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How To Care For Your Liver: Debunking The Popular & Harmful Liver Myths

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Your liver is #1 protector. There are many myths surrounding the liver that impede its ability to do its job. These myths include taking ox bile, doing liver flushes, doing coffee enemas, avoiding fructose, drinking apple cider vinegar, and more.

  • Reflect On:

    Besides avoiding the popular liver myths listed in this article, avoid eating too many fats, processed or raw, and increase your uptake of nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich foods like fruit, vegetables, and herbs.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Medical Medium’s new book, “Liver Rescue,” do yourself a favour today and get one. The book is a four-hundred page encyclopedia of in-depth knowledge regarding our liver, knowledge which has yet to be discovered by medical research, knowledge which could save you and your family’s and friends’ lives.

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If you think that your liver is in pristine shape, you’re about to learn otherwise—in this day and age our livers are under tremendous pressure from the onslaught of pathogens and environmental toxins in our food, air, water, hygiene products, clothing, and households. And even if you grew up eating ‘clean,’ drinking clean water and living in a natural environment, your liver could be holding poisons (like toxic heavy metals) from many generations before you, passed down from your mother and grandmother.

What drove me to want to learn more about my liver came out of two factors. One, I grew up with a mouth full of amalgam (mercury) fillings, and two, in 2014 I had a severe mono and hepatitis A infection which nearly caused my liver to fail. So I knew that there was deep damage that had occurred from these two factors alone, not to mention that I grew up on a standard American diet (SAD) full of processed junk and void of fresh fruits and vegetables. Not to mention all of those years of binge drinking alcohol in my teens and early twenties (dare I say more).

Your liver is your number one protector

What I love most about Anthony William’s books is that they give us a unique understanding of the processes happening within the body. He humanizes our livers and helps us see how hard this organ is working for us at all times.

Our livers have been our number one protectors from the time we were in our mother’s wombs. That is its sole job—to protect us from the unfathomable amount of toxins in our environment. This protection code was passed down from your mother’s liver, to never give up on you, to take on the brunt of every pathogen, every toxin, and excess adrenaline that you come into contact with. It will do so with unwavering loyalty and commitment, even until its own demise. But we must not let this happen. At some point we must give back to this precious organ, we must swoop in and say enough is enough, it’s time to heal our livers.

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Cleansing the liver cleans your blood and lymphatic system, loosens fat cells in the liver, and soothes the adrenal glands.

But cleansing the liver works best in baby steps; think about your lifetime accumulation of toxic heavy metals, viruses, and chemicals. To super-punch your liver all at once is a sure-fire way to cause too many toxins to release into the body without the chance of being properly eliminated. Then guess what happens to all of those excess toxins? They get reabsorbed by the liver.

But if we can learn to work with the liver, especially avoiding the damaging fads covered later in this article, we are that much closer to a life of peace. William says it perfectly,

“Imagine a world without chronic anger, without the suffering of babies and children, without aches and pains, without sleepless nights, without uncontrollable weight gain, without gnawing hunger, without out-of-rhythm hearts, without hot flashes and night sweats, without mood swings, without raging rashes, without roiling intestines, without back-up bowels, without blood sugar spikes and drops, without strokes, without heart attacks, without cancer. That’s a world of peaceful livers. Imagine how much kinder we would all be to each other and ourselves if we didn’t feel awful, or frightened of feeling awful, all the time.” Medical Medium: Liver Rescue, p. 256

How long does it take the liver to regenerate?

While there is no exact science that will tell us how long it takes for all of our cells to fully renew and regenerate, in the case of the liver, its peacekeeping job is so pertinent that it must run on a strict renewal clock. As William says, that number is nine.

The liver regenerates itself in cycles of three, a third every three years for a total nine year cycle.

The liver renews itself in thirds over nine year cycles. Usually, three months before a three-year mark is when renewal will pick up speed, and the liver will work on a fast, serious cell overhaul. Within just those few months, the liver can regenerate a third of its working cells. The same thing will happen again at the next three-year mark, renewing another third, and so on for the next three year cycle. It’s the same time table for everyone.

But don’t get too excited. Just because they are new cells does not mean they are clean. If you aren’t actively doing the work to cleanse the liver throughout your life, the new cells can get contaminated by toxic cells from the past. However, if you do the work to support your liver through a healthy lifestyle, you have hope of regenerating even the most damaged cells. As he states, make a point to eat clean in the months leading up to your 27th, 36th, 45th, 60th birthday; this means more antioxidant-rich foods like fruit and green juices, while minimizing fat. This will give a great boost during your regeneration cycles.

Common liver detox myths – What to avoid

Ox bile

While taking ox bile seems like a fail-proof method to increase bile production to breakdown fats, William states that our livers simply don’t like it. “[Ox bile] doesn’t fix the problem of weak digestion. It doesn’t fix the problem of your liver being stagnant or sluggish or underproducing its own bile.”

Apparently, ox bile is like an alien creature to our liver, and that it contains hundreds of undiscovered chemical compounds that are foreign to our stomach. These foreign enzymes are disruptive to the endocrine system, immune system, and nervous system. He says that medical science will never have the money or time to invest in the proper research that is needed to discover all of these qualities. When we take ox bile its like a shock to an already over-burdened liver.

The logic behind eating ox bile is similar to the age-old logic that eating liver will help regenerate your liver, or eating kidney will help regenerate your kidneys. Instead of ox bile, William suggests drinking celery juice. The mineral salts in celery juice will provide the liver with the proper tools to help build bile levels naturally.

Eating liver

When we understand the true function of our livers, it is then easy to understand why eating an animal’s liver makes no sense. The liver is a toxic reservoir, which means consuming liver is consuming poison. Even wild animals living in a pristine environment have livers ridden with adrenaline due to their fight or flight lifestyle. And while the liver does hold nutrients deep within its tissues, to get there you must pass layers of toxic waste. On the same note as the ox bile, animal livers contain compounds incompatible to the human body. And don’t even think about human livers, they are cesspools of toxins like plastics, radiation, DDT, viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, and the list goes on.

Liver flushes

The liver does not respond well to rigorous cleansing. If you push, it pushes back. If you push more it performs less, and it may even go into shutdown mode while doing a more aggressive cleanse.

When a liver flush is done wrong against the liver’s will, the bloodstream is where those toxins end up. This puts the brain and heart under direct attack by toxic sludge, which can cause erratic heartbeats, stress on the heart, inflammation, elevated adrenaline, and electrical confusion of the heart, all while you are busy looking for stones in the toilet.

William makes another controversial claim—those liver stones aren’t stones at all. They’re fatty globules formed by the ingestion of olive oil which coagulate in the colon and are then expelled. While Gallstones are a thing, they too are not what is passed during a gallbladder flush.  Drinking a heaping amount of oil is a shock to the liver and gallbladder; it shuts down its many important functions to deal with the megadose of fat. The liver is then forced to produce an emergency level of bile to protect the pancreas, and those who already have a weak pancreas become high risk for developing pancreatitis.

Instead of stressing the liver and gallbladder through a flush, William suggests reducing fat and protein intake while increasing your intake of greens (spinach, kale, radishes, mustard greens, celery, and asparagus) and fruits like cherries, berries, melons, lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, and pineapple. Doing this will help dissolve the stones over time.

Fructose intolerance

Fructose intolerance is perhaps one of the most dangerous myths out there, because if you avoid fruit sugars, your liver will never heal, says William. Fructose often gets lumped in with lactose (dairy sugar) and gluten in naming which foods feed viruses and other pathogens.

Furthermore, William says that “it’s impossible for any test in any lab or clinic to separate out fructose and know what it specifically does inside the body.” It is part of the anti-healthy carb/anti-fruit movement that robs people of the very foods that heal their chronic conditions. The liver especially needs fructose to restore and defend itself. The issue is completely misunderstood—when people experience negative symptoms from eating fruit what they’re really facing are detox symptoms brought on by the fruits cleansing properties.

Anti-fruit practitioners almost always are high-fat advocates, which only promotes keeping the blood and liver toxic. William also makes a distinction for those diagnosed with hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI). He says that no one with HFI is completely missing specific enzymes, but rather all of their enzyme levels and chemical functions are low due to having a degenerate liver.

The key is to do the opposite of avoiding fruit: eat lots of it, which restores a stagnant liver and brings back all of the missing enzymes and chemical functions. The same goes for people diagnosed with fructose malabsorption; excess fructose is being picked up in the blood because the intestinal tract is filled with rancid fats which are not being broken down due to a sluggish liver. The solution is simple: reduce fats, which in turn keeps the blood-fat ratio balanced, reducing any of the aforementioned symptoms when consuming fructose.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV)

ACV is thought to create alkalinity and improve digestion. While apples themselves are miracle cures, William says that ACV has more bad than good properties. The good comes from ACV’s host of minerals, amino acids, phytochemicals and other nutrients from the apples themselves and the microorganisms from fermentation.

ACV is the best vinegar to use if you are going to use vinegar; however, our livers do not like vinegar in the same way they despise alcohol. When we consume vinegar, it mixes with the natural salts in your blood stream and creates a pickling effect in the body. While this may not cause negative symptoms from eating a salad here and there, consuming ACV daily in flushes or shots will eventually add up.

ACV comes into the stomach extremely acidic, which causes the liver to try to alkalize or neutralize it. This weakens the hydrochloric acid and breaks down the gastric juices, and as the ACV continues to the liver it gives the liver a shot of acidosis. Again, it’s not the worst thing for the liver, but it’s far from cleansing.

Coffee enemas

Coffee enemas are gaining popularity in the treatment of chronic diseases like colon cancer, and while the aim of coffee enemas are admirable (detoxing the liver), the truth is that coffee is an acidic, dehydrating, and stimulating liquid.

As Anthony explains, drinking coffee is much different than inserting it rectally. This is because our stomachs have built-in protective measures to safe-guard you against coffee’s effects. When coffee enters the stomach, alarm bells ring in the pancreas, liver, and intestinal tract. It is dispersed and diffused properly by the time it enters the bloodstream.

When coffee enters the rectum, it enters the blood directly and its stimulating effect shocks the nervous system and the adrenals release adrenaline. The liver despises adrenaline, claims Anthony, and it then has to soak it all up to protect your heart. Caffeine creates a constant adrenaline surge, but this is especially the case when caffeine is administered through the rectum.

Also important to note: some of the toxins purged from the liver by the caffeine end up being reabsorbed by the liver because they cannot all be properly eliminated from the body. Anthony suggests that enemas can be extremely beneficial in detoxing the liver, but to use filtered lemon water instead, which cleanses the liver without the added adrenaline rush.

Beets

Beets are often hailed as the liver detox go-to food, and while they do have blood-cleansing abilities, the issue, William says, is that organic, non-GMO beets are difficult to come by these days due to cross-pollination. Cross-pollination is becoming such an issue that even organic beets can be tainted at the seed.

It may not be the greatest reason to stop eating beets altogether, however there are many other liver-cleansing fruit that do the job much more effectively. For example, red pitaya (dragon fruit), or wild blueberries pack a far more powerful detoxing punch.

Highly alkaline water

When asking the question, ‘do we need to drink alkaline water?’, Anthony brings it back to the liver. He says that a higher pH water will not further cleanse the liver, and that when highly alkaline water hits the stomach, the stomach must compensate and try to bring that pH down. The same goes for drinking acidic water, but in this case the stomach must bring the pH up. This uses the stomach’s reserves, energy, and seven-acid blend, as well as pancreatic strength and enzymes, to change the water’s structure so that it is safe to release into the intestinal tract.

When a large amount of alkaline or acidic water is consumed at once, the stomach must pass the neutralization job to the liver. The liver uses a special bile store that traps the water until it is at an acceptable pH. This special bile is made up of enzymes, minerals, and hormones that the liver stores long-term, and using this store slows down the liver’s main functions quite substantially. William states that the key is to avoid drinking large amounts of alkaline water at once, or to try drinking a water with a pH of 7.5-8 instead.

Protect your liver

With over 2,000 chemical functions, your liver is a busy bee. Avoiding the aforementioned fads will ensure that your liver can do its many important jobs without distraction. At the end of the day, what is most important for healing your liver is that you are flooding your body with nutrient-dense, anti-oxidant rich foods like fruit, vegetables, and herbs, while avoiding too many fats (processed or raw). It is especially important to eat fruit alone, as eating fruit with fat will prevent our cells from absorbing all of the important nutrients.

For much more information regarding the liver, get yourself a copy of Liver Rescue today!

Free: Regenerate Yourself Masterclass

In this free 7-part masterclass, Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo, explains how revolutionary new developments in biology can be leveraged to help prevent and manage the most common health afflictions of our day: cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic syndrome.

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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!

Free: Regenerate Yourself Masterclass

In this free 7-part masterclass, Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo, explains how revolutionary new developments in biology can be leveraged to help prevent and manage the most common health afflictions of our day: cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic syndrome.

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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

In this free 7-part masterclass, Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo, explains how revolutionary new developments in biology can be leveraged to help prevent and manage the most common health afflictions of our day: cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic syndrome.

Click HERE to attend for Free!
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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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