THIS is What Fasting Does to Your Immune System (Please Use Caution Right Now)
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doing a fast longer than 24 hours when you’re worried about getting sick is not a good idea I’ve got some solid research to back this up now shorter-term fascinating like intermittent fasting still seems to be good to go based upon a lot of the research but longer-term fasting you may want to wait now if there are any videos of mine that you pay close attention to and watch the entire thing I really think this is one because everything I’m going to describe is going to paint a big picture for you overall I don’t want you to think that fasting is bad okay longer-term fasting has tremendous effects on the immune system but over the long term not necessarily at the acute short-term level in fact when you fast for a few days white blood cell count goes down twenty-eight percent but it goes down twenty-eight percent and then at the end of the fast you create new white blood cells so yes with longer term fasting you’re creating new white blood cells which essentially gives you a fresher immune system however during the period of the fast you can be somewhat immunocompromised so we may want to shorten our fast I’m going to give you some research but also in this video I’m gonna help you break down how you should tailor your fast for best immune response at least in my opinion hey I do want to ask that you hit that red subscribe button and then also hit that help icon because it’s got new videos coming out every single day so that Bell icon you want select all and notifications that way you never miss a beat I’m gonna quickly describe the innate and adaptive immune system so it makes some sense with fasting okay the innate immune system is your body is just response to a pathogen in a widespread powerful way that is not very targeted it’s an eight you’re built with it and it just attacks pathogens okay then you have what’s called the adaptive immune system the adaptive immune system is more of a laser targeted approach so think of it as the infantry just going in there and waging a war versus highly specialized special forces that are going in and know exactly what to target okay that’s the difference there well this plays into fasting because well when you’re fasting you do decrease some of your overall immune system activity which can be very very good let me give you an example most of us are walking around with a low-grade chronic inflammation which means like our day-to-day life we have inflammation which is why would we do a fast we feel so good because we control that inflammation a little bit okay but we don’t always want to control that inflammation when there’s a response that we need to actually have okay so that getting rid of that inflammation is great except when we need it so if we look at a study that was published in the journal Cell who’s found that circulating monocytes so circulating immune cells would actually reduce outside the bone marrow during a fast so again this is great for people that just have low-grade chronic inflammation or they’re fighting a low-grade infection but it’s not good if a pathogen is coming in and we need those immune cells present right right now a lot of this has to do with some complicated stuff known as like PPA our alpha which are different signaling or receptor proteins it’s pretty complicated stuff when you get down to the genetic level of why this occurs but I’ll make some more sense of everything as well and then also be giving you a practical solution here in just a couple minutes you see the length of time of your fast matters tremendously okay so the journal Cell also published another paper and it found that t-cells which again are very important immune cells would be reduced during a fast a longer fast but the difference in t-cell reduction between a 24-hour fast and a 36-hour fast was tremendous showing that after 24 hours we start to really crush our immune system quite a bit during a fast the scary thing is after we break the fast it takes a while for those t-cells to come back up takes a few days so the point is that a longer term fast should not really be done when you’re concerned about contracting something or when you’re exposed to pathogens but shorter term fasts could still be good now I’ll explain some more but then we look at the big picture of the animal kingdom right generally it’s been seen that well when animals get sick they don’t eat right so it has to have something to do with our metabolic state right and there’s definitely a degree of truth to that you know it’s been touted in all kinds of different things that you should just not eat when you’re sick well some researchers douve into that a little bit more and again published in the journal Cell it turns out that our response to a bacterial infection versus of virus is totally different in the way of fasting so it turns out that when you’re in a fasted state and you have exposure to a bacterial bacterial pathogen you actually come out ahead so what the scientists did in this case they took a bacterial pathogen and they found that when that bacterial pathogen inside a body was exposed to glucose when there was glucose present there was a higher mortality rate showing that well if you’re not in a fasted State bacterial infections can be more damaging but with viruses it was the opposite when a virus came in the body and there was glucose present they did better so when a virus was present in the body in a fasted State there was a higher mortality rate now again you could expand more and more and more with this it all has to do with what happens when a virus enters your body you see a virus doesn’t just affect tissues it doesn’t just affect specific cells their virus is interesting because it attacks the immune cells too it invades the immune cells which triggers what is called a cytokine storm or cytokine storm potato patato basically what this means is the immune system has this over acting chaos of communication that triggers a massive inflammatory response in a massive immune response well what does this have to do with anything because you would think that when you’re fasting you’re gonna be quelling that response right and normally you do normally when you’re fasting you’re reducing some of that inflammatory or immune response so as published in the frontiers of neuroscience there’s a paper that showed that during a fasted State if a virus comes in the body there is an increase in that cytokine activity an increase in that over communication okay so normally you’d have some degree of cytokine over communication but in a fasted state when a virus came in there was even more so it shows that fasting is really good for bacterial infections but not so good for viral infections or viruses right again we’re talking about longer term fasting so what can you do with your short term fast obviously you want to stay in shape you want to get lean you want to do what you can for your immune system and again we are supporting the immune system by fasting we just have to do it strategically so if your short term fasting if you’re concerned about pathogens are concerned about contracting something you want to keep your fasting probably between 16 and 20 hours and not push it beyond that I am a huge fan of longer term fasting but it needs to be done in a much more controlled setting when you’re the immunocompromised or you’re not worried about getting sick so with shorter term fasting what you do want to be doing is making sure that during your eating window you’re getting a lot of protein in I say that because protein does trigger gluconeogenesis gluconeogenesis does create glucose in the body and like the study that I mentioned from the journal Cell where glucose seems to actually help with viral infections then you want to have a little bit of glucose right so gluconeogenesis could be your friend plus protein has a thermogenic effect it’s going to help keep you lean it’s gonna help keep your lean muscle on you there’s a bunch of reasons to keep your protein relatively high after you break your fast I would also recommend alternate day fasting so you’re not fasting every day and you’re not consistently quelling your immune system okay and then after you break your fast it’s going to be very very very important that you get a high degree of antioxidants and a high degree of greens in super super important because what’s happening is after you break your fast you’re going to have a degree of reactive oxygen species a degree of oxidative stress that’s occurring because you just loaded yourself down with calories and that’s gonna cause a response sort of a waste response but additionally immune cells that are active generate their own waste so I usually recommend getting as many greens as you possibly can in one of the greens that I recommend that I would consider using is athletic greens I’ll put a link down below this is a brand that Joe Rogan recommends a lot of people that are in my circle highly highly recommend and something that I’ve been using recently when it comes down to my eating window of my fast some people recommend having athletic greens during your fast personally I like to have it during my eating window because it allows me to get a big infusion of greens and a big infusion of vitamins in that I think are gonna just lead to the overall holistic approach that I’m after when it comes down to breaking my fast so I would highly recommend consuming that not right when you break your fast but maybe a couple hours after you break your fast and that way you can just get your antioxidants in you can get your vitamins in because what I don’t want to have happen and think about it like this is you’re reducing your calories during a fast right and then you have a small finite amount of time to eat it is not a good time to become potentially deficient in vitamins and potentially deficient in minerals during that day it’s very easy to have happen I have a lot of days where I break a fast and I’ll eat my protein I’ll eat whatever I need to eat and then I get to the end of the day and I’m like wow I didn’t really have any greens because my eating window is only for six hours so it’s very very important that you do what you can to get those greens and if you can get them from veggies great otherwise I do recommend athletic greens and there’s a special link with special pricing down below they are a supporter of this channel because they know that I use them when I fast so definitely check them out ok let’s talk some really good news here though with it’s what’s happening during like an intermittent fast right you have these other T cells that are called memory T cells ok memory T cells well they have memory and what that means is they can recognize a pathogen and when they see that pathogen they can go and they can kind of know what to do they know the ropes so to speak so that pathogen can get neutralized a lot easier well when you’re fasting these memory t-cells actually go down during a fast which sounds bad but not really because what they found that they do is they rehome in the bone marrow okay now when they rehome in the bone marrow they get stronger and their memory improves so visualize it like this here’s kind of an analogy you you go on a shorter-term fast okay and you’ve got these amazing memory T cells that are Special Forces operators that can go out and do their job but because you’re fasting they go back to base they go to the bone marrow for a little bit they go back to the base and they recharge they get stronger they take a nap maybe they do a little workout maybe they eat some healthy food right they go back and they rehome then after you break your fast they release out of the bone marrow stronger why because they rested they rehome so these memory t-cells get stronger so if we have stronger memory t-cells then we have a stronger ability to fight them infections and pathogens that our body has somewhat seen before so that’s pretty wild stuff and that’s exactly where fasting can improve everything and I come back to that original study that I talked about okay when you look at white blood cells so just now I can paint a bigger picture for this if you go on like a three day fast and your white blood cell levels go down during the fast that’s a bad thing right there you don’t want that you don’t want to be succumbing to illness at that point in time because your white blood cells are down but when they do come back they come back refresh and they come back stronger and they come back new so over the long haul you’re doing your immune system a very very solid benefit so I do not want the wrong idea to come across with this fasting is powerful for the immune system you just have to time it properly now again when we look at the big picture of controlling inflammation though intermittent fasting like shorter term fast can be really good at quelling inflammation and I say that you know a little bit loosely but realistically when you look at a lot of the science the presence of ketones which occur when you are fasting are naturally sort of an interrupter of what’s called nuclear factor Kappa B so they can kind of control the inflammatory response so if you’re already sick sometimes ketones can actually be your friend sometimes intermittent fasting can be your friend it’s just when that first initial response is coming that you have to be careful so I want to recap so everyone just has a really solid picture here rule number one no more than 24 hour fast when you are concerned with getting sick so during cold and flu season you may want to limit the lengths of fats that you do contrary to what people tell you okay rule number two increase your protein during your eating period I would recommend increasing at about 20 to 25 percent quite frankly because you’re trying to get a extra protein for recovery but be glucose to get converted from that protein okay rule number three antioxidants quite frankly I don’t care where you get them dark chocolate is a good one getting your greens in using athletic greens if you want to using the link down below however you plan to vitamin C also very very very good time to consume vitamin C because then you’re gonna actually get good absorption because of your insulin sensitivity after you break a fast look at my stash of vitamin C all different brands okay I just got my hands on what I could get my hands on rule number four is going to be making sure that you’re hydrated and getting good minerals in if you do do any kind of intermittent fasting minerals are really the root and the core of a lot of our immune system okay there’s different mineral responses so I encourage you to look into taking magnesium look into taking a little bit of copper and making sure that you’re also getting your vitamin C and since they all work in tandem of course vitamin D is important other videos on that and a lot of people are probably wondering about exercise during this time as well I would recommend that exercise still be done in the fasted state because to some degree it can mobilize a little bit more glucose a lot of times even in a fasted state if you workout you have again a degree of gluconeogenesis that can help circulate glucose which could potentially help your innate immune system do a better job at fighting off pathogens so anyhow I hope this video really resonated and that the solid point got across and I hope you’re able to watch everything in its entirety so you don’t think that I’m anti fasting because I’m certainly not as always keep it locked in here my channel I’ll see you soon
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Frankly, I haven’t been wanting to go to the store as much with everything happening, so I’ve been getting more of my greens in through Athletic Greens. It’s kind of my insurance policy for getting my veggies in and I’ve noticed a legitimate difference since adding it in. Highly recommend you give it a serious try during your eating window.
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THIS is What Fasting Does to Your Immune System (Please Use Caution Right Now) – Thomas DeLauer
Fasting and Immune System
Our immune system is dependent on two lines of protection. The first (innate) line involves cells like monocytes, neutrophils and killer T cell. These cells are effective killers, but they lack specificity. On contrary adaptive immune cells, T cells and B cells, have special receptors embedded in their membranes which allow them to specifically bind to a given pathogen and match the response effectively. Same as all other cells in the body, immune cells need energy, therefore it could be argued that not providing your immune cells with energy might weaken you.
Such a mechanism is suggested by a study published in the journal Cell. Researchers reported that fasting is reducing levels of circulating monocytes. Monocytes are part of the immune system and very potent inducers of inflammation. This mechanism was facilitated via the AMPK pathway which acts as an energy sensor as it is activated by an increased amount of ADP which indicates a shortage of energy characteristic for fasting. AMPK pathway then triggers the PPAR pathway. This is a well-known pathway in the fasting community as it regulates a number of genes involved in fat utilization. In this context, PPAR also has an effect on mobilization of monocytes outside of bone marrow (BM) because it halts the release of monocytes outside of bone marrow where a substantial part of all our immune cells are is generated. This reduction of circulating monocytes is certainly good news for someone fighting low-grade chronic inflammation, but it can also compromise our ability to fight acute infection.
The mechanism of viral infection is different. Unlike bacteria, the virus injects its genetic material inside the infected cell and induces Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress. In here, the blockage of glucose further worsens the ER stress and leads to tissue dysfunction. They further investigated the effect of ketones by creating mice deficient in PPAR which stimulates ketogenesis.
A study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience examined if intermittent fasting (IF) influence cytokine levels during infection. It was found that the injection of viral particles after intermittent fasting resulted in a significant increase in circulating levels of cytokines and worsened the immune response. These results suggest that IF exacerbates the response to viral infection and coincides with previously shown research where low glucose levels were reported to compromise the ability to fight viral infection.
From the aforementioned studies, it seems like fasting is not making our immune any stronger when it comes to viral infections. On the other hand, the effect of ketones in fighting bacterial infection is beneficial. Now we will show that fasting possesses the ability to remodel our immune system.
In a study published in Stem Cell, they reported that 3-day fast reduces the number of white blood cells by 28%. However, during refeeding, the levels are restored. This means that the pool of your white blood cells (WBC) is renewed which itself brings benefit. Majority of immune cells are produced in bone marrow from haematopoietic stem cells (HSC). It was found that the switch from carbohydrates towards fat and ketone metabolism stimulates the production of new WBC. Mainly because the insulin growth factor 1 pathway is suppressed during fasting.
Fasting is not a one-time, quick immune stimulator. All the beneficial effects are also observed after refeeding. During the fast itself, the immunity might be compromised, especially in fasts longer than 24 hours.
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