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Study: Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system

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  • Study: Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system

    http://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-tr...immune-system/
    Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system
    Protection from chemotherapy immunosuppression indicates effect could be conserved in humans
    Corresponding author Valter Longo
    In the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system, a study in the June 5 issue of the Cell Stem Cell shows that cycles of prolonged fasting not only protect against immune system damage ? a major side effect of chemotherapy ? but also induce immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.

    In both mice and a Phase 1 human clinical trial, long periods of not eating significantly lowered white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles then ?flipped a regenerative switch,? changing the signaling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems, the research showed.

    The study has major implications for healthier aging, in which immune system decline contributes to increased susceptibility to disease as people age. By outlining how prolonged fasting cycles ? periods of no food for two to four days at a time over the course of six months ? kill older and damaged immune cells and generate new ones, the research also has implications for chemotherapy tolerance and for those with a wide range of immune system deficiencies, including autoimmunity disorders...
    Free full text:

    http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/f...2814%2900151-9

    Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA to Promote Hematopoietic-Stem-Cell-Based Regeneration and Reverse Immunosuppression
    Cheng, Chia-Wei et al.
    Cell Stem Cell , Volume 14 , Issue 6 , 810 - 823
    _____________________________________________

    Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

    i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

    (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
    Never forget Excalibur.

  • #2
    Re: Study: Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system

    Fasting as an Adjuvant?

    Firstly thanks to Emily for the link and all those who made sure there was open access to the full paper.

    Sadly my limited understanding of all the cell types involved and their associated signaling pathways hasn't left me with a clear mental model of what is going on. The general picture is that the body's adaptation to a fast of more than a couple of days is to get rid of some of the older blood cells and promote stem cell generation and differentiation causing an overall 'refresh' of the cohort of the blood cells (red and white).

    If this is basically what is going on my question is what effect would this have in the case of flu vaccination and protection?

    If older cells are being dumped would this include memory cells needed for pathogen recognition? If so this may reduce protection against historically encountered pathogens.

    On the upside could the fasting technique be used to increase the efficacy of flu vaccine in the elderly (the group most in need of it and who show very poor vaccine response)? From my general understanding fasting prior to vaccination should have produced a flush of fresh undifferentiated stem cell products which would be ready to respond to cytokine production from infection/vaccination.

    I would be most grateful if anyone who has read this paper, and has the necessary background to understand it, could add their thoughts. Thanks

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Study: Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system

      If this is basically what is going on my question is what effect would this have in the case of flu vaccination and protection?

      If older cells are being dumped would this include memory cells needed for pathogen recognition? If so this may reduce protection against historically encountered pathogens.
      Those are really good questions, JJackson, and I don't see that issue addressed in the article.

      These papers from 2001 might do so, though. This was only a 36 hour fast, so not quite as long as the 2-4 day fast in the new article, but it did affect the immune system. The second paper references the first one and helped me to understand it. I don't think there is much research along these lines, but my impression is that these papers at least suggest that adaptive immunity would be enhanced by fasting, especially in the elderly.

      http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/74/5/670.full
      Specific and nonspecific immune responses to fasting and refeeding differ in healthy young adult and elderly persons

      http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/74/5/565.full
      Examining the effect of a nutrition intervention on immune function in healthy humans: what do we mean by immune function and who is really healthy anyway?

      The Cell.com article in the first post had a comment section so hopefully the questions you raise will be discussed there. Also I'd like to see more details about how they think fasting could help autoimmunity.
      _____________________________________________

      Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

      i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

      (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
      Never forget Excalibur.

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