Fasting & Autophagy for Cancer and Neurological conditions.
Throughout the world history of humankind, fasting has been a focal point for good health and healing. One look at cultures and countries around the world and we find that the benefits from these ancient practices have been known and practiced for centuries. What we are learning now is that the core of healing may come from the sub-cellular cleansing, and regenerating process we call Autophagy.
Autophagy is the body's response to a lack of food. Consider this, the body begins to digest or get rid of old broken down cells that have caused illness and disease, even certain cancers.
The cycle begins with the body locating and getting rid of unnecessary proteins, damaged and broken.
The body is a remarkable machine, and the next step is where the body takes and recycles the left-over amino acids and rebuilds and replaces them with new, healthy and functioning cells.
I know many get excited when we talk about deliberately putting the body into this state...we hear OH MY GOODNESS I am going to lose too much muscle if I fast this way
I love Dr. Fung's* way of putting it " IN TRUTH OUR BODIES ARE NOWHERE NEARLY AS STUPID AS THAT!"
So the body works hard to locate and gather, the old proteins get degraded to amino acids...then the magic happens. The body now decides which cells stay and which cells go. The discarded cells get flushed out through the kidneys as waste...or kept to make new healthy proteins.
Thanks to the findings of Yoshinori Ohsumi*, the 2016 Nobel prize winner for Medicine for research into autophagy.
How does this benefit cancer and neurological stressed patients?
There isn't enough time this morning to introduce all the science behind this, Think of it in these terms. Some of our bodies have too many proteins. People may think "Oh proteins are good...we need them and having a lot must be good!"
Not necessarily true. Growth is good for a child, adolescent, but for us adults, excess growth of protein cells is almost always bad.
Cancer is too much growth
Alzheimer's disease, too much growth means too much protein (neurophibrillary knots and tangles) in the brain.
Likewise, heart attacks and strokes with too much accumulated plaque, too much growth...too much growth
Polycystic diseases in the kidneys and ovaries...too much growth in these cells....Obesity is too much growth!
Autophagy begins at a low basal level and basically happens in all cells.
Outcomes will always be different for each individual. Things like diet, nutrients, hormones, temperature, oxidative stress, infection and protein aggregates will weigh in on the outcome or prognosis of Autophagy.
Once autophagy is activated mTOR is decreased & AMPK increases
mTOR : Mammalian Target of Rapamycin in insulin signaling, mTOR forces growth. As we grow from babies to toddlers to teens and then adults and later stages of aging we become elderly. We no longer need to grow, but as a whole we are growing all the time and that's the danger of obesity. Less intake of proteins must be our first response.
AMPK: a nutrient sensor, consider it the older brother..it literally moves in reverse and can pull you out of a dangerous situation...after all that's what brothers are for right?
when AMPK is high it begins to shut down fatty acid synthesis and turns the autophagy switch on. If your cells do not have energy, the body won't want to make fat, and instead it will want to begin the process of dumping those broken and useless protein cells. ( metformin...green tea, red wine all work this way)
Making sense now?
Okay let me put another way.
How did I get here? Time has a way of healing they say. For me, I would have to agree to some extent although I am not quite sure if time has healed or time has forgotten. In starting this book I have realized that I have forgotten so much. I think of it like childbirth. When you are in the delivery room and you feel there is no way to survive and you vow this is the end and you utter the words " Never again!" We all know that the very next few days we have changed our points of view. We forget the pain and the sweat of the days before because our new view, a new life is staring back at us. I never looked at cancer survival like this until today. I was talking with a client of my husband a couple of weeks ago and we shared about writing and her advice was to go deeper..to where you don't want to go. This is where you need to be and that's where your story is going to come from. Nobody likes looking back.
This week when I came across this photo, it brought up so many memories and emotions. These ladies, all lifelong friends, one was my Mother-in-law, one of my best friends! We were together for a special day. A day that my friends came together, treated me to brunch and a wonderful day of conversation, laughs and we enjoyed our time together. I didn’t realize it then, but I was now a statistic in the books of cancer. Later, we learned that we all would become part of the statistical story of cancer.
In the photo 3 out of 4 now are cancer statistics. We lost my Mother-in-law to cancer in a short amount of time. It was a devastating time for all of us. So many questions as to WHY always comes to mind. We had no answers, only memories. Early this year of 2021 another in the photo was diagnosed with breast cancer. Yet another added to the statistical count.
Is it surprising to you? Does this bring up your questions? Where are you in this story? What do you see when you take a look behind you?
Failures are there. Hurts are there. Lost friendships are there. Trauma is there. However, if you take a better look there are victories there too! Love is there. Lessons were learned there. Life choices were made there. Friendships and family are there. I have discovered that looking back takes a lot of courage, and a willingness to see myself in a different light. I don't like looking back but I am glad I did.
For me, my future is simple. Eat for health! Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed. I'm always looking ahead.
Since this is still new science we have no real data to show improvements, however I'm an advocate now for IF to choke out cancer if not get rid of it all together. We have learned over the past 20 years that our food is making us sicker and sicker. A world epidemic, obesity and diabetes are the driving force behind many debilitating if not life threatening diseases. We must be self advocates, and self preservers. We need to learn how to keep our bodies healthy and free of these otherwise health nuisances, away from us.
If you were told you could avoid cancer if you stopped eating processed food and sugar would you not listen?
What if you were told you could avoid heart attacks, and strokes? How about Alzheimer's disease? What if you were told you could finally have that baby you have tried and tried for? Every one of us would surely make these changes. My goal is to help you to avoid this conversation with your family
"I have Cancer!"
I ate a very low carbohydrate, high natural fat diet. Lowering the carb count is key to success. Insulin is cancer at its core...the body is full of broken, dying cells. Stay away from processed food, and begin to eliminate sugar. Reading labels will become second nature to you until you begin looking at food with only a few ingredients.
I'm not a Scientist, nor am a Health Care Provider, I only have my experience to share.
I can tell you the ways Intermittent Fasting and the change in diet helped me through a cancer diagnosis, cancer surgery, chemotherapy as well as radiation treatments. I was overweight and needed a change. I was able to lose 50 lbs and keep it off. With the protocols The Low Carb Family Program practices, I am maintaining the weight loss. I continue to use IF along with some EF to keep healthy. Now that I am out of the treatment world fasting will always be my strategy as I am still a cancer clinic patient and always will. I'm okay with that. I know I have a dozen doctors and caregivers looking out for me. It's time now for me, and my family to get back to living an adventurous life!
Reach out when you need support! We are here to walk through your health circumstances. We want to see you and your family living a healthy. low carb life!