Before the COVID-19 pandemic, fasting was primarily associated with metabolic diseases, with several doctors recommending it for weight loss and diabetes management.
Can Fasting Reset the Immune System?
Fasting encompasses two main forms: prolonged fasting, lasting for at least 36 hours, and intermittent fasting, a popular lifestyle intervention involving shorter fasting periods of 12 to 24 hours. Prolonged fasting tends to be more effective than intermittent fasting at activating the reset and renewal of cells and tissues.
The body experiences two primary states during the day: the fed state and the post-fed state, also known as the fasting state. These states coexist and have opposing effects, much like yin and yang.
Consuming food generally triggers inflammation, while fasting promotes an anti-inflammatory response. Individuals are not isolated entities but interact with various pathogens, bacteria, and fungi in their environment. Eating introduces both nutrients and pathogens into the body, triggering the immune system.
Studies have shown that after each meal, there is a temporary period of inflammation as the immune system eliminates pathogens. This inflammation is beneficial as it helps prevent infection and supports the body’s defense mechanisms.
However, frequent snacking and constantly being in a fed state can lead to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation has negative health effects, including increased stress on the body, elevated blood pressure, reduced insulin sensitivity, cell and tissue damage, and impaired healing. That’s why chronic inflammation is often associated with conditions like Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and more.
In contrast, both intermittent and prolonged fasting activate genes that suppress inflammation, reduce inflammatory immune cells, and show signs of mitigating autoimmunity. Notably, a study published in Cell Stem Cell found that a three-day fasting period can reset the immune system by degrading old immune cells and regenerating new ones.
Does Fasting Help People With Long COVID and Vaccine Injuries?
Fasting is suggested as a potential first-line treatment for long COVID and postvaccine symptoms, according to the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care (FLCCC) Alliance, a prominent medical group focusing on these conditions.
The purpose of fasting in these cases is to stimulate autophagy, a process that breaks down and recycles proteins, including COVID-19 spike proteins.
FLCCC doctors believe that spike proteins, whether from the infection or the vaccine, play a significant role in patients’ symptoms. These spike proteins can lead to inflammation, microclotting, mitochondrial dysfunction, autoimmunity, neurological issues, and other complications.
Chaperone-mediated autophagy, which specializes in protein degradation, typically activates after 24 hours of fasting. Therefore, the FLCCC recommends prolonged fasting of 72 hours or more if tolerated.