cancer

Fasting-like Diet Turns the Immune System Against Cancer

I read many studies and theories about nutrition and nutritional therapies within the realm of cancer care. Although I do try to keep an open mind to all that I read and base my opinions on the evidence presented, I must admit that I tend to favour those that resonate with me.  I do understand that this may put me under the umbrella of bias, but it allows me to be fully invested when my thoughts do align with solid research that I read. 

I have been follow the work of Professor Valter Longo for some time now.  I find his research to be both solid and promising.  He has researched and published findings on fasting, the immune system and increasing effectiveness of chemotherapy.

The study referenced below was published in 2016.  In it, Longo demonstrated (in mice) how implementation of a fasting-mimicking diet can stimulate the immune system of the mice and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy in breast and skin cancer.

In speaking about his findings he stated:

“The mouse study on skin and breast cancers is the first study to show that a diet that mimics fasting may activate the immune system and expose the cancer cells to the immune system,” Longo said. “This could be a very inexpensive way to make a wide range of cancer cells more vulnerable to an attack by the immune cells while also making the cancer more sensitive to the chemotherapy.”

He further noted:

“It may be that by always being exposed to so much food, we are no longer taking advantage of natural protective systems which allow the body to kill cancer cells,” Longo said. “But by undergoing a fasting-mimicking diet, you are able to let the body use sophisticated mechanisms able to identify and destroy the bad but not good cells in a natural way.”

Below is the link to an article reporting Longo’s finding.

Fasting-like Diet Turns the Immune System Against Cancer