The benefits of dry fasting have been shown in study after study, however a new Baylor University study (2020) looked at the effect of dry intermittent fasting on gene expression. Yes, the power to switch our genes on and off!
First, here is a little background behind the science. The study from Baylor University examined fourteen humans for 30-days who utilized dry intermittent fasting for fourteen hours a day. This meant no food or liquids during the fasting window, with no calorie or diet restrictions during the eating window, they could eat their usual diet. Thirteen of the subjects were male, and one subject was female. Even if the subject did not lose weight, the positive genes turned on, and the harmful genes turned off. This finding is so important to note, so let me repeat it: these effects took place in the absence of weight loss!!
Genes that were up-regulated during dry fasting:
So many people come to fasting to lose weight. However, there are so many other benefits and chemical changes that happen in our bodies. For instance, the study found that specific genes will turn ON during this fast and improve the following:
- DNA repair
- Glucose metabolism, which helps prevent metabolic syndrome.
- Lipid metabolism (fatty liver)
- Immune system
- Circadian clock
- Cognitive function
- Bipolar Disorder
- Cytoskeletal remodeling (glucose transport which leads to insulin resistance)
- Blood pressure management
Genes that were down-regulated during dry fasting:
Not only did the study find all of those fantastic benefits of the fourteen-hour fast, but they also discovered how fasting would turn OFF genes that do not benefit us. The genes that turn OFF during this fast could have the following consequences:
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
- Brain cancer
- Drug-resistant leukemia
How to do a 14-Hour Dry Fast?
During the study, subjects ate breakfast before dawn and consumed dinner after sunset. The fast during the day included no food and no liquids, meaning it is a dry fast. There was no calorie restriction during eating times, and the subjects were told to eat what they usually would. The only instructions were no eating or drinking during sunup to sundown. Again, this is essential to note. The positive effects of fasting occurred with the absence of calorie restriction and weight loss.
Fasting can be used as a tool to heal our bodies. We all know that food is medicine. But guess what? No food is also medicine. We do not always have to be reaching for something outside of ourselves to heal us. Sometimes, we have to tap into the intelligence inside ourselves in order to heal.
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