Simple fasting can reduce chemotherapy effects

May 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition, Health, Natural Medicine

It is one of the basic tenets of naturopathy that regular fasting will aid your body’s own natural defence systems to be activated as it is cleansed of toxins. It usually involves eating no solid food and drinking only water for periods from a day to a week or longer, but only under supervision, though some fasts may involve eating just fruit – usually grapes.

Researchers at the University of Southern California have just discovered a new benefit of fasting that is of huge interest to anyone undergoing chemotherapy. Whilst undertaking anti-ageing research they discovered that certain stressors activate a protective “shield mode” in healthy cells.

What stresses the body most? Certainly being starved is one of the major ones and what the US researchers are suggesting is that if cancer patients fast for two days before chemotherapy that may set in motion a protective reaction in healthy cells, guarding them from some of the more unpleasant and toxic side effects. Cancer patients are often given drugs like Procrit to prevent such side effects so this more natural method would certainly be worth trying.

Also, although it is not ‘news’ as such, it might be worth reminding you that homeopathy also has a lot to offer here. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments for cancer can have significant side effects and homoeopathy has been shown to be useful in terms of emotional support, reduction of anxiety and depression and in the treatment of the side effects from chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

Remedies for various treatments for cancer can be obtained from a homoepathic practitioner or by mail order from Ainsworth’s in Wigmore Street in London or from Galen, a practice I use in Dorchester, who make their own tablets and have a good free advice service. If you want to contact them ring 01305 263996.