Health

Does Fasting Improve Your Immune System?

There have been many types of research to find the impacts of fasting on the immune system. The majority of such studies have proven the fact that fasting can improve the immune system. According to a study in 2019, at least three days of fasting are required to reset your immune system as a whole. Undoubtedly, fasting improves the immune system. However, the way fasting works in your body is quite complicated, so it is necessary to understand the concept sufficiently to know the impact of fasting on your immune system.

How does fasting boost your immunity?

The primary source of energy for your body is glucose. The body has a large amount of glucose gained from various food sources, primarily carbohydrates. Metabolism reactions and physical activity make your body burn glucose to obtain energy. The principal purpose of fasting is to burn all of the glucose and make sure your body starts burning fats. It can take several hours or even days, depending on the duration of your fast and the amount of glucose you have in your body.

One of the significant benefits of fasting is that as soon as your body starts burning fat in a large quantity, you start losing weight and becoming trimmer. Moreover, ketones are produced by the liver due to insufficient insulin and glucose. BHB is one of the ketones produced while fasting, and it is very beneficial to the immune system of your body.  

According to the Yale School of Medicine and Cell Stem Cell, BHB is responsible for improving immunity, decreasing inflammation, and promoting healthier cell production. Moreover, these renowned institutes also concluded that damaged immune cells are easily recycled during fasting. 

Autophagy is also achieved via fasting. It means that the body takes up the damaged old cells and eat them up to ensure the survival of only healthy cells. Eventually, healthy cells are produced by the body. New and healthy cells can fight off the invaders more efficiently. Therefore, fasting improves immunity via rapid autophagy, which leads to the production of white blood cells like NK cells, B-cells, monocytes, lymphocytes, and others.

Diseases Prevented by Fasting

There are a great number of illnesses and conditions that can be avoided via fasting, or at least the chances of getting such diseases are significantly reduced.

Influenza

Influenza is a seasonal disease that proves deadly for hundreds of thousands of people every season. It is a viral infection, and hence incurable. Rest and drinking lots of fluids is suggested during the flu. The impact of fasting on viruses has been stated by many researchers. It is found that fasting is beneficial in killing some viruses to an extent.

Moreover, fasting produces cytokines, which make us feel less hungry. As a result, food consumption for your body is restricted, and the diet for the viruses living in your body is severely limited. Eventually, the influenza virus will not be able to replicate in your body due to lack of energy, and with strong immunity, your body will kill it off completely.

Cancer

According to a report in Oncogene, fasting reduces the chances of getting cancer by limiting inflammation, reducing the chemotherapy side effects, and decreasing insulin resistance.

High Blood Pressure

Fasting is known to be effective against diabetes and obesity. It regulates the overall cholesterol levels, body weight, and the amount of the triglycerides in your body. Hence, chances of hypertension are also reduced, which can prevent any possible heart disease and stroke.

Conclusion 

Fasting is one of the very easy methods of boosting your immunity as it results in the production of new healthy cells that can fight off bacterial and viral diseases. Moreover, chances of getting conditions like Alzheimer’s, Type 2 diabetes, among others, are also reduced by fasting. While fasting, you should always remember that you are immensely benefitting your immune system, which is excellent in the long-run.