Autophagy fasting can be dangerous

How healthy is fasting?

"Fasting solely as a means of losing weight has not proven itself"
(Jost Langhorst, chief physician)

Other studies suggest that fasting improves blood counts: for example, cholesterol and uric acid levels improve, and the levels of C-reactive protein can also decrease. This is usually increased with infections and tissue damage and causes inflammatory reactions. Fasting appears to lower the tendency to develop inflammatory responses. This is probably why, according to numerous studies, fasting has a positive effect on autoimmune diseases in which the body's defenses are directed against. This applies, among other things, to multiple sclerosis, asthma, neurodermatitis, allergies, rheumatic diseases and inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases.

Slightly high blood sugar - which is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes - can also be brought under control more easily with fasting. Because by foregoing food, the body cells become more receptive to the hormone insulin, which ensures that sugar is absorbed from the blood into the cells. Fasting has also been shown to have a positive effect on people who already have type 2 diabetes. Some patients can achieve, for example, by fasting that they need less insulin, «says Jost Langhorst, chief physician of the Clinic for Integrative Medicine and Naturopathy at the Klinikum am Bruderwald, Social Foundation Bamberg. "However, you should proceed with caution here and fast under medical supervision, because the unstable blood sugar metabolism in diabetics is particularly susceptible to changes."

Fasting to Lose Weight? Better not!

The brain could also benefit from temporarily cutting off food. Individual studies even provide evidence that regular fasting slightly lowers the risk of dementias such as Alzheimer's. However, this effect has so far only been observed in some of the investigations. To what extent fasting actually prevents Alzheimer's, researchers are currently discussing controversially.

And what about the weight? Of course, you lose a few pounds while fasting. In the eyes of Langhorst, however, this should not be the main reason for not eating. »Fasting solely as a means of losing weight has not proven its worth. It is true that you lose a few kilograms of fluid during this time. But if you don't use the diet to change your diet, the famous yo-yo effect occurs: you gain weight the same or even more. ”The decisive factor is to change one's diet and lifestyle after fasting. Fasting could at least be a good start - and not just psychologically. "In some places in the body there is actually a kind of metabolic change, a restart," explains the expert.

These positive effects are probably one of the reasons that fasting is now a tradition that goes back thousands of years. Whether fasting in Christianity from Ash Wednesday to Easter or Ramadan in Islam: the vast majority of religions use the concept of temporary starvation instinctively as a purification therapy. And in English-speaking countries, many even speak of it every day without even realizing it. "Breakfast" means nothing more than breaking the fast - you eat something after fasting for a very short night while sleeping.

Therapeutic fasting and intermittent fasting

Two fasting methods in particular are popular today. One revolves around the classic, multi-day fast. This can be done as a therapeutic fasting according to Buchinger. This is where the positive effects of fasting come into play particularly well, because you cut down your food intake almost completely over a long period of time. The therapeutic fasting according to Buchinger can last up to four weeks, during which one only consumes around three liters of water, tea, small amounts of juices and vegetable broth every day. The amount of food ingested is so small that the metabolism is oriented towards fasting - and at the same time so high that fasting is possible for a few days without becoming a torture.