Can Fasting Heal a Bacterial Infection?

(carl) #24

I got a text from Karen Mangiacotti today. She developed a cellulitis and is going to try fasting for a few days before going for the antibiotics. Hers may be a more pure experiment. I asked her to take a picture of it every day.

(carl) #25

Here’s Karen’s cellulitis which she had for 3 weeks prior. 2 rounds of antibiotics didn’t help.

She started fasting yesterday. Here it is today.


(carl) #26

I just updated the post (scroll up) with today’s picture. It’s clearly getting better with fasting alone. I’m going to continue to fast without testosterone. Dr. Berry says it takes three to five days for the T to completely leave your system.

One of the side benefits of this fast is weight loss. I’ve hit a new low weight since going keto. 284, or 82 pounds.

So, today is a very good day. I may celebrate tonight with some salt, butter, and a Maker’s on the rocks.

(Marta Loftfield) #27

@carl truly fascinating post. Thx for sharing.

(Ro Sitaram) #28

Carl that’s amazing! I’m literally sitting in the ER trying to determine if I have an infection from a minor injury on my leg last week. Just doesn’t seem to want to go away. I did fast for a day which helped inflammation. I’ll have to consider my options. I’m not at all looking forward to antibiotics.


Disclaimer, not medical advise, I have no training, of course consult your doctor if something gets infected

Not to jinx myself or anything but can honestly say I have never taken antibiotics for a skin problem ever (over 50), Have I put bacitracin on it, sure but oral antibiotics never. I am wondering if the difference is that your doctor tended to over prescribe antibiotics? Now that you have a new one he is not running to give them to you?

I thought it was the T gel because it seemed like when you stopped it the infection got redder again.

Now getting rid of strep throat without antibiotics would be impressive (not suggesting it is possible please do consult your doctor in the event of a sore throat),

I found the mouse experiment both interesting and concerning as someone who rarely goes to doctors. It seems you can imporve a bacterial infection but not a viral one by fasting. Requires you to see a doctor to determine what you have. Sort of the opposite of what Fung usually says and what most people do, they tend not to eat with the flu.

Keto over a year and I did get an extraordinary number of colds this year. I even posted about it and kept a running tally. No bacterial infections but almost one cold a month from September to March. Drove me nuts. I usually get 4 colds a year, one per season. During my February cold I found the citrus fruits I have around for my kids irresistable. I ended up eating a whole bunch of them and then started feeling better. H was doing LCHF then to and he got my cold and was really sick for about 2 weeks. He rarely gets sick pre keto and when he does colds only last 3 days with him. This was a record. I have no explanation. When I was eating a more moderate carb diet with daily fruit and vegetable smoothies I did not get sick for 2 years even when everyone in my house including my babysitter got sick

(Lynn Chodur) #30

“Starve a cold, feed a fever” an old saying.
It makes sense that if bacteria have nothing to feed on they will not survive,
A virus, however, is a whole other thing. Antibiotics won’t stop it, it has to run it’s course and you can just treat the symptoms. Perhaps eating keto will shorten the duration?? I’m sure a strong immune system will help get rid of or prevent a viral infection so according to what Carl mentioned

that may be the answer to prevention. IMHO. :smiley:
Also, maybe a vitamin C and D supplement regularly will help with frequent colds. I take D and Multivitamins every day and haven’t had a cold in ages (although I just started keto so I’ll have to wait and see if my vitamins will protect me)

(I Am The Egg Man ku-ku-kachoo) #31

This is a fascinating post. Glad it came floating back up.

I had cellulitis infections two years in a row.

First, in 2017 in my right lower leg, started from a scratched bug bite, looked like Carl’s red area at day 3, but had spread to cover my leg from knee to ankle by day 5. I was feverish, leg was hot, red and swollen. It was bad. Antibiotics (3 courses) saved my leg…and maybe me.

This past May, I got another bacterial infection. This time in my other leg. Again, it started from a scratch and spread quickly in 24 hours. This time, I got medical attention early and a single course of antibiotics solved it.

This scared me and was the final straw that broke my stubborn resistance to trying to get better. A coincidental “welfare check” phone call from an RN at my doctor’s office the very next week was when I heard for the first time about the Ketogenic way of life.

I researched keto for 2 days and started it on day 3. That was 1 June 2018. Since then, I’ve incorporated IF and 48-60 hour EF. I’m down shy of 100 lbs. and haven’t sniffed an infection since then.

I’ve got long ways to go, but reasons like this one, Carl, give me hope for the first time in a lot of years.


As I posted above I was getting one cold a month for most of last year on keto with some minor extended fasting. I would do 1 - 4 fasts a month with only coffee with cream in the morning. My fasts ranged from 3 - 5 days. While I did get a cold while fasting at least once, I did not think it correlated. Around December I lost any desire to fast more than 40 hours which I really do not consider much of a fast, rather it is skipping dinner. I also do not consider eating one meal a day fasting. I did not get too many colds from March on and my last cold was in July. While I do not think it is the keto, I do think I was getting colds from fasting too much or it was from adjusting to keto but it went on for the better part of a year. Whatever the reason and not to jinx myself it seems to have stopped and so has my extended fasting

(I Am The Egg Man ku-ku-kachoo) #35

IF (and I mean IF) I get another cellulitis infection, I plan on attempting a longer fast to see if it helps combat it. I’m confident it will.

(Carpe salata!) #37

yikes. I was in hospital 3 times with cellulitis - a week on antibiotic drip drifting into consciousness occcasionally… cant imagine doing it at 90yrs.

I figured that getting some sun and being on keto has cured me though. Haven’t had an attack for 3yrs.


Mind you, I have heard so many variations of this that the whole thing is very muddled.
I knew someone who used to swear blind that IF you fed a cold, you would end up making it worse, and having to starve a fever.

But in my family it has always been ‘feed a cold, starve a fever’.

This link gives a few studies to back up the old proverb

but I must admit that I feed colds because I get hungry, and starve fevers because I usually lose my appetite. It just happens. :smile:

(Mel Burf) #39

This is so fascinating Carl! I’m a bit late to the party but was laying in bed googling if fasting could help my bacterial tonsillitis and came across this forum and because it was one of the keto dudes- I felt it was worthwhile checking out.
I went on antibiotics 2 weeks ago and it cleared but has now come back again. I really don’t want to do more antibiotics so was considering fasting (been keto 3 yrs). Will let you know how I feel tomorrow.

(Teb Tengri) #40

What’s your vitamin D levels look like?

(PJ) #41

I haven’t read the rest of the long first post or the thread yet but wanted to post this before I forget:

mice were given viral or bacterial infections, then either fed or fasted. When fed, the ones with a viral infection survived and the ones with the bacterial infection did not. When fasted, the results were reversed. Those with a viral infection did NOT survive, and those with a bacterial infection did.

Viral - Feed good, starve bad
Bacterial - Feed bad, starve good

“feed a cold, starve a fever”

That’s complex because even virii can give you a fever. But usually, a real infection will give you a fever right, and even localized inflammation/heat. Whereas most colds just give you infinite mucus/phlegm/cough issues. So maybe the old folklore about that is relatively accurate.

(PJ) #42

Jason Fung quoted by OP:

Fasting locks down glucose, and forces us to use fatty acids for energy, which the bacteria are unable to use. You are basically starving the bacteria out.

That’s interesting. Since it’s also to some degree starving cancer out, seems like a good thing.

On the hot water on a wound thing: The histamine response is great. I’ve scalded myself with this before alas.

At one point in life I had a very intense, serious, chronic itch and nerve issue going on with my legs (due to monstrous edema from a heart condition). DMSO saved me. I would have probably committed suicide without it, the chronic itching and pain was so insane-making. That stuff is absolutely the bomb for any closed-skin condition. It does dry out the skin of course – a lot, if you do multiple applications in the same place – but if you apply it anywhere between the issue and your brain :slight_smile: it usually works fine, and sometimes anywhere at all, since it’s promply in the bloodstream. Very useful for things like toothaches and muscle/joint injuries as well.

Huge topic… huge suppression of an un-patentable substance. Pretty common for the few pro athletes I’ve known though.


This thread is the reason I am too scared to attempt fasts now. I have a history of getting sick during fasts (even though I have plenty of body fat and tend not to be overly sickly otherwise) given that Covid is viral. Also, I did about two years ago get a UTI during a fast that did not respond to the at home remedies, was really bad and I ended up on antibiotics to which it responded nicely, so not sure how much fasting helps bacterial infections. In my 50 plus years I can count the number of UTIs I have had and they are not many