Fasting and Autophagy – mTOR/ Autophagy 1

(Note – If you are a regular reader, you’ll know that I like to label my blogs according to topics – eg. there are 40-odd posts on fasting, 30-odd posts on diabetes, 50-odd posts on obesity/ calories. I do this because I blog about what interests me at the time and it can bounce around a little. This new section, covers mTOR, autophagy and mitochondrial disease, which you’ll see later, ties in very closely with the origins of cancer).

Throughout the recorded history of mankind, fasting has been a stalwart of traditional health and healing practices. This is true for virtually all regions of the earth and virtually all religions of the world. The roots of this ancient healing tradition may lie in the the sub-cellular cleansing process of autophagy, which is only just now being unravelled by science. Autophagy is one of the most evolutionarily conserved pathways known to exist, and can be seen in almost all multi-cellular organisms and many single celled organisms. Autophagy refers to the body’s response to a lack of food (fasting) which stimulates a degradation pathway of sub cellular components.

By digesting its own parts, the cell does two things. First it rids itself of unnecessary proteins that may be damaged or otherwise malfunctioning. Secondly, it recycles those amino acid ‘spare parts’ into new cellular components. This is one of the big misconceptions of the normal protein turnover – that these broken down proteins are somehow just flushed out of the body even if one is completely malnourished. This leads to the hysterical refrains that ‘Fasting burns muscle’. OMG. If you don’t eat 96 meals per day, you’ll shrivel up and die! Die! Your body stores food energy as fat, but as soon as you don’t eat, you burn muscle. You’ll die!

In truth, our bodies are nowhere nearly as stupid as that. Once these old proteins are degraded into component amino acids, our bodies decide whether these proteins are flushed out into the kidneys as waste products, or retained to make new proteins. Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. It’s like Lego. You can break down your old weirdly shaped Lego plane and build a newer, better one using the same building blocks. This holds true in our bodies, too. We can break crappy old proteins down into the component amino acids and use them to rebuild newer more functional protein.

Yoshinori Ohsumi, the 2016 Nobel prize winner for Medicine for research into autophagy titled his Nobel Lecture “Autophagy – An Intracellular Recycling System” , not “Autophagy – How the Human Body flushes desperately needed protein down the toilet because Mother Nature is really, really stupid”. If you need protein, then your body will reclaim the broken down amino acids to make new protein.

Of course, if your body has more protein than necessary, then it may certainly excrete the excess amino acids or convert it to energy. While most people think growth is always good, the truth is that, in adults, growth is almost always bad. Cancer is too much growth. Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of too much junk protein (neurofibrillary tangles) in the brain. Heart attacks and strokes are caused by atheromatous plaques. These are excess accumulation of many things, but prominently, smooth muscle cells, connective tissues and degenerative materials. Yes. Too much growth of smooth muscle is instrumental in causing atherosclerosis that causes heart attacks. Polycystic diseases like kidneys and ovaries are too much growth. Obesity is too much growth.

Certain types of cellular stress, including nutrient deprivation, protein aggregation or unfolding (clumps of protein) or infections will activate autophagy to counteract these problems and keep the cell in good working order. This process was initially thought to be non-selective, but was later shown to be able to selective target damaged organelles (sub cellular components) and invading pathogens.  The process was described in mammals, but also in insects and yeast, where much of Dr. Ohsumi’s work was done unravelling autophagy related genes (ATG). He confirmed that this cleansing and recycling pathway was conserved throughout much of life on earth all the way from single celled organisms to humans.

Autophagy occurs at a low basal level in virtually all cells, being important in protein and organelle turnover. However, it may be up-regulated to generate nutrients and energy. That is, proteins may be burned for energy in the process of gluconeogenesis, if necessary. Nutrient status, hormones, temperature, oxidative stress, infection and protein aggregates may all affect autophagy in different ways.

The main regulator of autophagy is the target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase. This is also referred to as mammalian TOR (mTOR) or mechanistic TOR. When mTOR goes up, it shuts down autophagy. mTOR is exquisitely sensitive to dietary amino acids (protein).

The other main regulator is 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). This is a sensor of intracellular energy, which is known as adenosine triphosphate or ATP. When the cell has a lot of energy stored up, it has a lot of ATP, which is a sort of energy currency. If you have lots of dollars, you are rich. If you have lots of ATP, your cell has lots of energy to do stuff.

AMPK detects the AMP/ATP ratio and when this ratio is high (low cellular energy levels), AMPK is activated. Low cellular energy = high AMPK so this is sort of a reverse fuel gauge of cellular energy status. When AMPK is high (low fuel), this shuts down fatty acid synthesis and activates autophagy. This makes sense. If your cells don’t have energy, it will not want to store energy (make fat), but instead will want to activate autophagy – getting rid of excess protein and possible burning it for energy.

Once autophagy is activated (decreased mTOR or increased AMPK), then 20 or so genes (ATG) are activated to carry out the cleaning process. These encode proteins that carry out the actual process. Since mTOR is a potent inhibitor of autophagy (mTOR acts like a brake on autophagy), blocking mTOR increases autophagy (ie. taking the foot off the brakes). You can do this by using the drug rapamycin, first used as an immune blocking agent in transplantation. This drug was discovered in 1972, isolated from a bacterium Streptomyces Hygroscopicus from Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui (hence the name rapamycin). It was developed as an anti fungal but eventually found to have immune suppressing properties so gained use as an anti-rejection medication.

Almost all anti rejection drugs increase the risk of cancer. The immune system prowls around like security guards, day in and day out looking for errant cancer cells and killing them. They don’t call these cells Natural Killer cells for nothing, you know. If you knock out the security guards with potent anti-rejection medications, then cancer can spread like crazy. And that’s exactly what happens with most of these meds.

But not rapamycin. Interestingly, this drug decreased the risk of cancer. The mechanism of its action, by the time of its wide introduction in the 1990s was largely unknown. Eventually, using yeast models, the target of rapamycin (TOR) was identified, and the human counterpart was soon discovered – hence the name mammalian TOR, now given the catchy moniker – mTOR.

mTOR is found in virtually all multi-cellular organisms and indeed, many single celled organisms like yeast (where much of the research on autophagy is done). This protein is so important to survival that no organism alive functions without it. The technical term for this is ‘evolutionarily conserved’. What does it do? Simply put – it is a nutrient sensor.

One of the most important jobs for survival is to link the nutrients available in the environment and growth of the cell or organism. That is, if there is no food, then cells should stop growing and go into a dormant state (like yeast). If mammals sense there is no food, they also stop excessive growth of cells and start breaking some proteins down. If you didn’t do this, you didn’t survive.

mTOR integrates the signals between food (nutrient availability) and cell growth. If food available, then grow. If no food is available then stop growing. This is a vitally important task that underlies the entire spectrum of diseases of ‘too much growth’ that we talked about previously. It is similar to, but much older than another nutrient sensor we’ve talked a lot about – insulin.

But this knowledge opens up an entirely new therapeutic potential. If we have many diseases of ‘too much growth’ (cancer, atherosclerosis, obesity, polycystic ovaries), then we have a new target. If we can shut down the nutrient sensors, we can stop much of this growth that is making us sick. A new dawn breaks.

 

2017-12-13T08:38:32+00:0095 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Fung is a Toronto based kidney specialist, having graduated from the University of Toronto and finishing his medical specialty at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001. He is the author of the bestsellers ‘The Obesity Code’ and ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’. He has pioneered the use of therapeutic fasting for weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal in his IDM clinic.

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Dr.Rob
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Dr.Rob

Great post, loved it. Hope to learn even more from you in upcoming posts.
I have a question. Is it possible to show, that much of the protein loss, that guys like Phinney and Volek talk about is actually the junk protein, autophagosized cell organelles, extra collagen from the belly, but NOT MUSCLE ? Their only argument against fasting and promoting their way is that “fasting burns muscle”. If we could refute that claim, there would be no arguments left against fasting. Anyone has an idea?

Harold
Guest

I just finished reading Dr. Joseph Mercola’s book FAT FOR FUEL. He explains that without some protein intake, the muscles will be scavenged in order to be converted into glucose by the liver. Apparently even the brain needs a little glucose for some of its energy and not ketone only, although the brain and healthy cells love the ketone, which is the fuel product of the liver dismantling fat tissue. To help the liver reboot from its regular mode of glucosis to ketosis, instead of eating real food when I get up in the morning, I take a tablespoon sized… Read more »

Marc
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Marc

Postgrad Med J. 1973 Mar; 49(569): 203–209.
PMCID: PMC2495396
Features of a successful therapeutic fast of 382 days’ duration
W. K. Stewart and Laura W. Fleming
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2495396/

Here is a photo of the man before he started his water fast, and after he completed it 382 days later. It is easy to SEE with our own eyes that he metabolized his own fat and skin, and not much of his muscle. He looks healthy.

comment image?fit=400%2C321

glib
Guest
glib

sure, if you are measuring N loss you are not measuring muscle loss because you do not know how much comes from muscle and how much from junk. But Dr Fung prior posts point to correct papers where muscle loss is measured directly. So yes, most of that N is junk. If you have a relatively clean body you will lose less N. I think Dr Fung though should acknowledge Ron Rosedale as the first or one of the firsts to publish this set of ideas.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I have muscle loss fasting more than 24 hours, so Phinney’s declaration holds true for me. I lose weight, but my $BF remains the same which tells me I am losing muscle in addition to the fat. On the Rosedale diet I lose mostly fat. The difference due probably to lower protein on a daily basis. enough to prevent muscle loss and stimulate Autophagy, but not enough to raise MTOR. For me, the Rosedale diet really works to lower both weight and percent BF. 🙂

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

The weight loss isn’t necessarily muscle mass. It could be water loss and glycogen loss (there is weight involved in that) or general waste loss. My weight can fluctuate 5 or 6 pounds. All depends on my diet and how much I workout. So, to say you are losing muscle mass in 24hrs without doing more measurements, could be misguided. But, every body is different, so you could be losing muscle mass.

Jim
Guest
Jim

Mark, I am interested in how you measure %BF. Thanks, Jim

Mark
Guest
Mark

I use a Weight watchers scale that shows %BF. While I don’t know that the number it gives is super accurate, I CAN say it is extremely useful and very easy to tell if BF is going up, down, or staying the same. I have used these type scales for many years now. They are excellent for telling you which direction your BF is going.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Definitely these scales are very inaccurate. I use these scales and most definitely have lost a good amount of body fat and gained muscle without losing or gaining weight; I have ramped up my weight training and people say I look slimmer when I have a shirt on, or muscular when I have a vest on. My eyes don’t deceive me; I’m far more ripped – yet the body fat % on the bioelectrical scales hasn’t changed, and says I’m 13.5ish% body fat which seems far more than I am, when you look at visual guides with photos corresponding to… Read more »

glib
Guest

A scale just measures weight. To measure muscle mass you also have to measure density.

Mark
Guest
Mark

It’s a bio-impedance scale. It measures BF. 🙂

Mario
Guest
Mario

Bioimpedance scales are virtually useless when it comes to measuring body fat 🙁 the results are *very* inaccurate. If you want to get a good BF measurement, the best method is a DEXA scan.

MI_Girl75
Guest
MI_Girl75

I have a scale which shows BF and also % water weight. Curious if yours shows a change in your water weight as well?

Dr. John Koroloff
Guest
Dr. John Koroloff

Good point! Protein is a structural component of many parts of our body, not just muscle tissue. Loss of “junk protein” is beneficial…I remember what NYC looked like when the garbage collectors went on strike, perhaps like many of us that eat more than we need many times day.

Charles Tannenbaum
Guest
Charles Tannenbaum

Hi Dr. Rob, I would sure love to know the answer to your question. I just read the recent Phinney/Volek Virta Health blog post on potential problems with fasting. They disagree with Dr. Fung on loss of lean mass and metabolic rate changes with fasts of over 1 (or sometimes 2) days. Would sure like to get some clarification, as I would like to go 3-4 days every month or quarter. If you happen to find anything, could you send a link over to me at cjtdds@gmail.com. Lots of confusion out there on this. Thanks, Dr. T

Derek Green
Guest
Derek Green

On Dr. Fung’s suggestion I did a full 7-day water fast for deep autophagy following chemoradiation for colon cancer, to compound the effects. Only side effect was muscle fatigue in the last few days. A week after the fast, no actual muscle loss had resulted. And, judging by the hospital’s reaction to my response to the chemoradiation (an unexpected therapeutic complete response) I’d say the water fast had a significant effect, although I do realize this is anecdotal evidence. Now cancer-free but still receive a high-dose vit-C infusion every other week, and I receive the infusion in a fasted state,… Read more »

Dr. Grimm
Guest
Dr. Grimm

Derek, I just visited IDM last week. I would love to hear more of your story (Megan was talking about you alot). Any information you could enlighten me with would be awesome and I could use you as a N=1 case study that other patients would probably love to hear.
email me at
bgrimm17@gmail.com if you can.

Pablo5
Guest
Pablo5

So fasting does reduce proteins in the body, but eliminates the broken harmful proteins first.

sten bjorsell
Guest
sten bjorsell

Yes, and it promotes stem cells that replace the recycled proteins with new ones during refeeding. Valter Longo detected this clearly in reduced no. of white blood cells during fasting, paired with regrowth during refeeding. Results, renewed immune system. A few MS (autoimmune disease) cases have been cured through fasting.

Shirley Lindemann
Guest
Shirley Lindemann

I am working exactly on that. Curing my immune system through autophagy stimulated by fasting. I am suffering from a form of vesculitis , Wegener’s Granulomatosis, I almost died last year through massive hemoptysis. Was put on cyclophosphamide and Prednisone. For the entire last year. 4 months ago my bloodwork showed a drop in WBC down to 2.2 and my Rheumatologist wanted to take me of Imuran . I stated fasting IF 12/12 nothing changed I went up and as soon as I reached a fasting regime of 20/4 my be – weekly blood work showed improvement throughout and WBC… Read more »

Joanne
Guest
Joanne

What about a condition like MDS where cells have abnormal morphology? The only cure is a stem cell transplant for a new immune system. Would fasting help? Or more likely your new cells would also have the abnormal morphology?

sten bjorsell
Guest
sten bjorsell

Check professor Valter Longo in USC, Los Angeles. They are doing many trials but I do not know about MDS cancer. New independent research shows that cancer cells can use fructose, which means that whatever is done avoid this sugar that today is everywhere in processed food and of course in fruit juice. A combination of ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting is what I would try. Fasting before every chemo session as fasting weakens cancer more than all other cells is Valter Longo’s strategy, in general. It may have no effect on MDS but if the lab is testing after… Read more »

Joanne
Guest
Joanne

Thank you for your reply, I will look into Prof. Valter Longo. My hematologist/oncologist says it’s not cancer unless & until the blast cells reach 20% but online it’s often referred to as cancer online and about 30% of cases do transition to cancer (acute myeloid leukemia or AML). I’ve been low carb for 7 years (<30/day), and strict ketogenic now with no fructose at all, but hesitate to fast more than 12 hours when my main MDS symptom is almost 0 neutrophils for which I get weekly growth factor treatments.Doc doesn't seem to know or care anything about nutrition/fasting… Read more »

Srinath
Guest
Srinath

I’ve noticed the carbs I can take before getting kicked out of ketosis can be as high as 60-80 gm but less than 10 gm can trigger inflammation, and its sometimes not even net carbs. 10 gm total carbs get some inflammation restarted. So with cancer you may need to get under the threshold of whatever that type of cancer and your limit for that is.

sten bjorsell
Guest
sten bjorsell

Valter Longo has composed a fasting mimicking diet also, that is claimed to mimick fasting, which could be ideal for you. Probably due to very little protein = low mTOR stimulation, and low calories.

Simon Payne
Guest
Simon Payne

Thanks Jason. This is the best explanation of how mTOR works for a layman I have read. I look forward to the next installment.

Josh
Guest
Josh

Excellent read, thank you for your effort and promotion of what it takes to be healthier. I’ve fasted for 6 weeks (intermittent!!) and have had significant weight loss while feeling great. I’ve been most surprised at how easy it has been, and I’ve been ranging from 2.5 days to 5 days of fasting.

Keep up the great work, I loved The Obesity Code, and thanks again!!

Jim
Guest
Jim

Excellent. I think it works for me. My hope is more people benefit. Keep on educating Dr Fung.

Holly
Guest
Holly

I recently saw a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9Aw0P7GjHE&t=1672s in which you were interviewed, Dr. Fung, where you stated that having bone broth during a fast could shut down the process of autophagy because of its high protein content. Could you please clarify the role of bone broth in fasting? Should it only be used for compliance? Should someone who is within 10-15 lbs of their healthy weight fast the same as someone who is morbidly obese? Any light you can shed on the subject would be extremely helpful!

sten bjorsell
Guest
sten bjorsell

If you do several days fasting, start sipping bone broth more and more the last 12 hours or so before you break the fast in order to avoid “refeeding” problems. Else only water, maybe with a little sea salt if the heart beats too fast.

Stephen T
Guest
Stephen T

Sten, what is the connection between salt and slowing down an over-rapid heart beat? I’ve noticed that I need to sometimes increase salt intake but don’t understand why? I know, or think, that lower insulin means I’m losing fluid and therefore some salt, but not how this affects the heart. Your help would be appreciated.

sten bjorsell
Guest
sten bjorsell

At some stage when I had angina I was drinking only lemon water day in and out to try to cleanse my system, maybe eating only one meal per day, not fasting, as I know nothing about the potential benefits of fasting at the time. One morning, I then found that my pulse was racing over 110, with very weak beats, just fluttering, doing little work! Before this, I had asked my cardiologist why I often at the end of a bad angina attack, when I almost threw up, always felt a strong salty taste in my mouth combined with… Read more »

Stephen T
Guest
Stephen T

Thank you, Sten. Anecdotes are case studies when they like the result. It’s interesting that many doctors in the low carb world got there by seeing patients who were succeeding that way.

sten bjorsell
Guest
sten bjorsell

Thank you for the pointer! “Anecdotes become “case studies” when the establishment likes the result”, I take it. Many more deaths required before I could become a “case study”.

BernardP
Guest
BernardP

Holly, as you may have noticed, Dr. Fung rarely answers direct questions on this blog. Having read all he wrote on this web site and his two books, plus seen all his videos, including some that are no longer available, I will answer your question. Yes, bone broth is used to help compliance. it’s not necessary at all. It is useful to those who feel the need to drink something else than water, black coffee of black tea. To keep things simpler, you can fast without drinking bone broth. One less thing to worry about, and the fast will even… Read more »

JuliaKay
Guest
JuliaKay

Bernard just wondering if you know of any information regarding nutrients as well. I was going to go on an extended water only fast from next Friday after a haemorrhoidectomy and wanted to avoid food for obvious reasons. I was originaly thinking about using collagen, vitamin c and activated b’s, however now I am thinking that definetly leaving out the bollagen and bone broth will be benefitial. Do you think using the vitamins or a fibre supplement (psylium husks) will affect autophagy?

Mark
Guest
Mark

This is a very good question, that I have not seen answered anywhere. I would like to see him address it. He states that nutrients stop autophagy, but never defines “Nutrients”. I’m thinking he meant to say food, because it is food that provides calories and raises insulin. Vitamins/Minerals and herbs do not contain significant calories, nor stimulate insulin to any degree, so I wouldn’t think they would interfere with autophagy, but I would like to hear it from him. I’m just not sure that fasting without vitamins is safe or necessary. 🙂

BernardP
Guest
BernardP

Julia, I don’t know about this.

Holly
Guest
Holly

Thanks, Bernard.

Georgia
Guest
Georgia

Very interesting article. My grandmother, father and sister all died as a result of PKD. My brother is still alive and seems to have slowed down the progress of his PKD by following a vegan diet. Would you recommend this or should he try fasting as well?

sten bjorsell
Guest
sten bjorsell

Try it intermittently, and reduce protein intake as excess protein is putting pressure on kidneys. Replace with good fats like real olive oil and grass-fed butter.

Mario
Guest
Mario

No, Sten, this is a myth: excess protein doesn’t overwork the kidneys.

Gary
Guest
Gary

Great article!!! Just one note…

“AMPK detects the AMP/ATP ratio and when this ratio is low (low cellular energy levels), AMPK is activated” should read “AMPK detects the AMP/ATP ratio and when this ratio is HIGH (low cellular energy levels), AMPK is activated”

Svavar
Guest
Svavar

Hello, One question. Does consumption of black coffee and vitamins, namely B12, zink and magnesium and thyroid medicine levaxin hinder autophagi while fasting?

Casey
Guest
Casey

What’s the minimum number of fasting hours required to create some autophagy.
?

Lids
Guest
Lids

Correction: 24 to 48 hours.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnJdxEb01Tg

Lids
Guest
Lids

In one of his videos, Dr. Fung states autophagy occurs somewhere between 24 and 36 hours.

sten bjorsell
Guest
sten bjorsell

A very good question! I think the time increases with age, maybe a prime reason it is impossible to “stay young”. When we are young autophagy happens naturally seemingly all the time, because we grow. But growth is not putting new layers on layers but more re-modelling, involving breakdown combined with build-up, hence autophagy is central to youth. When tadpoles transform their swim fin into legs, they do not eat, indicating that the two “modes of operation” are incompatible! Autophagy and growth likely take place during sleep, maybe deep sleep, when we are young.

Dr. John Koroloff
Guest
Dr. John Koroloff

I have done intermittent fasting for almost a year; sometimes a 24 hr fast like Dr. Fung and have noticed no loss of strength or endurance on resistance training at the gym and bicycle endurance on my regular bike runs increased even though I do the same distance (but takes less time). I am a retired biology professor emeritus who developed a class: “The Biology of Obesity, Ageing and Disease” and would definitely add all of Dr. Fungs articles and videos into the curriculum as required reading and viewing.

Rich
Guest
Rich

Join the discuss Good Job DOC !!

qofmiwok
Guest

So no resveratrol, turmeric and quercetin while fasting. What about nicotinamide riboside?

Guest
Guest

I REALLY don’t “get” this statement about curcumin/quercetin since they both inhibit mTOR and thus support autophagy. What am I missing

Maria
Guest
Maria

I read this the opposite way — these inhibit mTOR; so, mTOR goes down and autophagy increases.

qofmiwok
Guest
qofmiwok

Sorry, my bad i guess. I am confused because I’ve been avoiding resveratrol during fasting based on a video I watched, where Fong or Longo said no resveratrol…

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Can’t wait for next article! This was so validating of my IF for cancer journey and adding Metformin to ‘treatment’. Thank you for getting the information out there in (humorous) layman’s language 🙂

Michelle Hessing
Guest

What a great read. I’ve recently decided to put me and my health first by using Dr Jason’s fasting methods. In 9 weeks I’ve lost all sugar cravings, no more stiff joints, aching elbows and shoulder, 26kg, 3 dress sizes and feel amazing. Thank you for writing your books and sharing with us all. It’s so easy it’s almost beyond belief. I now want to show other people how to do it and would like to find a Dr in Newcastle, Australia that supports this thinking to show there is a better way.

Peter
Guest
Peter

I started off skinny but lost twelve kg when I did the 8 week Newcastle University (in England) fasting diet to reverse type 2 diabetes. I weigh 67 kg and no longer have type 2 diabetes or any other problems like high cholesterol, low vitamin d etc. My doctor was amazed. She said I was her first patient to reverse type 2 diabetes. I gave her several medical papers from the University of Newcastle. She was very interested and thankful. What she told me will stay with me forever: She said: “Peter, we still advise patients to eat a good… Read more »

Alice wagner
Guest
Alice wagner

was this a water only fast. at what point did you know you had been cured from diabetes what was your measurement ?

Katalin
Guest
Katalin

Hi Michelle.. I am in Sydney and I sure would love to do as you did. I read all Dr Fung’s books and blogs but I, too, am struggling to find a doctor who is knowledgeable in this and could help me. If you find a medical professional would you please mind sharing it? I would much appreciate it, thanks. My email is Katalin@kveres.com. Thank you… Katalin

Sherry
Guest
Sherry

Dr. Daniel Pompa. http://www.drpompa.com
He is excellent in weight loss, detox and fasting.

Mary
Guest
Mary

I would love to go to a fasting clinic but not true north

Alexis
Guest
Alexis

Me too! I’ve shared the books with my GP and she just does not get it.

Katalin
Guest
Katalin

It may be worth starting a list of GPs or specialists in NSW (at least) who actually update their knowledge and are not afraid to go against the dogma.

Cee
Guest
Cee

There is an Aussie Doctor who ‘appears’ in the Podcasts. Not sure of his name though.

Milton Alvis, MD
Guest

Excellent overview, as usual Jason. I have forwarded this to several clients.
It is difficult helping people understand many issues in the medical disease industry: http://goo.gl/Blh6rW
Far too many want and choose to believe the HealthCare Big Lie.
Most humans choose to believe lack of obvious symptoms equals health.
Most humans choose to believe what may feel good (or decrease unpleasant feelings), at the moment, is healthy.
Most humans choose to believe that someone else can & will “cure” problems which our creator has placed directly in control of only the person who inhabits their body.

Joanne
Guest
Joanne

What about a person with MDS with low neutrophil counts? Should they fast or not? And what if they’re receiving weekly shots of a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the growth of neutrophils? Would that affect the results of fasting or would the fasting affect the results of the growth factor?

valorie
Guest
valorie

I read a book by Lee Bueno, “Fast your way to Health”. She completed a water only 3 week fast and was cured of rheumatoid vasculitis. She shared stories of tumors disappearing after extended fasts. Why isn’t extended fasting recommended for patients newly diagnosed with cancer?

qofmiwok
Guest
qofmiwok

The argument is always that normal people won’t comply during a study. Also, doctors are afraid of bad effects of fasting because they don’t know better. That’s why Longo came up with the fast mimicking diet, because the system is more accepting of his approach and more willing to test it and prescribe it.

sten bjorsell
Guest
sten bjorsell

I think because once the cat is out of the bag that we have the best doctor’s inside us for most ailments that are regarded chronic and “lifelong”, much fewer doctors and hospitals are needed. The old saying goes: “1/3 of what we eat feed our bodies while the 2/3 feed our doctors”. Part of Jason Fung’s important contribution is that the important 1/3 is best used with intermittent eating, fasting.

Lena
Guest
Lena

Thank you Dr Fung. Excellent and enlightening post!

Bob O\'Connell, RN
Guest
Bob O\'Connell, RN

Once again – a superb posting. Two thoughts: 1) Besides sensing environmental nutrient availability, mTORC1 also senses environmental stressors (interesting to research this aspect for those who want to learn more about this enormous “thinking” protein complex). 2) It appears down-regulating mTORC1 is something we older folks should consider seriously — younger folks are still growing and should — properly. Once you hit around 40 or so ….. research suggests we all should probably be considering this issue — unless you are a body builder, athlete? At 58 years old, I fast and use nutritional ketosis to try to put… Read more »

Dr.Rob
Guest
Dr.Rob

https://proteinpower.com/drmike/2006/02/27/ketosis-cleans-our-cells/?utm_content=buffere3a1f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Dr. Michael Eades wrote about this 11 years ago… “The other thing the body can do is to make sure that the protein it does break down to use for glucose formation comes from non-essential sources. What more non-essential source can we have than useless junk proteins floating around inside the cells?”

Yet, Phinney and Volek are deaf until this day.

Valorie Triemstra
Guest
Valorie Triemstra

I’m going to try another extended fast. I’m hoping to shrink two metastatic tumors in my lung from renal cell CA. I did a 7 day water only fast and there was no growth in the tumors in 3 months between scans. I was discouraged that they hadn’t gotten smallwe and went back to my old ways. The next scan 6 months later showed a 1mm and 2mm increase in size. I think if I can fast for 21 days or more, I could possibly shrink them.

jaz
Guest
jaz

If you want some support you can try joining the facebook Snake Diet Motivation Group run by Cole Robinson. His beliefs are in alignment with Dr Fung although he is very strict (salt water only – no bone broth, coffee, etc) and cusses profoundly. He is however very motivating and “tough love”. He mainly deals with weight loss but a few cancer patients are now joining in.

valorie
Guest
valorie

Thank you. From two sources that I’ve read on extended fasts for healing diseases, there are two signs your body will tell you that healing has occurred. 1. Hunger returns, 2. Your tongue is pink and no longer coated with white crud. When I did a seven day fast my tongue was pinkish but also still had a white coating, I know I quit too soon. I’m trying to gear up for another long fast. It’s really true that hunger isn’t the issue when fasting, it’s missing the enjoyment of eating.

sten bjorsell
Guest
sten bjorsell

I had angina and fasted with water only Sunday night to Friday evening for 3 weeks in a row. Improved and lost weight every week. Before these fasts I got pains in both wrists everytime I walked just about 400 meters. If I continued, chest pain would start.Stopped and waited a minute or so and it cleared. But after two such weeks, all such pains were gone and they still are, now soon 2 years ago. As Longo says, the refeeding is half the key as it is the rebuilding phase, which means too long fasts will miss some of… Read more »

Anna
Guest
Anna

I have started doing daily IF after finding and reading your book on fasting. I’ve had success on ketogenic diet, but have gained back much weight despite keeping to a fairly low carb diet. I have diabetes in my family and have always been very sensitive to carbohydrates. In the last month, I have been learning about the benefits of autophagy from your blog and youtube interviews you have given. My question is this: I have a unique, but deadly allergy to the cold (Cold Urticaria) and my doctors have put me on 20 mg of Zyrtec per day (twice… Read more »

Eileen
Guest
Eileen

Anna, thank you SO MUCH for your post! Never before have I heard or read ANY mention of a link between antihistamines and insulin resistance. I have been taking diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to treat chronic insomnia for more than a decade. Several years before I started taking it I had a very good experience doing the Atkins protocol for weight loss. Then I went back to stuffing myself with carbs and regained the weight. (But that’s another story). For years now, I have kept to a low-carb diet, and thanks to Dr Fung’s articles and videos, have added IF (18/6 most… Read more »

Anna
Guest
Anna

That is great! I have been off my Zyrtec now for 5 months and it is the best thing I did. It turns out I found some research on Vitamin D deficiency being linked to allergies and started taking large doses of Vitamin D. My level was 12! It should be at least 50 (despite most labs saying 30 is normal). Dr’s have found that once levels reach 50+, many allergies go away! My cold urticaria, which had gotten deadly in the winter was severe with no known cure. Since taking Vitamin D daily (5K-25K a day), it is almost… Read more »

Harold
Guest

Eileen, if you are having trouble sleeping, try taking one Tryptophan capsule a while before going to bed. I have found that it helps, but will still allow me to wake up a couple of times during the night. You might try taking a 325 mg aspirin with it. Be sure to put the aspirin in your mouth and then take a drink of water and chew it up in the water before swallowing. That way it won’t be lying against your stomach wall and doing damage. You might also try a Melatonin tablet with the Tryptophan and leave off… Read more »

Eileen
Guest
Eileen

Thanks, Harold. I don’t seem to have any trouble sleeping when I follow my natural wake/sleep cycle.

Mary
Guest
Mary

Anna, I took Zyrtec (once dose daily) Allegra (once dose daily) and Singulair as needed throughout my weight loss journey. I also have PCOS and am insulin resistant. I was able to lose weight with strict keto (LCHF) and IF. I EF now while in maintenance but only did a couple of times during my initial weight loss. A regular low carb diet did not work for me (neither Paleo or Atkins). I eat Primal with under 20g carbs, 50-75g protein and 2-3x protein grams in fat. When I IF or EF I continue to take my meds. I have… Read more »

Anna
Guest
Anna

Thank you for sharing your experience. I have been in Ketosis now for about a week, and was doing IF for 12 days. Interestingly, in deep ketosis and doing the IF I was not losing any weight at all. I did Keto in Aug-Sept and lost 15 lbs. Then added the Zyrtec in November. and started the same keto regimen with IF added, with zero result in 14 days. So I highly suspect the 20mg Zyrtec was causing my insulin to resist despite these interventions. I went off the Zyrtec on Friday and started what I hope to be a… Read more »

mary wier
Guest

My husband and I are fasting 12 hours each day and we are losing weight and have more energy and feel a lot better mentally and physically!!!

Veronica
Guest
Veronica

Fascinating

michael pollard
Guest
michael pollard

It always puzzled me how Angus Barbieri, fasting for 382 days maintained muscle mass over that period. If anyone had any doubts about protein conservation and recycling, surely the answer is in this post.

PeterC
Guest

This guy calls IF “nothingsauce.” Anything to be concerned about? His ideas seem to be on the mark in general.

PeterC
Guest

Sorry I forgot the link about the guy who calls IF nothingsauce. http://caloriesproper.com/intermittent-fasting-is-nothingsauce/

Spek
Guest
Spek

I would like someone to comment on some studies about IF. Lean gains type IF: http://translational-medicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12967-016-1044-0 In this study they found that testosterone and IGF-1 levels decreased, levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines decreased, cortisol levels increased, insulin and blood glucose levels decreased, triglyceride levels decreased, T3 levels decreased and RER decreased slightly. And while the IF group was in a calorie deficit, it was a very small one (less than 10% below maintenance) – probably not a large enough deficit to explain those effects. In another short-term study, they found that when college women at the University of Virginia fasted… Read more »

Veronica Peralta Cortes
Guest
Veronica Peralta Cortes

Clear. Thanks.

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[…] a process known as autophagy.  Dr Fung, author of The Obesity Code (awesome book!) explains here how fasting can activate this […]

Kohsamida
Guest
Kohsamida

For anyone curious, I decided to do a 7-day water fast. I’ve been a long time follower of Dr. Fung’s writings, and before that had been fascinated by the research work in the area of autophagy. I was finally curious enough to try it for myself and see what kind of results I experienced. Though it seems that autophagy may possibly peak around day 3, I’m curious what happens if you go beyond that. In general, I’m just curious to know, first-hand, what it’s like to go for 7 days without any food. So, this is not really a scientific… Read more »

Josh
Guest
Josh

Hi, I’m interested if there is any research or guidelines on how low protein intake should be to trigger autophagy. I have just commenced a water fast, but i am drinking coffee with a small amount of cream in it (amounts to less than 1g of protein 2-3 times a day). Does protein intake have to be 0, or will this still work? Thank you.

Gerald
Guest
Gerald

Great article. But what is the minimum fasting time? I read sooo many confusing things about it.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I loved this post, I really did; I’m having to try and research everything about autophagy and mTOR from scratch to figure out a problem I’m having trying to fast effectively while maintaining my daily morning weight-training sessions at the gym (6 days a week), which feels very difficult if I want to achieve autophagy, and alas, if it’s a choice between the two, the gym would have to win – so far. My problem is only intellectual, really. I have been indoctrinated to believe that it is pretty much essential to eat within at the very most 3 hours,… Read more »