The human immune system can be completely regenerated and rejuvenated after three days of fasting. Scientists have found that restrictions in food intake cause the body to start producing new white blood cells.
While most dietitians and nutritionists criticize starvation diets harshly, the research made by scientists from the University of Southern California showed that restriction in food intake boosts the immune system. The body begins to produce new white blood cells, which are able to repel the attack of any infection. This finding may be especially useful for people suffering from immune problems that occur, for example, in cancer patients after chemotherapy.
A starvation diet could also help the elderly, whose immune system weakens with age. As a result, it becomes harder to fight even the most common diseases. According to the authors, starvation activates the “regenerative switch”, which causes stem cells to turn into white blood cells that gradually rejuvenate the entire immune system.
The author of the study, Professor Valter Longo, says that fasting helps the body get rid of the inefficient parts of the immune system, which are damaged or simply old. Fasting cycles can regenerate the immunity affected by chemotherapy or aging.
As the researchers have established, prolonged fasting also reduces levels of protein kinase A (PKA), which is associated with aging, as well as a number of hormones increasing the risk of cancer development.