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Fluorine-Based Toxins Accumulate In The Body & Cause Multiple Health Problems

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When you bake muffins in a non-stick tin, do you think about how the non-stick coating is going to affect your health? There has been enough publicity around damaged Teflon that some reading this will likely think about the harm that can come from chipped non-stick coating. After all, who wants to eat that stuff? But I still doubt that most people think about the health consequences of the vapors that are being emitted from the heated non-stick pan or the chemicals that are being leached into their muffins while they bake them.

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Do you think about the vapors coming up from carpet-covered in-floor heating? Do you think about the health consequences of the particularly slippery dental floss that has become so popular? Do you think about how non-clump kitty litter may affect the health of your children? Do you think about how water-repellant packaging chemicals seep into the food they cover?

Most people don’t think about those things. Consumer products with non-stick coatings are such a pervasive part of life that they’re rarely thought about at all. Most people assume that those products are safe and that the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) and other regulatory agencies wouldn’t let people use them if they were dangerous.

Unfortunately, there is increasing evidence that the chemicals used to make non-stick consumer products, chemicals such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, a.k.a. C8), are toxic and that they’re related (causally, but that’s difficult to prove) to many diseases. Even more worrisome is the fact that organofluorine compounds like PFOA bioaccumulate — meaning that they are not excreted from the body. Rather, they accumulate in the body with each exposure, and the risk of suffering from ill-health because of them increases as the toxic load on the body increases. Additionally, man-made organofluorine compounds accumulate in the environment and the food-chain. Creatures who are high on the food chain, like humans, get exposed to these chemical compounds that have concentrated our food. We’re also affected by them when they’re in the water that we drink and the air that we breathe.

Whether you think about it or not, you have PFOA and other organofluorine compounds in your blood. Since they started being produced in the 1950s, PFOAs and other organofluorine compounds, have become so pervasive that every person, and every living creature tested, has organofluorines in his or her body (1).

PFOAs, and other organoflurine compounds, are toxic to living creatures. In animal studies, PFOAs have “been found to cause liver toxicity, disruption of lipid metabolism and the immune and endocrine systems, adverse neurobehavioral effects, neonatal toxicity and death, and tumors in multiple organ systems” (2), as well as “cancerous testicular, pancreatic and liver tumors” (3). In humans, elevated levels of PFOAs in the blood have been linked to “testicular cancer, liver cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol and pregnancy-induced hypertension” (3), as well as seizures, kidney failure, miscarriage and birth defects (4). DNA damage has been linked to organofluorine compounds (3). The toxicity of organofluorine compounds is widely spread across many organ systems, and the diseases that are related to them are multi-symptom, chronic diseases.

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In addition to being found in thousands of household products like carpeting, non-stick pans, waterproof clothes, dental floss, kitty litter and cosmetics (4), organofluorine compounds are also found in “aerosol propellants, surfactants, refrigerants, plastics, anesthetics, pesticides, plant growth regulators, medicines, adhesives, fire retardants, and even blood substitutes” (5). These products are used daily by millions of people, most of whom aren’t aware that they’re exposing themselves to toxins.

Organofluorine compounds are particularly dangerous because they essentially never biodegrade, and accumulate in the bodies of living beings while moving through the food-chain (6). Organofluorines have been “detected everywhere—produce and beef in American grocery stores, polar bears in the Arctic, children in the remote Faeroe Islands. One analysis of blood banks from around the world showed that nearly all of the blood contained C8. The lone exception was a set of archived samples that had been collected from Korean War veterans before 1952.” (4).

Organofluorine accumulation is getting worse every day, and with each generation. Organofluorine compounds have been found in umbilical cord blood (3) and breast milk, and children throughout the world are exposed to these toxic chemical compounds every day of their lives. As more and more organofluorines accumulate in each person, the toxic burden will get worse, and health consequences will become increasingly dire.

Unfortunately, “there are no reported studies of successful interventions to remove PFCs from the human body. Exposure to these commonly used non-stick and stain-resistant compounds is widespread, but excretion from the body is impaired as a result of the chemical nature of some of these agents and their propensity to be re-absorbed in the kidney and the enterohepatic [liver] circulation” (6).

With the progressive accumulation of organofluorine compounds, and as human health outcomes worsen as a result, there will undoubtedly be angry people who want to hold those responsible accountable for the creation of toxic organofluorines. As is often the case, the responsible parties are greedy corporations and failing regulatory agencies.

Corporate and Regulatory Culprits

Chemical giants DuPont and 3M are the primary producers of organofluorines that are used in household products. In their production of these goods, they have made billions in profit, while making people (and animals and plants) sick. For years DuPont covered up evidence of the toxic nature of PFOAs/C8, and rather than ceasing to use toxic organofluorine compounds when the toxicity of PFOA/C8 became clear, they switched from C8 to other organofluorine compounds which are no better for human or environmental health, but are not as well studied as C8 (4).

The regulatory agencies that are supposed to monitor the safety of chemicals in our environment, including the E.P.A., have failed to regulate organofluorine compounds in any meaningful way. “Under the 1976 Toxic Sub­stances Control Act, the E.P.A. can test chemicals only when it has been provided evidence of harm. This arrangement, which largely allows chemical companies to regulate themselves, is the reason that the E.P.A. has restricted only five chemicals, out of tens of thousands on the market, in the last 40 years” (3). Organofluorine compounds are not restricted by the E.P.A., and industrial giants/polluters like DuPont and 3M produce thousands of tons of them each year.

Details about the malfeasance of DuPont, the role of 3M, and the unwillingness and inability of the E.P.A. to protect people from the toxic, harmful effects of PFOA/C8 can be found in the brilliant exposés, “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare” written by Nathaniel Rich and published in The New York Times Magazine on January 6, 2016, and “Welcome to Beautiful Parkersburg, West Virginia: Home to one of the most brazen, deadly corporate gambits in U.S. history” written by Mariah Blaze and published in The Huffington Post.

Also exemplifying the problem of industry-controlled regulation of organofluorine compounds is the following from the article “Human detoxification of perfluorinated compounds”:

While there is increasing evidence suggesting health sequelae associated with PFC bioaccumulation, there are some authors and publications that have minimized concern about the accrual of these chemical agents. It is imperative to recognize that much of the research related to potentially toxic compounds, including PFCs, is undertaken or funded by the specific companies, industry-supported organizations and affiliated scientists involved with the production of the chemicals being studied. Furthermore, some toxicology journals routinely use reviewers from chemical companies to scrutinize and review manuscript submissions about the compounds their company manufactures. (6)

As long as science and journalism are corrupted by money, and regulatory agencies and politicians are controlled by corporations, citizens of the world have little protection against the toxic chemicals that can accumulate in our bodies and poison us.

Pharmaceuticals

Another source of toxic organofluorine compounds is fluorinated pharmaceuticals. Approximately 20% of the prescription drugs on the market are fluorinated (7), including fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro/ciprofloxacin, Levaquin/levofloxacin, Avelox/moxifloxacin, Floxin/ofloxacin), statins (Lipitor, Crestor and others), antimalarial drugs (Lariam/mefloquine), antidepressants (SSRIs including Prozac/fluoxetine), anesthesias, and chemotherapy drugs. Depending on how the drugs are formulated, and what position fluorine is attached to carbon, they can form poisonous metabolites (8, 9)  that may be responsible for the severe side-effects associated with many of the fluorinated drugs, and they may be contributing to the multi-symptom diseases of modernity. (Many of the drugs listed have been shown to damage mitochondria (10, 11), and damaged mitochondria lead to a cycle of oxidative stress and further damage to mitochondria (12). Fluorine metabolites, such as fluoroacetate, have also been shown to damage mitochondria and increase oxidative stress (13). Many multi-symptom, chronic diseases are linked to both mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress.)

Pesticides

In an article published in 1997 (the use of fluorine-containing pesticides has escalated since), it is noted that, “Over the past 15 years, the number of fluorine-containing agricultural chemicals has grown from 4% to approximately 9% of all agrochemicals and has increased in number faster than non-fluorinated agrochemicals. These compounds are primarily used as herbicides (48%), insecticides (23%), and fungicides (18%)” (5). Exposure to these fluorinated pesticides is hazardous to the health of both agricultural workers and consumers (14).

What Can be Done?

In May, 2015, more than 200 scientists signed The Madrid Statement, “which expresses concern about the production of all fluorochemicals, or PFASs, including those that have replaced PFOA” (3). In the Statement, they suggested that the following action take place:

Scientists:

  • Assemble, in collaboration with industry and governments, a global inventory of all PFASs in use or in the environment, including precursors and degradation products, and their functionality, properties, and toxicology.
  • Develop analytical methods for the identification and quantification of additional families of PFASs, including fluorinated alternatives.
  • Continue monitoring for legacy PFASs in different matrices and for environmental reservoirs of PFASs.
  • Continue investigating the mechanisms of toxicity and exposure (e.g., sources, fate, transport, and bioaccumulation of PFASs), and improve methods for testing the safety of alternatives.
  • Bring research results to the attention of policymakers, industry, the media, and the public.

Governments:

  • Enact legislation to require only essential uses of PFASs, and enforce labeling to indicate uses.
  • Require manufacturers of PFASs to conduct more extensive toxicological testing, make chemical structures public, provide validated analytical methods for detection of PFASs, and assume extended producer responsibility and implement safe disposal of products and stockpiles containing PFASs.
  • Work with industry to develop public registries of products containing PFASs.
  • Make public annual statistical data on production, imports, and exports of PFASs.
  • Whenever possible, avoid products containing, or manufactured using, PFASs in government procurement.
  • In collaboration with industry, ensure that an infrastructure is in place to safely transport, dispose of, and destroy PFASs and PFAS-containing products, and enforce these measures.

Chemical manufacturers:

  • Make data on PFASs publicly available, including chemical structures, properties, and toxicology.
  • Provide scientists with standard samples of PFASs, including precursors and degradation products, to enable environmental monitoring of PFASs.
  • Work with scientists and governments to develop safe disposal methods for PFASs.
  • Provide the supply chain with documentation on PFAS content and safe disposal guidelines.
  • Develop nonfluorinated alternatives that are neither persistent nor toxic.

Product manufacturers:

  • Stop using PFASs where they are not essential or when safer alternatives exist.
  • Develop inexpensive and sensitive PFAS quantification methods for compliance testing.
  • Label products containing PFASs, including chemical identity and safe disposal guidelines.
  • Invest in the development and use of nonfluorinated alternatives.

Purchasing organizations, retailers, and individual consumers:

  • Whenever possible, avoid products containing, or manufactured using, PFASs. These include many products that are stain-resistant, waterproof, or nonstick.
  • Question the use of such fluorinated “performance” chemicals added to consumer products.

Indeed, all of those recommendations need to be put into action. Given the accumulation of organofluorine compounds in our bodies and environment, the time for putting these recommendations into action is now–before it’s too late.

Sources:

  1. Environmental Science & Technology, “Production of Perfluorinated Carboxylic Acids (PFCAs) from the Biotransformation of Polyfluoroalkyl Phosphate Surfactants (PAPS):  Exploring Routes of Human Contamination
  2. Environmental Health Perspectives, “The Madrid Statement on Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)
  3. The New York Times Magazine, “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare
  4. The Huffington Post, “Welcome to Beautiful Parkersburg, West Virginia: Home to one of the most brazen, deadly corporate gambits in U.S. history
  5. Environmental Science & Technology, “Fluorinated Organics in the Biosphere
  6. Public Health, “Human detoxification of perfluorinated compounds
  7. Biomolecular Research & Therapeutics, “Fluorine is Flourishing in Pharmaceuticals
  8. Verdel, B.M., “Mechanism-based drug exposure classification in pharmacoepidemiological studies” Thesis Utrecht University – with ref. – with summary in Dutch, ISBN 978-90-393-5377-6 © 2010 Bertha Maria Verde
  9. British Journal of Cancer, “The anti-cancer drug 5-fluorouracil is metabolized by the isolated perfused rat liver and in rats into highly toxic fluoroacetate.
  10. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, “Medication-induced mitochondrial damage and disease
  11. Science Translational Medicine, “Bactericidal Antibiotics Induce Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Damage in Mammalian Cells
  12. Rejuvination Research, “Reactive oxygen species production in the mitochondrial matrix: implications for the mechanism of mitochondrial mutation accumulation.
  13. Biochemical Pharmacology, “Differential toxicity of fluoroacetate to heart, kidney and brain mitochondria of the living rat
  14. http://fluoridealert.org/researchers/pesticide/

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Some Doctors Claim Babies Should Share Their Mother’s Bed Until The Age Of 3

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study involving 16 infants monitored the babies while they slept in their mother's bed. It's not the only study examining the benefits of close contact between mother and child shortly after birth.

  • Reflect On:

    How much of what we do today in a conventional way, especially with regards to childbirth, is the best way to do it?

When it comes to parenting, everyone seems to have an opinion, and rightfully so, especially if you are yourself a parent. But what about controversial topics? Is there a right or wrong way to raise your children? Are there certain things that you should or should not be doing? Of course, some things are more important than others. But new advice given by a paediatrician suggests children should sleep in bed with their mothers until they reach the age of three. 

Dr. Nils Bergman, from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, argues that for optimal development, healthy newborns should sleep on their mother’s chest for at least their first few weeks. After that, he believes they should stay in bed with mom and dad until they are three or even four years old.

Because there has been a lot of fear propaganda created around the risk of cot death — the notion that a parent might roll over and suffocate their child — co-sleeping is generally not advised, and in fact, a recently published British study found that almost two-thirds of the cases of SIDS occurred when the bed was being shared.

But, according to Dr.Bergman, “When babies are smothered and suffer cot deaths, it is not because their mother is present. It is because of other things: toxic fumes, cigarettes, alcohol, big pillows and dangerous toys.”

A study involving 16 infants monitored the babies while they slept in their mother’s bed. It found that the baby’s heart was under three times as much stress when he or she slept alone. While sleeping in a cot, they had a more disrupted sleep and their brains were less likely to cycle and transition between the two types of sleep, called active and quiet.

In the cots, only 6 of the 16 babies had any quiet sleep at all, and their sleep quality was much worse.

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Dr. Bergman continued to explain how changes to the brain that are brought on by stress hormones can actually make it more difficult to form relationships and close bonds later in life.

Another study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry monitored results from 73 premature infants receiving Kangaroo Care, or skin-to-skin contact with their mothers, and another three premature infants received standard incubator care. The subjects of the study were monitored over a 10-year period, and the results were as follows:

KC increased autonomic functioning (respiratory sinus arrhythmia, RSA) and maternal attachment behavior in the postpartum period, reduced maternal anxiety, and enhanced child cognitive development and executive functions from 6 months to 10 years. By 10 years of age, children receiving KC showed attenuated stress response, improved RSA, organized sleep, and better cognitive control. RSA and maternal behavior were dynamically interrelated over time, leading to improved physiology, executive functions, and mother–child reciprocity at 10 years.

The National Childbirth Trust supports bed sharing provided the parents have not been drinking, smoking, or using drugs, or if they are obese, chronically ill, or suffer from chronic exhaustion, all of which could cause them to roll over onto the baby or otherwise impact their health.

Overall, it’s a very controversial issue. Many swear by bed sharing, and it certainly used to be standard practice before cribs became so common and affordable. There are many upsides to this, but it is also important to be aware of and consider the potential dangers.

We all know babies need to be snuggled and cuddled and given love; they need to feel safe and secure, and how could they possibly feel this all alone in another room in a crib? When you actually think about it, it seems pretty backwards.

Every parent is just doing what they feel is best for their baby, but the opinions of others tend to get in the way. We’ve all heard those comments like, Oh you shouldn’t pick up that baby, you need to let them cry, they are going to have attachment issues, how are they going to develop their independence? Well, they are babies; they can’t care for themselves and they need to be taken care of. It is a natural urge for the mother to take care of her child.

What are your thoughts on this? Did you co-sleep with your child? Did you ever feel it was unsafe? Do you prefer your child to sleep in a crib? Let us know!

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Yale Study Reveals 1 in 3 Drugs Have Safety Issues Even After FDA Approval

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association conducted by a team of researchers from Yale University discovered that nearly one in three drugs that the that the FDA tests and approves ends up having safety issues.

  • Reflect On:

    Are prescription drugs as safe as they're marketed to be?

In 2014, Harvard University stated that prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death, yet pharmaceutical companies continue to hide behind their profits and promote their products as safe. Doctors and even their patients are willing to turn a blind eye to many of the adverse side effects of drugs, opting for the “bandaid” effect they provide instead of seeking alternative treatments and preventative methods.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and conducted by a team of researchers from Yale University studied the effectiveness of the FDA’s drug approval process. The team discovered that nearly one in three drugs that the FDA tests and approves ends up having safety issues.

Research Finds Serious Issues With FDA Drug Approval Process

In order to establish whether or not pharmaceutical drugs are safe for consumers, the FDA implements drug testing and clinical trials. These trials typically test fewer than 1,000 patients over a short timeframe, usually around six months or less. The Yale researchers suggested that safety issues could only truly be detected if more patients were studied over a longer period of time, speaking to the ineffectiveness of the FDA’s testing.

To identify how to effectively determine any safety issues with pharmaceutical drugs, the Yale researchers studied data on new drugs approved between 2001 and 2010, with follow up through 2017. Their findings proved that approximately 32% of new drugs approved by the FDA had notable safety issues.

A shocking 71 of the 222 drugs approved within this timeframe were withdrawn, had a “black box” warning regarding the side effects, or required a safety announcement to the public about newfound risks. This begs the question: Why are these drugs being approved in the first place if they warrant so many safety concerns?

“That is very rarely a drug withdrawal, but more commonly a black box warning, or drug safety communication issued by the FDA to let physicians and patients know that new safety information has been determined,” explained Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health Dr. Joseph Ross, who led the research team.

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The researchers also specified characteristics of pharmaceuticals that were more likely to pose a higher risk of safety issues to patients, including biologic therapies and drugs that were approved through the FDA’s accelerated approval pathway. The accelerated approval process often uses surrogate endpoints, which means that the researchers measured a factor other than survival, such as tumour size, to figure out whether the drugs should be approved.

“This [finding on surrogate endpoints] has the greatest relationship to policy today,” Ross further elaborated. “In the 21st Century Cures Act, there’s a push to have the FDA move to further support the use of surrogate markers … [but] they’re more likely to have concerns in the post-market setting.”

“While the administration pushes for less regulation and faster approvals, those decisions have consequences,” Ross stated. The Yale team’s previous studies exposed that the FDA approval process for drugs is much faster than that of other government organizations in Europe, which is interesting given the nature of the business in both countries. Prices of drugs are far higher in America than they are abroad, and Americans take a lot more drugs, meaning U.S. pharmaceutical companies make a lot more money.

The timing of this study is interesting too, as the FDA has been facing increased pressure lately to quicken the drug approval process. “It shows that there is the potential for compromising patient safety when drug evaluation is persistently sped up,” said Ross. “At the very least, the study should inform ongoing debate about premarket drug evaluation,” the researchers concluded.

Dr. Caleb Alexander, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, weighed in on the study, commending the researchers for their work. “It’s important to keep in mind that the post-approval safety issues cover the spectrum from relatively minor to serious,” Alexander said.

“A good next step would be to dig into the extremely serious safety problems, determine whether the FDA could have flagged them sooner and how they might have been missed,” he continued.

“All too often, patients and clinicians mistakenly view FDA approval as [an] indication that a product is fully safe and effective,” Alexander explained. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We learn tremendous amounts about a product only once it’s on the market and only after use among a broad population.”

Dr. Alexander makes a great point: Just because a drug is approved by the FDA, doesn’t mean it’s safe. In an ideal world, FDA approval would mean that the drug is entirely safe to use, but the reality is that the testing is not extensive enough to even determine the safety of the drug, let alone guarantee it.

Far too often, people place their doctors and health care practitioners on pedestals and fail to conduct their own research. Though I am not qualified to professionally advise anyone on their health, I certainly do not trust everything that my doctor recommends, which is largely because no doctor knows everything there is to know about health. It’s up to you to figure out your own health, not your doctor.

Though doctors can provide wonderful advice and can help immensely when diagnosing and treating illnesses, they can also drastically hinder your health. However, that’s not necessarily their fault, it’s often yours. The onus is on you to conduct your own research, get multiple professional opinions if need be, and ensure you are making informed decisions.

Further Proof of Misconduct at the FDA

In journalism, embargo refers to a “back-room deal” in which journalists and their sources agree not to publish an article prior to a specific date or time. The FDA goes one step further by implementing a “closely held embargo,” which gifts the organization complete control over all new FDA information privy to exposure for the American public.

The FDA’s use of the “close embargo” reveals that the institution likely wants to prevent reporters from leaking information. The biggest concern seems to be that, when officials begin giving the go-ahead for this special access, it makes it much easier for the agency to prevent stories they don’t like from being exposed.

The FDA hinders the public’s right to know about scientific fraud and misconduct as well. In an article for Slate wrote:

For more than a decade, the FDA has shown a pattern of burying the details of misconduct. As a result, nobody ever finds out which data is bogus, which experiments are tainted, and which drugs might be on the market under false pretenses. The FDA has repeatedly hidden evidence of scientific fraud not just from the public, but also from its most trusted scientific advisers, even as they were deciding whether or not a new drug should be allowed on the market. Even a congressional panel investigating a case of fraud regarding a dangerous drug couldn’t get forthright answers. For an agency devoted to protecting the public from bogus medical science, the FDA seems to be spending an awful lot of effort protecting the perpetrators of bogus science from the public.

You can read more about that in the following CE article:

FOIA Investigation Unearths Documents Showing How The FDA  Manipulates Media & Science Press

The FDA also works hand-in-hand with pharmaceutical companies, which you can read about in the following CE article:

Merck & The FDA Caught ‘Fast Tracking’ The Approval Of HPV Gardasil Vaccine Without Scientific Approval

To make matters worse, pharmaceutical companies also hold close ties to doctors, which you can learn about here:

This Website Tells You How Much Big Pharma Pays Your Doctor To Prescribe Drugs

To be clear, 128,000 people die every year in the U.S. from drugs prescribed to them, which is being done under the approval of the FDA and doctors. The reality is, drug companies make a lot of money from selling prescriptions, and so do those involved with them, including doctors.

At the end of the day, the medical industry is a booming business, one that thrives off sick people. These companies actually benefit when their drugs cause adverse effects, because they then have additional reasons to sell you even more drugs. The system is designed to help you in one way, and then disadvantage you in another. In essence, they want you healthy, but not too healthy, and until we educate ourselves and take control of our health, we will continue to perpetuate this cycle.

Free: Regenerate Yourself Masterclass

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Intermittent Fasting Is Great, But Alternate-Day Fasting Is Having A Big Impact On My Body

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    I started alternate day fasting a few months ago. I've lost a healthy chunk of fat from my body and my weight has stabilized. Fasting is a great way to boost your health and help your body utilize its fat stores.

  • Reflect On:

    The science of fasting is very interesting, and it shows that fasting can be used as a therapeutic intervention for multiple diseases and/or to simply be healthier. Is it ignored by medicine because it doesn't generate a profit?

Several years ago I remember coming across an old study from 2013 about caloric restriction, emphasizing how it extends life span and prevents as well as helps to reverse several age-related diseases in a variety of species. This was very intriguing to me, especially given the fact that humans have been bombarded with the idea that we need to eat at least three meals a day, plus snacks in order to be healthy and fit. Fast forward to today, and fasting has become quite popular, and this is thanks to a wealth of research that’s emerged showing that not only caloric restriction, but fasting, has a number of health benefits.

Fasting has been shown to extend life, protect against neurodegenerative and age-related diseases, ‘starve’ certain cancer cells, reverse and manage type two diabetes, trigger new stem cell generation and help people lose weight. If done for a long enough time, although we don’t quite know exactly how long, fasting also actives autophagy, the body’s self-cleaning system, which allows the cell to get rid of old cell machinery, breaking them down into smaller parts to be reused by the cell. Fasting stimulates the production of ketone bodies in the blood, which have also been shown to have a number of benefits and is one of many mechanisms by which fasting benefits the body.

Fasting Is Beneficial

When you eat food, that food is converted into glycogen which your body then burns. When you fast, your body uses up stored fat for energy after its glycogen reserves are depleted, and the process of the body switching from burning glucose to efficiently burning fat is something that seems to have been built into our biology, meaning we are designed to go short, or even prolonged periods of time without any food, and that this ‘stress’ on the body actually benefits us in many ways.

There is absolutely no evidence that, for the average person, fasting can be dangerous. In fact, all evidence points to the opposite. If you’re on prescription medication, or experience other medical problems, then there are obviously exceptions. But it’s quite clear that the human body was designed to go long periods of time without food, and that it’s completely natural.

If you want to learn more about the science of fasting, there is plenty of research out there. Sifting through scholarly articles on the subject will yield many interesting results. You can find a number of lectures on Youtube as well. The main takeaway for me after studying fasting and its mechanisms for fifteen years now is that it’s an extremely healthy and safe practice with a number of health benefits, and I wanted to share my current experience instead of simply diving deep into the science of it all.

My Alternate-Day Fasting Experience

I have found that the research directly correlates with my experience of fasting on a regular basis, and it’s something I’ve been doing for fifteen years. I have done a lot of prolonged fasts in my life, weekly fasts, as well as many periods of intermittent fasting where I condense my eating period to a time of 5-8 hours. But only within the past few months have I tried alternate-day fasting, and so far it’s the fasting method that’s been the most successful for me. Everybody is different, and at the end of the day you just have to find what works for you.

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I’ve always put on weight quite easily, and have had no problem storing food. Perhaps it’s genetics, my family has a strong and long history of type two diabetes, hinting to the idea that insulin levels in my family can remain high, thus making it impossible to access my fat stores. Obviously, fasting drops your insulin levels, allowing your body to access and burn its fat reserves which, again, has been shown to have a tremendous amounts of benefits.

Alternate-day fasting has given me something consistent to go with when it comes to maintaining and stabilizing my weight. For me, intermittent fasting just wasn’t doing it, I found I could not eat what I enjoy without packing on extra fat and slowly increasing my weight. I also did many prolonged fasts, which helped me drop my extra fat, but then I’d put it back on. This was true for me even whilst eating a healthy, whole grain fully plant-based diet.

With alternate-day fasting, I do not gain weight, and my energy levels have increased to the point where I am now working out at the end of every fast. I’ve never experienced so much energy an I’ve never felt so alert. I had a glimpse of it with intermittent fasting, but the period without food just wasn’t long enough for me, I feel, to really tap into the benefits of fasting.

Simple Schedule

So what does alternate-day fasting look like? It’s when you eat one day, and then fast the next. Simple.

So, for example, what I do is I will eat on a Monday, and then have my last meal in the evening. Then, I wait until Wednesday morning to eat again. So, I am doing 36-40 hour fasts, quite often. What recommended alternate-day fasting looks like is eating on Monday, and then not eating until 24 hours after, or Tuesday night. Or, eating on Monday, and then restricting your calorie intake the next day to only 500 calories., and then repeat throughout the week.

I’ve been fasting for a quite a long time, so my body is quite fat adapted. It’s not difficult for me to fast and when I do I do not feel hungry at all, which means my body has adapted itself to ‘consuming’ it’s stored energy. I am at the point where alternate-day fasting for me usually means not eating for at least 40 hours and after a workout, and every now and then I will extend my fast to 72 or more hours and throw in a workout at the end those fasts as well. The food I eat during my eating periods is, again, a whole foods plant-based diet.

Related CE Article going into more detail: What Working Out In A Fasted State (Not Eating) Does To Your Muscles

Weight Loss

That’s how I do it, and doing it this way I dropped nearly 20 pounds before eventually stabilizing my weight. I usually do alternate-day fasting, but every now and then I will eat two days in a row here and there. So I am not extremely strict on myself, but then again, my fasting periods are longer and I believe it’s easier for me simply because I am well adapted to the practice, and my body type and perhaps my genetics helps me have an easier time with it.

If you’re looking to shed some fat from your body, it’s something I recommend you try, it’s great because it forces you to enter into a fat period for a longer state than intermittent fasting, and allows you to utilize more of your fat reserves.

You can look at alternate-day fasting as an ‘extreme’ form of fasting, although there is nothing extreme about it and it’s completely safe. If you’re someone who has never fasted before, I recommend you start off with intermittent fasting, as fasting alone for someone who has never practiced it can be quite difficult at first until your body gets used to it.

Resources

If you’re looking for some great resources on this topic beyond simply reading and searching for scholarly peer-reviewed publications on the subject via online journal databases (there are lots), you can visit Dr. Jason Fung’s website blog here. There are a lot of great informative articles on the subject there.

Another great resource is Krista Varady, PhD, a Professor of Nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her research focuses on the efficacy of intermittent fasting for weight loss, weight maintenance, and cardio-protection in obese adults. Her work is funded by the NIH, American Heart Association, International Life Sciences Institute, and the University of Illinois. She has published over 70 publications on this topic, and is also the author of a book for the general public, entitled the “Every Other Day Diet”.

Her “book for the general public,” The Every-Other-Day Diet: The Diet That Lets You Eat All You Want (Half the Time) and Keep the Weight Off is a great place to start.

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