Fast Series Part 6: Reducing Inflammation Through Fasting
How Does Fasting Provide Inflammation Relief?
A study by Mount Sinai researchers found that fasting reduces inflammation and improves chronic inflammatory diseases without affecting the immune system's response to acute infections. Their findings:
- While acute inflammation is a normal immune process that helps fight off infections and chronic inflammation, long term or uncontrolled inflammation can have serious consequences for our health including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
- "Caloric restriction is known to improve inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, but the mechanisms by which reduced caloric intake controls inflammation have been poorly understood." - Miriam Merad, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Precision Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
- Intermittent fasting reduced the release of pro-inflammatory cells called ‘monocytes’ in blood circulation. During periods of fasting these cells go into ‘sleep mode’ and are less inflammatory then monocytes found in those who were fed.
- "Monocytes are highly inflammatory immune cells that can cause serious tissue damage, and the population has seen an increasing amount in their blood circulation as a result of eating habits that humans have acquired in recent centuries," said Dr. Merad.
"Considering the broad spectrum of diseases that are caused by chronic inflammation and the increasing number of patients affected by these diseases, there is an enormous potential in investigating the anti-inflammatory effects of fasting," said first author Stefan Jordan, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Videos to Watch:
Read Fast Series Part 1: 'Our 72 Hour Water Fasting Experience' by clicking here.