Science and Health

Study Suggests Fasting Can Be Good For Immune System

New research out of the University of Southern California shows fasting can help kick start your immune system.

Study Suggests Fasting Can Be Good For Immune System
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Could you go days without eating or drinking?  

Personally, I can't even go hours.

But if you're willing to give food the boot — at least temporarily — a new study shows it could potentially have amazing benefits for your health. (Via Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissionstu_spivack

"Fasting for as little as three days may regenerate your entire immune system ... Starving the body kick starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells which fight off infection." (Via  WZTV)

Although in the past nutritionists have said fasting is not healthy, these researchers say when fasting your body recycles old or damaged immune cells. Then when you start eating again news cells begin to grow, not unlike rebooting a computer system.  (Via KTXL)

The researchers say fasting can most help people who have compromised immune systems, like patients who have undergone chemotherapy treatment for cancer or the elderly. 

In a statement the study's co-author said “While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy." But the study's author also says more clinical studies are needed and a medical analyst for WNYW seems to agree. (Via University of Southern California

"I think to really prove this is true we need more studies in the future. I'm not convinced this is the way to go... but you see a lot of younger guys doing this kind of fasting diet, so it may work." 

The researchers involved in the study hope to soon find out the effects fasting has on other organs and systems throughout the body.