Caloric restriction or fasting is
not starvation. In fasting,
only the non-essential fat and protein stores which
are used. Starvation occurs once fatty tissue has been
used up; whence the body draws on its own essential
protein reserves for fuel. Excessive fasting CAN lead
to starvation, but caloric restriction diets used in
antiaging don’t reach anywhere near this limit.
Caloric Restriction and Antiaging
restriction programs are well supported as the most
effective way to extend life span and dramatically reduce
the chance of developing
chronic disease in old age. There have been over
100 years of scientific studies supporting this theory.
doctors Weindruch and Walford, found that by simply
applying the principles they established from their
studies that even those with chronic disease at the
start of the dietary restriction may significantly improve
their health, with the illness significantly lessening
or vanishing completely.
By the very life threatening nature of many of the
age related diseases, reducing their ferocity can add
years back to the life span.
Their studies proved that “'spontaneous' diseases
of old age are reduced in animals that live on a diet
which contains a full complement of nutrients (vitamins,
protein etc.) but which has a lower than usual level
of calorie content”.
Various Types of Caloric Restriction
There are many ways in which caloric restriction can
be achieved. Selection depends upon the preferences
of the individual.
Alternate day fasting - Eat whatever
you wish of a fully balanced diet for a restricted amount
of time; e.g. 12 hours every other day.
Reduced portions - retain a normal
meal pattern but eat reduced portions of a normal balanced
diet - between 40% - 70%; boosted by nutritional supplements.
This is referred to as an isonutrient diet.
Combination – Alternate days
of isonutrient diet and normal diet.
Single daily meal - eat once a day
– rest of the day fasting.
A Purist fasting regime would be based on no solid
food is taken and only water only is consumed. However
many forms include fruit [non-citris] juices, vegetable
juices and raw salads.
Whichever regimen is followed the principal rule is
to ensure full nourishment; receiving total requirement
of protein, vitamins and minerals whilst calories were
restricted. It is essential if a fast is to be carried
out for more than 48 hours.
The more restrictive the dietary constraint, the more
intense the disease prevention effects. Research shows
that despite the dietary restriction normal physiological
function is maintained and in many instances improved.
Typical restricted periods, 729 and 826 calories daily,
had the following quantities of food:
- 22 to 30 grams of protein
- 7.5 to 8.5 grams of fat
- 164 to 207 grams of carbohydrate.
NOTE: A normal recommended minimum would be 1500 -
Eating more raw, than cooked food during restrictive
periods, increased nourishment and benefits.
Based on study by Dr Ralph Bircher of Zurich,
to Caloric Restriction Programs
Caloric Restriction Impact on Chronic Disease
Substantial reduction in disease activity can be obtained
by fasting followed by an individually adjusted vegetarian
diet. Fasting alone has been shown to remedy:
Source: Salloum and Burton
The calorie intake 1,800 and 2,000 calories
Study of Caloric Restriction on Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious crippling degenerative
disease. A sole study on a 55-year-old woman totally
incapacitated with arthritis was given nothing but raw
food, salads and fruit for two weeks, supplemented with
a little lightly cooked vegetarian food.
For six weeks there was no change; in fact at times
more severe pain was experienced. The she developed
a high temperature. This was seen as the turning point.
In the five months following improvement was marked
each month. Progress become swift:
5 months - walking with sticks.
10 months - she was pain-free and had regained
most of her mobility.
12 months - fully mobile.
10 years - still mobile and still following
a 75 per cent raw food diet.
Study conducted by Dr Max Bircher-Benner at the
Royal Free Hospital in London.
What Happens to the Body on a Fast?
The following is a normal predictable sequence during
- The body's basic metabolic rate (BMR) slowly reduces
by around 1% daily until it stabilizes at 75 per cent
of its normal rate.
- Energy stored glucose in the liver is accessed.
- When these stores are used up, and whatever remaining
food in the digestive tract has been used as an energy
source, the body begins to synthesize more glucose,
taken as stored glycogen from muscle tissues.
- After about 24 hours these sources will be depleted,
and free amino acids and protein, and later fat stores
(triglycerides), from various nonessential sites will
be turned into energy by the liver and the kidneys.
A combination of a lower requirement for energy and
careful use of what fuels are available (including some
recycling, for example of red blood cells) allows fasting
to continue for many weeks before any vital tissues
become threatened. [ Assuming good health at the beginning
of the fast.]
Biochemical Changes During a Fast
Following this reduction in metabolic rate, a wide
array of biochemical changes occur during fasting, many
dependent on the state of health at the beginning of
the fasting period. Other predictable changes include:
- Lowering of body temperature
- Lowering of protein glycation
- Enhancement of free radical neutralisation –
freeing up more cellular resources for
- Enhancement of gene reparation – making the
cell more efficient for
- Enhance elimination of damaged cells, and
- Enhancement of protein turnover [regeneration]
- Enhancement of immune response
- Activation of mono-oxygenase systems
- Optimisation of neuroendocrine functions - the
hormonal changes are of particular significance to
longevity. An increase in the production by the pituitary
gland of Growth Hormone (GH) – except in very
overweight people, can trigger many antiaging properties.
Most of these changes continue after the fast.
Side Effects of Fasting
During the early stages of fasting a number of predictable
symptoms include:headache, nausea, dizziness, coated
tongue, body odour, palpitations, muscle aches, discharge
of mucous and skin changes.
These typically vanish after a few days, followed by
a sense of remarkable well-being and clarity of mind.
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