Recent proof from Norwegian research
A one year study of people with rheumatoid arthritis was carried out in Norway. The researchers stated that while fasting is proven as an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, many patients relapse when they start eating again. In this study they followed the four week semi-fast with a one year vegetarian diet, and it was found that all the benefits of the fast (marked reduction in number and intensity of swollen joints, pain and stiffness; increased strength; improved blood chemistry and overall health status) were maintained at the end of the year. The fast itself was not total but included herbal teas, vegetable broth and vegetable juices (no fruit juices because of sugar content). The calorie intake during the fast ranged between 800 and 1,250 per day. When eating was resumed the participants were, for the first three to five months, asked to avoid meat, fish, eggs, dairy produce, refined sugar, food containing gluten (e.g. wheat), citrus fruits, strong spices, tea, coffee, alcohol and preservatives. After this they were allowed dairy produce and gluten-containing foods, unless there was any reaction to them (swollen joints or pain etc.) in which case these foods were stopped again.
The calorie intake during this stage of the treatment is not given, but it must have been in the region of 1,800 and 2,000 calories, as recommended by life extension experts. The conclusion of these researchers from the University of Oslo was:
We have shown that a substantial reduction in disease activity can be obtained by fasting followed by an individually adjusted vegetarian diet. We do not believe that this regimen carries a health risk; on the contrary it seems to be a useful supplement to ordinary medical treatment.24
Side effects of fasting
During the early stages of fasting a number of predictable changes occur which commonly lead to headache, nausea, dizziness, coated tongue, body odour, palpitations, muscle aches, discharge of mucous and skin changes.
These symptoms need to be borne philosophically since they represent a necessary passage in the healing process. The benefits to be gained are well worth the short-term inconvenience of this catalog of minor problems which commonly vanish after a few days, to be followed by a sense of well-being and clarity of mind of remarkable degree.
It is essential if a fast is to be carried out for more than 48 hours that there is a degree of guidance available from a health professional who is experienced in fasting techniques, ideally a naturopathic practitioner. For shorter fasts the guidelines given later in this book will be sufficient.
It is now time to examine the Weindrudh and Walford research into longevity enhancement - natural life extension and the prescription for youth.
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- Goodhart, R., Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease 6th Edition (Lea & Fabiger, Philadelphia, 1980)
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- Salloum, T. & Burton, A., 'Therapeutic Fasting' from Textbook of Natural Medicine , ed: PDrno and Murray (Bastyr College Publication, Seattle 1987)
- Kernt, P. et al, 'Fasting: the history, pathophysiology and complications' Western Journal of Medicine (1982) 137:379-99
- Palmblad, J. et al, 'Acute energy deprivation in man: effect on serum immunoglobulins, antibody response, complement factors 3 & 4, acute phase reactants and interferon producing capacity of blood Iymphocyted Clinical Experimental Immunology (1977) 30:50-5
8b. Win& E. et al, 'Fasting enhanced immune effector mechanism in obese patients' American Journal of Medicine (1983) 75:91-6
- Allan, F., 'Prolonged fasting in diabetes' American Journal of Medical Science (1915) 150:480-5
- Hoefel, G. & Moriarty, M., 'The effects of fasting on the metabolism' American Journal of Diseases in Children (1924) 28:16-24
- Lennox, W. & Cobb, S., 'Studies in epilepsy' Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry (1928) 20:711-79
- Duncan, C. et al,' Intermittent fasts in the correction and control of intractable obesity' American Journal of Medical Science (1963) 245:515-52
- Gresham, G., 'Is Atheroma a reversible lesionr Atherosclerosis (1976) 23:379-91.
- Suzuki, J. et al, 'Fasting therapy for psychosomatic disease' Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine (1976) 118(supp):245-59
- Sorbris, R. et al, 'Vegetarian fasting in obese patients: a clinical and biochemical evaluation' Scandinavian J. Gastroenterolgy (1982) 17:417-24
- Navarro, S. et al, 'Comparison of fasting, nasogastric suction and cimetidine in treatment of acute pancreatitis' Digestiom (1984) 30:224-30
- Imamura, M. et al, 'A trial of fasting cure for PCB poisoning patients in Taiwan' American Journal of Internal Medicine (1984) 5:10-53
- Brod, J. et al, influence of fasting on the immunological reactions and course of glomerulonephritis' Lancet (1958) 760-3
- Lithell, H. et al, 'A fasting and vegetarian diet treatment trial on chronic inflammatory disorders' Acta Derm. Venereol . (1983) 63:397-403
- Skoldstam, L. et al, 'Rheumatoid disorders' Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology (1979) 8:249-55
- Skoldstam, L. et al, impaired con A suppressor cell activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis shows normalization during fasting' Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology (1983) 12:4:369-73
- Kroker, G. et al, 'Fasting and rheumatoid arthritis: a multicentre study, Clinical Ecology (1984) 2:3:137-44
- Gerrard, J., Food Intolerances' Lancet (1984) ii:413
- Kjeldsen-Kragh, J. et al, 'Controlled trial of fasting and one-year vegetarian diet in Rheumatoid Arthritis' Lancet (1991) 899-904.
Experimental Evidence of Life Extension