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I for one am sick of just regular old gurus talking about fasting like they know everything talking about it from a body composition side and that’s it well I want to talk about fasting from the angle of the immune system how it’s gonna actually help your t-cells how it’s going to help your stem cells how it’s going to help your body recover when it comes down to inflammation in your overall immune system because intermittent fasting is much more than just getting an amazing shape so let’s take a look at some science and to kick this off I do want to reference an awesome study that USC did but first and foremost if you haven’t already please turn on notifications for my videos and if you’re new to my channel please hit that subscribe button you definitely won’t be sorry that you did so USC did an interesting study they took a look at the result on stem cells when it comes down to fasting individuals and they took a look at how the stem cells actually regenerated and how white blood cells reacted to the response of fasting well what they found was of course fasting ultimately depleted white blood cells which sounds like a bad thing but it’s actually a good thing because what we do want to have happen is the white blood cells to eventually die off so that the body can create stronger more efficient ones and that’s exactly what’s happening so these depleted white blood cells ended up leading to stem cells producing more when the white blood cells went down it kick-starts the stem cells to have to go into regeneration mode whenever your stem cells go into regeneration mode you’re producing new white blood cells and that is allowing the body to be able to recover better therefore those new white blood cells that are being produced by those stem cells regenerating are stronger healthier and a lot more resistant now to add insult to injury in a good way we ended up finding that there was a reduced amount of PKA as well now PKA is a gene restriction thing so basically what that means is when you’re talking about fascinating you’re talking about the relationship with the stem cells if you have lower levels of PKA it means it allows the stem cells to turn on into regeneration mode the stem cells are now in the position to start creating new cells otherwise they go kind of dormant okay so now let’s get into the fun stuff so the insulin link I call this the insulin link because fasting reduces insulin and I’ll explain that in just a second but again referencing a study the Journal of immunology found that high levels of insulin prevent what are known as T cells from doing job well also known as t-rex now then of course T cells are there to actually suppress inflammation and to fight off certain illnesses if we have a disease in the body or if we have an infection or anything like that we have inflammation and T cells usually come in and fight that inflammation off T cells are a white blood cell that’s actually formed from the marrow that regulate immune function so we have helper versus killer cells let me explain that really quick with a diagram all right this is blood supply the blood flowing this way these purple things indicate crazy bad things that shouldn’t be in the body okay let’s just say there’s some kind of infectious disease or there’s some kind of bacteria so it ends up happening is these helper T cells that they’re called they come through and they identify these foreign bodies and they put a tag on them and that tag says kill okay that tag they’ve now been tagged as a bad foreign object then what happens is the killer T cells which are these big pac-man looking things they come in and they try to identify anything that has a label that the helper cell put on it in this case this item right here has a kill label applied so the killer T cell is coming through to eat it so they work in tandem helper T cells and killer T cells now when we have high levels of insulin in the body like every time we eat or every time we have a lot of sugar we end up having that insulin that ends up making it so that T cells can’t do their job meaning our immune system is not functioning as well so fasting an insulin have a strong connection because every time that we fast our body slowly starts utilizing stored fat as a fuel source because we’re not feeding it glucose consequently that lipid droplet shrinks and it becomes much more sensitive to insulin meaning the cells need less insulin to get the job done less overall insulin is needed consequently less insulin in the blood stream therefore more killer and helper cells doing what they need to do doing their pac-man thing then we get over to ketones and inflammation when you’re fasting you are producing ketone bodies plain and simple ketosis and fasting are two different things but the end result within the body metabolically is about the same Yale University did a study specifically looking at ketones and beta-hydroxybutyrate they exposed human immune cells to beta-hydroxybutyrate and found there was a huge suppression and inflammation now the way this beta-hydroxybutyrate had an effect on the immune cells was actually by working against what’s called the nlrp3 inflammasome this nlrp3 inflammasome is a multi protein oligomers that allows your body to trigger inflammation so when we reduce that nlrp3 we are getting rid of that catalyst for inflammation or at least reducing it so therefore the body doesn’t produce as much inflammation and you end up having a happier situation a better immune system so people don’t always realize that fasting and ketosis actually even the ketogenic diet has a big impact on inflammation in the immune system in and of itself okay lastly let’s touch on digestion for just a second when we look at what is happening in our body when we’re digesting food it’s pretty eye-opening about 65% of our energy is focused in the GI tract when we eat a big meal so whenever we’re eating food and we’re eating frequently we’re diverting a lot of the energy to the digestive system when you’re fasting you’re giving your digestive system a chance to recover yeah a toff a G that’s occurring everything that’s occurring is allowing the body to recover and allowing it to heal the digestive tract that means more gut motility that means your bowels are moving able to go to the bathroom you’re able to flush things out things are moving along in the right direction which thereby leads to a balance of gut flora now if you’ve seen a lot of the link between the gut brain axis and the enteric brain and the enteric nervous system we now know that digestion plays a huge role in not only our mental health but also our immune system about 60% of our immune system is right there in our colon so if we are getting things moving simply because we’re fasting and allowing those cells to heal and increasing the motility or doing ourselves a huge service by improving our immune system that way so anyway that’s the gist of it fasting does a lot more than just get you shredded does a lot more than just make life easy it actually helps you boost your immune system and there’s some legitimate science to back it up so as always keep it locked in here on my channel if you have ideas for future videos hit them in the comment section below I’ll be sure to check them out I’ll see you soon
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Fasting Effects on the Immune System: Superhero Cells- Thomas DeLauer…
A study from USC found that prolonged fasting (2-3 days) can reset and regenerate the immune system – resulted in the depletion of white blood cells and triggered stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. Found that white blood cells are broken down during fasting, which in turn forces the stem cells in your body to produce more (1)
Insulin and Immune Health:
People with insulin resistance have cells throughout their bodies that don’t use insulin effectively – means the cells have trouble absorbing glucose, which causes a buildup of sugar in their blood.
Research from the Journal of Immunology found that high levels of insulin prevent a type of immune cell called regulatory T cells – or Tregs – from doing their job to suppress inflammation. T cell, also called T lymphocyte, type of leukocyte (white blood cell) that is an essential part of the immune system – originate in the bone marrow and mature in the thymus (2)
Fasting and Insulin:
When you fast for an extended period of time, the fat deposits that have accumulated over time become the fuel that cells need to operate. As a result, the size of the excess fat droplet gets smaller over time. As the size of the lipid droplet in muscle and liver cells decrease, those cells become more responsive to insulin.
Autophagy is a natural process in which your body removes toxins and estrogenic chemicals and recycles damaged cell components. In the brain, upregulation of autophagy is strongly neuroprotective while disruption of autophagy causes neurodegeneration. In the liver, upregulation of autophagy increases lipolysis (fat usage) and insulin sensitivity, while disruption of autophagy leads to prediabetes and metabolic syndrome (3,4)
A study looking at liver cells found that the number of autophagosomes increased 300% after 24 hours of fasting, and a further 30% around 48 hours of fasting – began to decline after 48 hours (5)
Ketone Production and Inflammation:
The body begins, on average, burning ketones between 24-48 hours of fasting – BHB, in particular, has been found to benefit the immune system. A study from the Yale School of Medicine found that exposing human immune cells to BHB following 2 days of fasting resulted in a reduced inflammatory response. BHB blocks NLRP3 inflammasome by preventing K(+) efflux and reducing ASC oligomerization and speck formation – potassium efflux, ASC, and speck formation are common triggers of NLRP3 (6,7)
Fasting acts as a “digestive reset” by giving the digestive tract time to rest from breaking down and absorbing food and helps it strengthen its mucosal lining – About 65% of the body’s energy must be directed to the digestive organs after a meal. This reduces intestinal inflammation and improves motility – leads to better nutrient absorption and improved bowel movement
1) Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system | USC News. (n.d.). Retrieved from
2) New role for insulin: affects immune system as well as metabolism. (2014, January 13). Retrieved from
3) Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy. (n.d.). Retrieved from
4) The Profound Benefits of Fasting (and Autophagy) | Synchro. (n.d.). Retrieved from
5) Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy: Autophagy: Vol 6, No 6. (n.d.). Retrieved from
6) The ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disease. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from
7) Can Fasting Fight the Flu or Common Cold? (n.d.). Retrieved from 3