What Happens When You Fast – Part 1
There are claims that periodic fasting is beneficial in many ways including treating allergies and helping with weight loss. Are these true? Let’s find out in this article the truths behind the concept of fasting.
Many religions, including Islam and Christianity, teach and practice fasting for spiritual purposes. Recently, however, there’s a growing popularity of what is called intermittent fasting, which involves fasting from all foods and drinks with the exception of water occasionally for an extended period of time. This is often done for the purpose of physical health as research says that it can help reduce diabetes and heart disease risks.
If you would search “fasting for health” on Google, you might be surprised to find that there are over 7 million results that include doctors recommending fasting to treat patient illnesses, spas that offer detox-fasting vacations and message boards filled with testimonials resulting from intermittent fasting.
The important question for you now is whether this idea of fasting is good for you personally. Possibly, it can help neutralize or remove the toxins from your body organs, particularly the liver, spleen and kidney, so you and your cells become a lot healthier.
Now, let’s explore what researchers and experts on the topic are saying.
What Happens to the Body When Fasting
Benjamin D. Horne, PhD, MD, the pioneer of the Utah Study, says that humans have the ability not to eat for a certain time period because of our history as hunters and food gatherers. He further points out that the survivors of those times likely have their DNA coded with the ability to benefit from fasting.
How your body works after stopping food intake
The food that a person eats goes into the stomach and the carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, the simple sugar that fuels the body. Glucose travels from the digestive system to the different cells of the body through the bloodstream.
When the supply of glucose in your blood becomes depleted because you have not eaten yet, the body gets the extra glucose that the body needs from the stored glucose in the glycogen.
After the glycogen has been depleted, the next source of fuel that the body uses is the fats and muscles.
Not eating for a few days puts the body in ketosis mode. During this time, the body burns fat and spares the muscles. The body achieves weight loss at this stage and burns body fat. But the blood becomes acidic and causes unpleasant symptoms, such as bad breath and fatigue. When keeping this fasting mode for a long time, the kidney and liver may be damaged.
Photo credits: By Jean Fortunet (Own work) [CC BY 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons