Fasting as a Therapy in Neurological Disease

(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #1

Dr. Fung pasted this on twitter

I have just glanced at it. It is very long. I want to read this in its entirety but won’t be tonight since today is my wife’s birthday.

(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #2

Interesting, i’ll take a read later.
I suffer from an AVM, arteriovenous malformation, which is technically a brain disease.

(Bunny) #3

Interesting over-view on everything (paper cited as “nutrients”), what I found interesting is that fasting works better than caloric restriction (long-term) and what might work even better than that is what is called by Valter Longo: “fasting selectively;” just google that term and you will be shocked as you scroll; on the effectiveness of it?


[1] ”…2.2.2. Fasting: More Than Just Calorie Restriction

Calorie restriction refers to a chronic 20%–40% reduction in calorie intake, with meal frequency maintained [1]. Over a century of research has shown that calorie restriction reduces chronic disease and lengthens lifespan in a variety of species [53]. Since calorie restriction and fasting share many similar mechanisms and fasting often produces a decrease in calorie intake over time, the question is often raised as to whether the potential benefits of fasting are merely due to reduced calorie intake, as opposed to any particular effect of the fasting.

Several studies in animals and humans have indicated that fasting may confer benefits on cell (including neuron) metabolism beyond calorie restriction. It has been shown that some mice fasted on alternate days can eat twice as much on the feeding day, such that their net weekly calorie intake remains similar to mice fed ad libitum; despite the lack of overall calorie restriction, the former still display beneficial metabolic effects compared to the latter, including improved glucose levels and insulin activity, as well as enhanced neuron resistance to a neurotoxin, kainic acid [54].

Studies involving overweight and obese non-diabetic humans have shown greater improvements in insulin sensitivity in fasted individuals compared to their non-fasted, calorie-matched counterparts [55,56]. Recently, a five-week randomized crossover trial in men with pre-diabetes compared a fasting regimen, containing sufficient overall calorie intake to prevent weight loss, against a control group with a regular eating schedule; although both groups were matched for calorie intake, the fasting group exhibited greater improvements in insulin sensitivity and other measures of metabolic health [57].

The most obvious explanation for a putative, fasting-specific effect on metabolic health may lie in the fundamental distinction between fasting and calorie restriction—timing. Specifically, fasting is applied intermittently, whereas calorie restriction is continuous. Following 12–36 hours of fasting, there is a discernible metabolic transition or “switch” from utilizing carbohydrates and glucose to fatty acids and ketones as the major cellular fuel sources [5].

During the fasted state, the switch is “on,” theoretically upregulating autophagy and survival pathways in neurons, whereas during the fed state, the switch is “off,” emphasizing remodeling and growth pathways. Thus, unlike calorie restriction, fasting capitalizes on each sequential bioenergetic challenge by “setting the stage” for a relatively stress-free cell recovery phase; in other words, it is the switching—the intermittency—that may provide the advantage for neuron metabolism. Indeed, chronicity can be harmful, regardless of a fed or fasted metabolic state—for example, acute mTOR activation promotes muscle hypertrophy, whereas chronic activation produces atrophy [58–60], and intermittent AMPK activation enhances neuroplasticity, but sustained AMPK activation impairs it [61]. …”

[2] “…In the 1900s, German physician Otto Buchinger, the first person to rigorously document the beneficial effects of fasting in many human diseases, wrote that “Fasting is, without any doubt, the most effective biological method of treatment” [22]. Valter Longo, an Italian-born biogerontologist and fasting researcher in the 2000s, has recently suggested that fasting selectively activates multiple “longevity programs” which may lead not only to an extended lifespan, but also to an extended healthspan [23]. Curiously, despite these and other fasting advocates, the established eating pattern in most modern societies remains three or more meals per day, a pattern that is associated with a globally increasing prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and a variety of disabling neurological disorders [24,25]. …”

5-7 day water fast, ketones haven't gone past 3,8 nmol/L, GKI fluctuating around 1-1.4
Is the 5 Stages of Fasting a real thing?
(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #4

First link on dr google

Fasting selectively blocks development of acute lymphoblastic leukemia via leptin-receptor upregulation.

(Bunny) #5

You know what is also interesting is in my personal experience with fasting is I had couple maybe three hemorrhoids on my bottom my whole life since childhood and they disappeared and never came back; completely gone without a trace, just one of those little nuances you never really talk about or mention, but that just struck me as I was thinking about this paper…

Rhoids are some painful little boogers when they flair up!

Most peeps require some type of minor surgery to remove them like lasers and such?

(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #6

I finished reading this paper today. I liked to extensive coverage of possible benefits. Some things struck me as odd

His definition of intermittent fasting was >24 hours. Also this quote

Blockquote In evolution, organisms able to tolerate environments devoid of nutrients for extended periods of time held an important survival advantage over those unable to do so. The evolutionary selection pressure to survive the stresses associated with low-energy environments has produced a number of fasting-induced metabolic mechanisms that have been conserved for millions, if not billions, of years in humans [6].

We haven’t been here that long (per Wikipedia)

Blockquote The earliest fossils of anatomically modern humans are from the Middle Paleolithic, about 300-200,000 years ago such as the Omo remains of Ethiopia, the fossils of Herto sometimes classified as Homo sapiens idaltu also from Ethiopia, the Jebel Irhoud remains from Morocco, and the Florisbad Skull from South Africa.

I’m glad I fast. I need to get back at 2 to 3 day fasting a few times a month.