – and is not necessarily harmful in itself.  However, problems can arise when inflammation becomes excessive or chronic.  Triggered by immune system components known as inflammasomes, inflammation may sometimes occur without trauma or illness.

These harmful inflammasomes can damage and destroy cells, causing the release of cellular material into the body and creating inflammation.  The researchers identified an inflammasome known as NLRP3 as particularly destructive, noting that it plays a major role in degenerative chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, obesity, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Researchers: Intermittent fasting reduces NLRP3 activity

The new study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Reports, shows that intermittent fasting can reduce chronic inflammation with the help of an anti-inflammatory fat known as arachidonic acid.  To conduct the study, scientists analyzed the blood of volunteers after they consumed a scant 500-calorie meal, fasted for 24 hours, and then ate another 500-calorie meal.  The team found that limiting caloric intake in this way raised levels of arachidonic acid.  But that wasn’t all.  Researchers found that heightened levels of arachidonic acid reduced the activity of the troublesome NLRP3 inflammasome.  (This came as somewhat of a surprise, as scientists previously believed that arachidonic acid causes inflammation.  Now, it appears as if the reverse is true.)

According to study leader Professor Claire Bryant, a Fellow at Queen’s College, University of Cambridge, the study suggests that regular fasting could protect against chronic inflammation.  And since chronic inflammation is a known factor in the development and progression of cancer, these findings imply that fasting may have potential implications for cancer prevention and treatment by mitigating inflammation.  Prof. Bryant noted, however, that more study is needed.

Emerging body of evidence points to substantial health benefits of intermittent fasting

The new study is not the only research to show benefits from calorie restriction through fasting.  In a bombshell 2021 study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that three months of time-restricted intermittent fasting led to complete remission for over 50 percent of participants with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers theorized that intermittent fasting helped to align the circadian rhythms of body organs and systems, thereby improving glucose sensitivity, reducing inflammation, and decreasing unhealthy LDL cholesterol.  With close to 39 million Americans currently affected by diabetes, these exciting results call for further exploration.

In a recent study published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infectious Microbiology, researchers reported that intermittent fasting promotes the balance of the gut microbiome, the community of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract vital for immune system function and metabolic health.  Holistic doctors have long maintained that a properly balanced gut microbiome may help protect against autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions while promoting a healthy weight.

In fact, participants in this study lost an average of 7.8 percent of their body mass over the course of the study.

When “less” is “more:” Intermittent fasting gains adherents

While intermittent fasting to improve health may sound far-fetched to skeptics, the practice appears to be supported by research.  Even Western medicine seems to be on board.  For instance, the Mayo Clinic concurs that intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of inflammatory conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, and stroke.

Intermittent fasting can be implemented in several ways.  “Alternate-day” fasting involves eating a normal diet one day and completely fasting (or having one small meal) the next.  “5:2” fasting, as the name indicates, involves eating normally for five days and fasting for two, while “daily time-restricted” fasting involves limiting your food consumption to an 8-hour period each day.

During non-fasting days or times, try to eat healthy amounts of whole, anti-inflammatory foods such as wild-caught cold-water fatty fish, pasture-raised eggs, organic leafy greens, beans, nuts, and cruciferous vegetables.  Of course, getting regular exercise, drinking plenty of pure filtered water, and avoiding fried, sugar-laden, and heavily processed foods are important pieces of the puzzle as well.

Naturally, have a talk with your trusted holistic doctor or health coach before embarking on any type of fasting routine, particularly if you have diabetes, kidney stones, or other medical conditions.

You and your healthcare team may decide that intermittent fasting could work for you.  Maybe it’s time to give this intriguing dietary practice a try!

Sources for this article include:

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