Search Results for: Fasting for Three Days

Fasting for Three Days can Regenerate Entire Immune System*

Fasting for Three Days can Regenerate Entire Immune System*

A person’s entire immune system can be rejuvenated by fasting for as little as three days as it triggers the body to start producing new white blood cells, a study suggests.

IftarBy Sarah Knapton

Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as “remarkable”.

Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.

Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy.

It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases.

The researchers say fasting “flips a regenerative switch” which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.

“It gives the ‘OK’ for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system,” said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California.

“And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.

“Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.”

Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells.

During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.

In trials humans were asked to regularly fast for between two and four days over a six-month period.

Scientists found that prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to ageing and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumour growth.

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system,” added Prof Longo.

“When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” Dr Longo said.

“What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?”

Fasting for 72 hours also protected cancer patients against the toxic impact of chemotherapy.

“While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy,” said co-author Tanya Dorff, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.

“More clinical studies are needed, and any such dietary intervention should be undertaken only under the guidance of a physician.”

“We are investigating the possibility that these effects are applicable to many different systems and organs, not just the immune system,” added Prof Longo.

However, some British experts were sceptical of the research.

Dr Graham Rook, emeritus professor of immunology at University College London, said the study sounded “improbable”.

Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at UCL, said: “There is some interesting data here. It sees that fasting reduces the number and size of cells and then re-feeding at 72 hours saw a rebound.

“That could be potentially useful because that is not such a long time that it would be terribly harmful to someone with cancer.

“But I think the most sensible way forward would be to synthesize this effect with drugs. I am not sure fasting is the best idea. People are better eating on a regular basis.”

Dr Longo added: “There is no evidence at all that fasting would be dangerous while there is strong evidence that it is beneficial.

“I have received emails from hundreds of cancer patients who have combined chemo with fasting, many with the assistance of the oncologists.

“Thus far the great majority have reported doing very well and only a few have reported some side effects including fainting and a temporary increase in liver markers. Clearly we need to finish the clinical trials, but it looks very promising.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Regular Fasting Increases a Longer Healthier Life*

Fasting in Shawwal

The Self Control Gland and Fasting

No Increase in Preterm Delivery With Ramadhan Fasting

Many Forms Of Fasting*

The Right of Fasting

Fasting and Pregnancy

Fasting for Change

The Healing Power of Fasting*

The Healing Power of Fasting*

Related Topics:

Neuroscientist Shows Fasting Bolsters Your Brain, but Big Pharma Won’t Study It*

Scientists Discover That Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration and Fights Cancer*

Alzheimers: Multiple Therapies including Fasting Involved in the First Known Reversal of Memory Loss*

Uyghur Muslims Punished for Fasting in Holy Month*

The Self Control Gland and Fasting

Fasting for Three Days can Regenerate Entire Immune System*

The Rights of Fasting

Many Forms Of Fasting*

Fasting in Shawwal

Fasting and Pregnancy

 

The Dark Days of April 19- May 1*

The Dark Days of April 19- May 1*

Why this matters? World events are ‘scheduled events, because the NWO is rooted in this macabre pathology, and their failure will use any means to fulfil their ultimate goal… “the Illuminati considers war to be a most acceptable way to sacrifice, for it kills both children and adults indiscriminately”. This is where bigotry can be most useful.

Even though spring is a wonderful time of year, there always seems to be a darkness about it that is hard to express. As the evil in this world increases, it seems we become more sensitive to its presence, especially born again Christians who do not partake of pagan rituals. The past few days I have begun to feel this darkness and wanted to remind all doves of what an evil time of year this is for the Occult.

The following is excerpts from two different websites about the evils practiced during this dark time. You can read the full stories at:

www.adventofdeception.com/awareness-upcoming-occult-holiday-420-can and www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread556094/pg1

The Full Occult Holiday Spans from April 19 through May 1.

April 20

The 110th day of the year (111th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 255 days remaining until the end of the year. Double and triple numbers creates a power date.
4/20 equals 6 and reduces into the Occult prime power number of 33.
13 day span starting on the 19th through 1/5.
Ending on 5/1 = 6 reduces as 33
This year 4/21/2011 = 11, 4/23/2011 = 13, and 4/30/2011 = 11.
Earth Day 4/22 = 44 reduces as the power number of 22
The occult thrives on human worship through worshiping the earth and its elements such as stone, wood, or metal.

Some of the very important historic dates that were staged according to this blood sacrifice day are:

  • April 19, 1775—Battle of Lexington & Concord, which made the Masonic-led Revolutionary War inevitable.
  • April 19, 1904—The Great Fire of Toronto.
  • April 18, 1906—The San Francisco Earthquake Fire.
  • April 19, 1936—In the biggest show of military strength since World War 1 Germany pays homage to Hitler with a show of 300 tanks.
  • April 19, 1943—After trapping the last Jewish Resistance Fighters in a storm drain in Warsaw, and holding them for several days, Nazi Storm Troopers began to pour fire into each end of the storm drain, using flame-throwers. They continued pouring the fire into the drain until all fighters were dead. Blood sacrifice brought about by a fiery conflagration.
  • April 20, 1983—2 cars packed with high explosives blew up in Baghdad today killing and injuring a large number of people.
  • April 20, 1984—The Good Friday Massacre, an extremely violent ice hockey playoff game, is played in Montreal, Canada.
  • April 20, 1985—20 April 1985 – ATF raid on The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas.
  • April 19, 1993—50 years later after of the 1943 Warsaw, to the day, government troops, tanks, and other military equipment stormed the compound of David Koresh and his followers at Waco, Texas. Certainly, this operation fulfilled the basic requirements for a human sacrifice: trauma, fire, and young sacrificial victims.
  • April 19, 1995—Oklahoma City bombing—Once again fire and death on this day.
  • April 20, 1998—German terrorist group Red Army Faction announces their dissolution after 28 years.
  • April 20, 1999—The Columbine High School Massacre.
  • April 19, 2005—Joseph Alois Ratzinger elected as Pope Benedict XVI.
  • April 20, 2007—Johnson Space Center shooting and incident of hostages in Building 44.
  • April 20, 2008—Benedict XVI visited Ground Zero in New York, the scene of the 11 September 2001 attacks on Twin Towers.
  • April 19, 2010—In Canada over 400 hundred of straw bales caught on fire and blazed out of control.
  • April 19, 2010—Iceland’s Volcanic Ash Grounds all Airlines in Northern Europe while NATO conducts the largest military exercise of the Year.
  • April 20, 2010—The Gulf Oil Fire.
  • April 20, The Birthday of Adolf Hitler

Also…..
April 19 – 25 Sacrifice preparation: kidnapping, holding and ceremonial preparation of person for human sacrifice.

  • April 25 – The Da Muer ritual: Grand climax. Sex rituals, and sacrifice of a woman, or young girl.
  • April 30 – Walpurgis night/Beltane: One of the most important nights on the satanic calendar. Blood rituals and human sacrifice take place.

To better understand what is going on; let us take a closer look at April 19th and what this date signifies to many different groups.

  • April 19 – May 1 is a very important time period to Satanist, Lucifer Followers and the Illuminate. Blood Sacrifice to the Beast Moloch begins a most critical 13-day period. Fire sacrifice is required on April 19th, especially children and women or just plain innocent victims that many just consider collateral damage.
  • April 19 is the first day of the 13-day Satanic ritual day relating to fire, the fire god, Baal, or Moloch/Nimrod (the Sun God), also known as the Roman god, Saturn (Satan-Devil). This day is a major human sacrifice day, demanding a (Fire sacrifice) with an emphasis on children. This day is one of the most important human sacrifice days of the year to Satanist and others, and as such, has had some very important historic events occur on this day throughout history.

The Importance of April 30 and May 1?

The Beltaine Festival, also called “Walpurgis Night“. This is the highest day on the Druidic Witch’s Calendar, while May 1 is the Illuminati’s second most sacred holiday. Human sacrifice is required, emotionally or physically. Since the celebration officially began the night before Beltaine, the tradition has developed among occultists to celebrate Beltaine as a 2-day ceremony. This tradition was strong enough that Adolf Hitler decided to kill himself on April 30 at 3:30pm, thus creating a “333″ and placing his suicide sacrifice within the Beltaine time frame.

Great bonfires are lit on the Eve of Beltaine, April 30, in order to welcome the Earth Goddess. Participants hope to gain favour with this goddess so she will bless their families with procreative fertility. Interesting enough, the Royal House of Windsor lights a Beltaine “Balefire” every year.

The “Maypole” originated from the celebration of Beltaine. Since fertility is being asked of the Earth Goddess, the Maypole is the phallic pyramid shaped symbol and the circular dance around the pole forms the circle that is symbolic of the female sex organ. Four six-foot alternating red and white ribbons were connected to the pole; the men would dance counterclockwise, while the ladies danced clockwise. The union of the intertwining red and white ribbons symbolized the act of copulation — remembers this is a “fertility” celebration day!

To comprehend occult Illuminati ties, many countries have always celebrated “May Day”.

The Satanic Illuminati considers war to be a most propitious way to sacrifice, for it kills both children and adults.

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I guess the only good news about all this is that the darker it gets out there, the closer we are to going home. COME LORD JESUS!!!

May the Lord’s love and light surround you all until then!!

Source*

Further Information:

APRIL 19th is important to many. Let’s begin at looking at the month of April and the dates that are important to Satanist, and those that follow Lucifer and the so called Illuminate or so called NWO Global elite.

To Satanist, Easter Week-end is set aside for a Black Mass/Black Sabbath. To mock the death of Jesus Christ, a man is sacrificed on Good Friday. On Easter Sunday, known to Satanists as unholy Sunday, a woman or man is sacrificed followed by three days of fasting and chanting.

April 19 – 25 Sacrifice preparation: kidnapping, holding and ceremonial preparation of person for human sacrifice.

April 25 – The Da Muer ritual: Grand climax. Sex rituals and sacrifice of a woman or young girl.

April 30 – Walpurgis night/Beltane: One of the most important nights on the satanic calendar. Blood rituals and human sacrifice take place.

To better understand what is going on, let us take a closer look at April 19th and what this date signifies to many different groups.

April 19 – May 1 is a very important time period to Satanist, Lucifer Followers and the Illuminate. Blood Sacrifice To The Beast Moloch begins a most critical 13-day period. Fire sacrifice is required on April 19th, especially children and women or just plain innocent victims that many just consider collateral damage.

April 19 is the first day of the 13-day Satanic ritual day relating to fire, the fire god, Baal, or Moloch/Nimrod (the Sun God), also known as the Roman god, Saturn (Satan-Devil). This day is a major human sacrifice day, demanding a (Fire sacrifice) with an emphasis on children. This day is one of the most important human sacrifice days of the year to Satanist and others, and as such, has had some very important historic events occur on this day throughout history.

Remember, the Illuminati considers war to be a most acceptable way to sacrifice, for it kills both children and adults indiscriminately. Killing indiscriminately is an accepted manner for killing those that are unsuspectingly killed for some ritualistic blood sacrifice.

Why the Death of the Man Who Was Not Behind 9/11 Was Announced on May 1st—Anniversary of Illuminati founding

The Mujahideen were recruited and formed in the late 70′s by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the United States National Security Advisor of Jimmy Carter (Brzezinski is today Obama’s main policy advisor). The military group was trained by the United States in order to repel Russian forces from Afghanistan. Bin Laden was trained by the CIA to fight the Communists and
the Talibans are a by-product of this U.S. created movement.

Since the fall of the USSR, Bin Laden and his Taliban served a new agenda: the invasion of key middle-eastern countries under the guise of a “war on terror”. In 2001, about 15 minutes after the second plane hit the WTC, the image of Bin Laden was shown on television. He become the ideal patsy and the ideal enemy of the Bush administration. This scapegoat allowed the unquestioned invasion of Afghanistan, of Iraq and even the enactment of the aberration called the Patriot Act.

In 2011, Bin Laden’s usefulness to the Agenda has ran its course and the Obama administration needed an exploit to boost its poll ratings until the next elections. Consequently, on May 1st 2011, the death of Bin Laden was announced with triumph and jubilation. Through CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX network, millions of viewers have rejoiced at the death of man in the same matter ancient cultures rejoiced at the offering of human sacrifices to Baal. In a dumbed-down, politicized and “Illuminati-sed” version of the Beltraine Festival, the masses have celebrated the ritual sacrifice of a man and, without even realizing it, partook in one of the Illuminati’s most important holiday.

Final note:

The entire period from 19th April to 1st May equals 13 days. The number 13 represents SIN, REBELLION, DEPRAVITY.

This year Jewish Passover commences evening of 21st April through 22nd April; 2nd and 3rd day after the 19th April. The number 23 represents DEATH

Source*

Related Topics:

A Temple of Baal (Child sacrifice) is About to Be Erected in Times Square, New York City* (Now suspended, but cancelled)

Abuse and Missing Pupils Cover Up Revealed at Illegal Jewish Schools in the U.K.*

The Jewish Lobby and Lord Janner’s Catalogue of Child Sex Abuse*

Cultural Marxism and Satanism*

Satanic Paedophilia Network Exposed in Australia*

Mustering the Emotional and Spiritual Maturity to Face the Satanic Cult*

Zionism = Satanism: ‘To My Fellow Israelis’*

Canadian Psychotherapist Sandra Fecht Exposes Satanic Ritualistic Abuse*

Nicole Kidman’s Father Silenced by Ninth Circle Satanic Cult*

The Satanic Temple Unveils a Massive Statue of Baphomet in Detroit*

US Military Sexually Abused 54 Colombian Children*

Where Children are Imprisoned and Sexually Abused*

With Cover-ups UN Quietly Offers DNA Tests for ‘Peacekeeper Babies’ & Sexual Abuse Claims*

Former Head of FBI Speaks on Rothschild, Illuminati, Satanism, Paedophile Rings = NWO

Common Core Curriculum: Satanism in our Schools*

Global Pathocracy*

Barbarism Rules: Mind Control and Satanism in America*

The Occult and 10 Year Planning to Bring Down Syria!

Neuroscientist Shows Fasting Bolsters Your Brain, but Big Pharma Won’t Study It*

Neuroscientist Shows Fasting Bolsters Your Brain, but Big Pharma Won’t Study It*

By Arjun Walia

Below is a TEDx talk given by Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging. He is also a professor of Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University, and one of the foremost researchers in the area of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying multiple neurodegenerative disorders, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

I chose to include ‘Big Pharma’ in the title because that’s exactly what it is. There have been countless examples of the manipulation of published research at the hands of pharmaceutical companies in recent years. This is why Harvard Professor of Medicine Arnold Symour Relman told the world that the medical profession has been bought by the pharmaceutical industry. It’s why Dr. Richard Horton, Editor in Chief of The Lancet, recently stated that much of the scientific literature published today is simply untrue. It’s why Dr. Marcia Angell, former Editor in Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, said that the

“pharmaceutical industry likes to depict itself as a research-based industry, as the source of innovative drugs. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

And it’s why John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, published an article titled “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” which subsequently became the most widely accessed article in the history of the Public Library of Science (PLoS).

I also chose to mention ‘Big Pharma’ because of Dr. Mattson’s comments towards the end of the video.

“Why is it that the normal diet is three meals a day plus snacks? It isn’t that it’s the healthiest eating pattern, now that’s my opinion but I think there is a lot of evidence to support that. There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern, there’s a lot of money involved. The food industry — are they going to make money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they’re going to lose money. If people fast, the food industry loses money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do some intermittent fasting, exercise periodically and are very healthy, is the pharmaceutical industry going to make any money on healthy people?” 

Main Points of The Lecture Above & The Science To Go With It

Mark and his team have published several papers that discuss how fasting twice a week could significantly lower the risk of developing both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

“Dietary changes have long been known to have an effect on the brain. Children who suffer from epileptic seizures have fewer of them when placed on caloric restriction or fasts. It is believed that fasting helps kick-start protective measures that help counteract the overexcited signals that epileptic brains often exhibit. (Some children with epilepsy have also benefited from a specific high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.) Normal brains, when over-fed, can experience another kind of uncontrolled excitation, impairing the brain’s function, Mattson and another researcher reported in January in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.”(source)

Basically, when you take a look at caloric restriction studies, many of them show a prolonged lifespan as well as an increased ability to fight chronic disease.

“Calorie restriction (CR) extends life span and retards age-related chronic diseases in a variety of species, including rats, mice, fish, flies, worms, and yeast. The mechanism or mechanisms through which this occurs are unclear.”

The quote above is from a review of the literature that is more than 10 years old. The work presented here is now showing some of these mechanisms that were previously unclear.

Fasting does good things for the brain, and this is evident by all of the beneficial neuro-chemical changes that happen in the brain when we fast. It also improves cognitive function, increases neurotrophic factors, increases stress resistance, and reduces inflammation.

Fasting is a challenge to your brain, and your brain responds to that challenge by adapting stress response pathways which help your brain cope with stress and risk for disease. The same changes that occur in the brain during fasting mimic the changes that occur with regular exercise. They both increase the production of protein in the brain (neurotrophic factors), which in turn promotes the growth of neurons, the connection between neurons, and the strength of synapses.

“Challenges to your brain, whether it’s intermittent fasting [or]vigorous exercise . . . is cognitive challenges. When this happens neuro-circuits are activated, levels of neurotrophic factors increase, that promotes the growth of neurons [and]the formation and strengthening of synapses. . . .”

Fasting can also stimulate the production of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus. He also mentions ketones (an energy source for neurons), and how fasting stimulates the production of ketones and that it may also increase the number of mitochondria in neurons. Fasting also increases the number of mitochondria in nerve cells; this comes as a result of the neurons adapting to the stress of fasting (by producing more mitochondria).

By increasing the number of mitochondria in the neurons, the ability for nerons to form and maintain the connections between each other also increases, thereby improving learning and memory ability.

“Intermittent fasting enhances the ability of nerve cells to repair DNA.” 

He also goes into the evolutionary aspect of this theory – how our ancestors adapted and were built for going long periods of time without food.

A study published in the June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California showed that cycles of prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and, moreover, induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal. It triggers stem cell based regeneration of an organ or system. (source)

Human clinical trials were conducted using patients who were receiving chemotherapy. For long periods of time, patients did not eat, which significantly lowered their white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles “flipped a regenerative switch, changing the signalling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems.”

This means that fasting kills off old and damaged immune cells, and when the body rebounds it uses stem cells to create brand new, completely healthy cells.

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the heatopoietic system. . . . When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged.  What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. ” – Valter Longo, corresponding author (source)

A scientific review of multiple scientific studies regarding fasting was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007. It examined a multitude of both human and animal studies and determined that fasting is an effective way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. It also showed significant potential in treating diabetes. (source)

Before You Fast

Before you fast, make sure you do your research. Personally, I’ve been fasting for years, so it is something that comes easy for me.

One recommended way of doing it — which was tested by the BBC’s Michael Mosley in order to reverse his diabetes, high cholesterol, and other problems that were associated with his obesity — is what is known as the “5:2 Diet.” On the 5:2 plan, you cut your food down to one-fourth of your normal daily calories on fasting days (about 600 calories for men and about 500 for women), while consuming plenty of water and tea. On the other five days of the week, you can eat normally.

Another way to do it, as mentioned above, is to restrict your food intake between the hours of 11am and 7pm daily, while not eating during the hours outside of that time.

Bottom line, how you think about your diet is, in my opinion, one of the most, if not the most important part of staying healthy. How you think about what you are putting in your body is important, and I believe this will eventually be firmly established in the untainted, unbiased, uninfluenced medical literature of the future.

Below is a video of Dr. Joseph Mercola explaining the benefits of intermittent fasting. Here is a great article by him that explains how he believes intermittent fasting can help you live a healthier life.

Source*

Related Topics:

Scientists Discover That Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration and Fights Cancer*

The Self Control Gland and Fasting

No Increase in Preterm Delivery With Ramadhan Fasting

Fasting in Shawwal

Regular Fasting Increases a Longer Healthier Life*

The Right of Fasting

Prophet Muhammad Said It, Now Top Doctors are Saying It*

Fasting for Three Days can Regenerate Entire Immune System*

Uyghur Muslims Punished for Fasting in Holy Month*

Scientists Discover That Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration and Fights Cancer*

Scientists Discover That Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration and Fights Cancer*

By Arjun Walia

A number of ancient health practices are proving to be effective in multiple ways. We recently posted an article about meditation, and how neuroscience can now explain what happens to the brain when we meditate. Now, scientists have discovered the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system. The study was published in the June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California. The research shows that cycles of prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.

Human clinical trials were conducted using patients who were receiving chemotherapy. For long periods of time, patients did not eat which significantly lowered their white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles “flipped a regenerative switch, changing the signalling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems.”  

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the heatopoietic system.

When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged.  What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. ” – Valter Longo, corresponding author.

Again, because fasting significantly lowers white blood cell counts, this triggers stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.  More importantly, it reduces the PKA enzyme, which has been linked to aging, tumour progression and cancer. It’s also noteworthy to mention that fasting protected against toxicity in a pilot clinical trial where patients fasted for 72 hours prior to chemotherapy.

“Chemotherapy causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.” Co-Author Tanya Dorff

Fasting is a tradition that’s been incorporated into many ancient cultures, from Vedic to Buddhist and more, fasting should not be confused with starvation. It’s the process of restrain and control from the sensorial experience of eating and at the same time making sure you are doing it correctly. When I fast, I usually do water fasts and I have been doing them for almost eight years now and I always feel great and full of energy after doing so.

More Research

  1. Fasting helps protect against brain disease:

Researchers at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore have found evidence that fasting for one or two days a week can prevent the effects of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease. Research also found that cutting the daily intake to 500 calories a day for two days out of the seven can show clear beneficial effects for the brain.

  1. Fasting cuts your risk of heart disease and diabetes:

Regularly going a day without food reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Studies show that fasting releases a significant surge in human growth hormone, which is associated with speeding up metabolism and burning off fat. Shedding fat is known to cut the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Doctors are even starting to consider fasting as a treatment.

  1. Fasting effectively treats cancer in human cells:

A study from the scientific journal of aging found that cancer patients who included fasting into their therapy perceived fewer side effects from chemotherapy. All tests conducted so far show that fasting improves survival, slow tumor growth and limit the spread of tumors. The National Institute on Aging has also studied one type of breast cancer in detail to further understand the effects of fasting on cancer. As a result of fasting, the cancer cells tried to make new proteins and took other steps to keep growing and dividing.

As a result of these steps, which in turn led to a number of other steps, damaging free radical molecules were created which broke down the cancer cells own DNA and caused their destruction! It’s cellular suicide, the cancer cell is trying to replace all of the stuff missing in the bloodstream that it needs to survive after a period of fasting, but can’t. In turn, it tries to create them and this leads to its own destruction

Again, make sure you do your research before trying this out. Hopefully this can kickstart you further into looking into it if you are truly interested.

Source*

Related Topics:

Regular Fasting Increases a Longer Healthier Life*

Alzheimers: Multiple Therapies including Fasting Involved in the First Known Reversal of Memory Loss*

Fasting for Three Days can Regenerate Entire Immune System*

Many Forms Of Fasting*

Uyghur Muslims Punished for Fasting in Holy Month*

The Right of Fasting

Fasting in Shawwal

Alzheimers: Multiple Therapies including Fasting Involved in the First Known Reversal of Memory Loss*

Alzheimers: Multiple Therapies including Fasting Involved in the First Known Reversal of Memory Loss in Conventional Medicine*

Since it was first described over 100 years ago, Alzheimer’s disease has been without an effective treatment. That may finally be about to change.

In the first, small study of a novel, personalized and holistic program to reverse memory loss, nine of 10 participants who had problems with memory and disorientation displayed marked improvement in their memories beginning within three to six months.

Among the ten patients with memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease, six patients had discontinued working or had been struggling at their jobs at the time they joined the study; all were able to return to their jobs or continue working with improved performance, and their improvements have been sustained.

It is the first study to suggest that memory loss in patients may be reversed — and improvement sustained — using a complex, 36-point therapeutic program that involves comprehensive diet changes, brain stimulation, exercise, sleep optimization, specific pharmaceuticals and vitamins, and multiple additional steps that affect brain chemistry.  The patient in treatment the longest has been receiving the therapy for two-and-a-half years.

The study was conducted by Dr. Dale Bredesen of UCLA’s Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, with the findings published in the October 2014 online edition of the journal Aging.

Bredesen said the findings are “very encouraging,” but he added that the results are anecdotal, and a more extensive, controlled clinical trial is needed.

No single drug has been found to stop or even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, and drugs have only had modest effects on symptoms.

“In the past decade alone, hundreds of clinical trials have been conducted for Alzheimer’s, without success, at an aggregate cost of over $1 billion,” said Bredesen, who is a Professor of Neurology at both UCLA and the Buck Institute.

Although other chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and HIV have been improved through the use of combination therapies, comprehensive combination therapies have not been explored for Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders. However, over the past few decades, genetic and biochemical research has revealed an extensive network of molecular interactions involved in the development of Alzheimer’s.

“That suggested that a broader-based therapeutic approach, rather than a single drug that aims at a single target, may be feasible and potentially more effective for the treatment of cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s,” Bredesen said.

It’s possible that addressing multiple targets that may contribute to Alzheimer’s may be successful even when each target is affected in a relatively modest way, “with effects being additive, or even synergistic.”

The uniform failure of drug trials in Alzheimer’s influenced Bredesen’s desire to better understand the fundamental nature of the disease. His laboratory has found evidence that Alzheimer’s stems from an imbalance in nerve cell signaling. In the normal brain, specific signals foster nerve connections and memory making, while balancing signals support memory loss, allowing irrelevant information to be forgotten. But in people with Alzheimer’s, the balance of these opposing signals is disturbed, nerve connections are suppressed and memories are lost.

That finding is contrary to the popular belief that Alzheimer’s is caused by the accumulation of sticky plaques in the brain. Bredesen believes the amyloid beta peptide, the source of the plaques, has a normal function in the brain, as part of a larger set of molecules that promote signals that cause nerve connections to lapse. Thus, the increase in the peptide that occurs in Alzheimer’s shifts the balance in favor of memory loss.

Bredesen therefore thought that, rather than a single targeted agent, the solution might be a multiple-component system approach, in line with the approach for other chronic illnesses.

“The existing Alzheimer’s drugs affect a single target, but Alzheimer’s disease is more complex. Imagine having a roof with 36 holes in it, and your drug patched one hole very well,” he said.

“The drug may have worked, and a single hole may have been fixed, but you still have 35 other leaks, and so the underlying process may not be affected much.”

Bredesen’s approach is personalized to the patient and may include:

  • eliminating all simple carbohydrates, gluten and processed food from her diet, and eating more vegetables, fruits and non-farmed fish
  • meditating twice a day and beginning yoga to reduce stress
  • sleeping seven to eight hours per night, up from four to five
  • taking melatonin, methylcobalamin, vitamin D3, fish oil and coenzyme Q10 each day
  • optimizing oral hygiene using an electric flosser and electric toothbrush
  • reinstating hormone replacement therapy, which had previously been discontinued
  • fasting for a minimum of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, and for a minimum of three hours between dinner and bedtime
  • exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes, four to six days per week

Bredesen said the program’s downsides are its complexity and that the burden falls on patients and caregivers to follow it. In the study, none of the patients was able to stick to the entire protocol. Their most common complaints were the diet and lifestyle changes, and having to take multiple pills each day. One patient who had been diagnosed with late stage Alzheimer’s did not improve.

The good news, though, said Bredesen, are the side effects:

“It is noteworthy that the major side effects of this therapeutic system are improved health and an improved body mass index, a stark contrast to the side effects of many drugs.”

The results suggest that memory loss may be reversed and improvement sustained with the therapeutic program, but Bredesen cautioned that the results need to be replicated.

“The current, anecdotal results require a larger trial, not only to confirm or refute the results reported here, but also to address key questions raised, such as the degree of improvement that can be achieved routinely, how late in the course of cognitive decline reversal can be effected, whether such an approach may be effective in patients with familial Alzheimer’s disease, and last, how long improvement can be sustained,” he said.

Source*

Related Topics:

Drugs that Damage your DNA: When Dementia isn’t Alzheimer*

The Self Control Gland and Fasting

Meditation Does More for You Than Keep You Calm!

Robin Williams a Blessed Soul Whose Acting was Full of Wonderful Life Lessons*

Fasting Where the Sun Doesn’t Set*

Fasting Where the Sun Doesn’t Set*

Muslims all around the world are fasting through the holy month of Ramadhan, a month in the lunar calendar when Muslims stay away from eating and drinking from the onset of dawn till sunset.

It’s midnight

However, in northern parts of Scandinavia where the sun does not set in the summer, Muslims have to resort to an alternative way of fasting. However, the Muslims living in these places have found a way around it.

Breaking fast during daylight hours

Around 700 Muslims in the Arctic city of Sweden’s Kiruna lack a local religious body to dictate the necessary rulings to them, so while some opt to fast according to the times of Islam’s holiest city Mecca, which they consider a default alternative, others tend to fast according to the times in Stockholm, where the sun actually sets, albeit for a few hours before it rises again.

Evening prayers during the day

The opposite scenario is encountered in the winter, where for two week the sun does not rise. Not only does thing affect fasting, but it also affects prayer times, as in Islam the five daily prayer times depend on the positioning of the sun. In this case, Muslims follow the prayer times of the nearest location where the rule is applicable.

Suhoor

Source*

Related Topics:

Fasting and Pregnancy

No Increase in Preterm Delivery With Ramadhan Fasting

Regular Fasting Increases a Longer Healthier Life*

Fasting for Three Days can Regenerate Entire Immune System*

Fasting for Change

Ramadhan Reflections: Remembering Those Who Don’t Have the Choice to Fast‏

Many Forms Of Fasting*

The Self Control Gland and Fasting

The Right of Fasting

Uyghur Muslims Punished for Fasting in Holy Month*

Fasting in Shawwal 

The Right of Fasting

The Right of Fasting

By Ghodratullah Mashayekhi 

حق الصوم

وَأَمَّا حَقُّ الصَّوْمِ فَأَنْ تَعْلَمَ أَنَّهُ حِجابٌ ضَرَبَهُ اللهُ عَلَى لِسَانِكَ وَسمْعِكَ وبَصَرِكَ وَفَرْجِكَ وبَطْنِكَ لِيَسْتر’َكَ بهِ مِن النَّارِ وَهَكَذَا جَاءَ فِي الْحَديثِ Iftar«الصَّوْمُ جُنَّةٌ مِنَ النّارِ» فإنْ سكَنَتْ أَطْرَافُكَ فِي حَجَبَتِهَا رَجَوْتَ أَنْ تَكُونَ مَحْجُوبًا. وَإنْ أَنْتَ تَرَكْتَهَا تَضْطَرِبُ فِي حِجَابهَا وتَرْفَعُ جَنَبَاتِ الْحِجَاب فَتُطّلِعُ إلَى مَا لَيْسَ لَهَا بالنَّظْرَةِ الدَّاعِيةِ لِلشَّهْوَةِ وَالقُوَّةِ الْخَارِجَةِ عَنْ حَدِّ التَّقِيَّةِ للهِ لَمْ تَأمَنْ أَنْ تَخرِقَ الْحِجَابَ وَتَخرُجَ مِنْهُ. وَلا قُوَّةَ إلا باللهِ.

And the right of fasting is that you should know it is a veil, which God has set up over your tongue, your hearing and your sight, your private parts and your stomach, to protect you from the Fire. This meaning is asserted in the tradition: “Fasting is a shield against the Fire.” Thus if your parts become tranquil within the veil of fasting, you have hopes of being protected. But if you leave them agitated behind the veil and let them lift the sides of the veil,  so they look at things that are not lawful for them to look at that incite lust and powers that are beyond the limits of being God-fearing, you will not be safe from tearing through the veil and coming out of it. And there is no power but in God.

The Philosophy behind Fasting

Since sins are usually committed via the tongue, the eyes, the ears, the stomach or the unleashing of sexual desires, Imam Sajjad (AS) considers the philosophy behind fasting to be restraining oneself from committing sins. The Imam (AS) considers fasting to provide a veil over our body parts that will prevent them from engaging in sin. The Qur’an expresses the same philosophy behind fasting in the following verse:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

“O’ ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.” [Al–Baqarah 2:183]

We see that self-restraint has been stated to be the main reason behind fasting. Fasting implies self-restraint. It has also been used for abstaining from talking as we read in the following verse in which the Blessed Mary (AS) has been ordered not to talk in the form of a fast:

فَكُلِي وَاشْرَبِي وَقَرِّي عَيْنًا فَإِمَّا تَرَيِنَّ مِنَ الْبَشَرِ أَحَدًا فَقُولِي إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَنِ صَوْمًا فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ الْيَوْمَ إِنسِيًّا

“So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, ‘I have vowed a fast to (God) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being'” [Al- Maryam 19:26]

Fasting before Islam

From the verse Al-Baqarah 2:183 that was cited above we can also conclude that fasting is not limited to Muslims and it has been prescribed for those before us. It is most probable that the similarity is only in its prescription for the religions that came before Islam, not in its number of days or time of fasting.

Fasting in the Old Testament

We read the following in the Old Testament regarding fasting:

(28) وَكَانَ هُنَاكَ عِنْدَ الر َّبِّ أَرْبَعِينَ نَهَاراً وَأَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً لَمْ يَأْكُلْ خُبْزاً وَلَمْ يَشْرَبْ مَاءً. فَكَتَبَ عَلَى اللَّوْحَيْنِ كَلِمَاتِ الْعَهْدِ الْكَلِمَاتِ الْعَشَرَ.

“And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.”[The Old Testament, Exodus 34:28]

Fasting in the New Testament

We read the following in the New Testament regarding fasting:

(1) ثُمَّ أُصْعِدَ يَسُوعُ إِلَى الْبَرِّيَّةِ مِنَ الرُّوحِ لِيُجَرَّبَ مِنْ إِبْلِيسَ. (2) فَبَعْدَ مَا صَامَ أَرْبَعِينَ نَهَاراً وَأَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً جَاعَ أَخِيراً.

 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” [The New Testament, Matthew 4:1-2]

Fasting of the Disciples

We read the following in the New Testament regarding fasting by the disciples:

(33) وَقَالُوا لَهُ: «لِمَاذَا يَصُومُ تَلاَمِيذُ يُوحَنَّا كَثِيراً وَيُقَدِّمُونَ طِلْبَاتٍ وَكَذَلِكَ تَلاَمِيذُ الْفَرِّيسِيِّينَ أَيْضاً وَأَمَّا تَلاَمِيذُكَ فَيَأْكُلُونَ وَيَشْرَبُونَ؟» (34) فَقَالَ لَهُمْ: «أَتَقْدِرُونَ أَنْ تَجْعَلُوا بَنِي الْعُرْسِ يَصُومُونَ مَا دَامَ الْعَرِيسُ مَعَهُمْ؟ (35) وَلَكِنْ سَتَأْتِي أَيَّامٌ حِينَ يُرْفَعُ الْعَرِيسُ عَنْهُمْ فَحِينَئِذٍ يَصُومُونَ فِي تِلْكَ الأَيَّامِ

“And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.” [Luke, 5:33-35]

From the above we can conclude that they fasted too. The number forty is also expressed, but it is not clear how they fasted.

The Period of Fasting in the Qur’an

Consider the following verse of the Holy Qur’an:

أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ وَأَن تَصُومُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

“(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will, – it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.” [Al-Baqarah 2:184]

There are two opinions regarding the meaning of “a fixed number of days.” Some consider it to mean three days from each month. Ibn `Abbas adds the fasting on the day of Ashura to it. Some consider this fasting to be recommended. Others consider it to be obligatory.

Other commentators have interpreted this to refer to the month of Ramadhan. The majority of the interpreters of the Holy Qur’an accept this view. They say that God briefly expresses fasting to be for one or two days, and then says it is for a fixed number of days, that is the month of Ramadhan. We can also understand from this verse that fasting is obligatory for those who are not ill or on a journey. When ill or on a journey, one should not fast. However, one should compensate by feeding the poor. Abdul Rahman quoted on the authority of God’s Prophet (SAW):

الصّائِمُ في السَّفَرِ كَالمُفْطِرِ في الحَضَرِ.

“One who fasts while on a journey is like one who breaks his fast while he is at home.”

It has been narrated on the authority of Imam Sadiq (AS):

الصّائِمُ في شَهْرِ رَمَضانَ في السَّفَرِ كَالمُفْطِرِ فِيهِ في الحَضَرِ.

“One who fasts during the month of Ramadhan while he is on a journey is like one who is at home and breaks his fast.”

In the interpretation of the above verse, we read in Majma’ al-Bayan: Ayashi quoted Muhammad ibn Muslim on the authority of Imam Sadiq (AS) that the Prophet (SAW) never fasted while on a journey. Then this verse was revealed one day at noon when they were in a place called Kara ul-Ghameem. The Prophet (SAW) asked for a bowl of water, drank some, and ordered the people to drink too. Some of the people said: “It is near the end of the day. It is better to complete our fast.” Then the Prophet (SAW) called them sinners. They were called sinners until the time of the death of the Prophet (SAW).

The Meaning of the Word ‘Ramadhan

The root of the word ‘Ramadhan’ in Arabic is ‘ramaz’ that implies strong shining of the rays of the Sun on pebbles. The Arabs named the various months according to the conditions at the time in which they occurred. The month of fasting was coincident with the peak of the heat. Another account states that Ramadhan is one of the Names of God. That is why we are instructed not to refer to the month of fasting as ‘Ramadhan’ but ‘the month of Ramadhan.” In yet a third account, the month of fasting is called Ramadhan because it burns away the sins.

Fasting and Patience

The Qur’an has interpreted fasting as patience. There is a tradition in which Imam Sadiq (AS) has been quoted to have said the following in the interpretation of the Almighty God’s statement “Seek help from patience and prayer”: What is meant by patience is fasting. When something really hard descends upon man, he should fast since God the Almighty says “seek help from patience” – that is fasting.” The late Majlisi has said the following in Mir’atul Uqool: The main part of fasting is imprisonment. Fasting is called patience because it imprisons one and restrains him from eating, drinking and love-making.”

Traditions on the Nobility of Fasting and Its Effects

We can get a better understanding of the nobility of fasting and its importance by reviewing some of the relevant traditions. Zurarah quoted on the authority of Imam Baqir (AS):

بُنِيَ الإسْلامُ عَلى خَمْسَةِ أشْياءٍ: عَلى الصَّلاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَالحَجِّ وَالصَّوْمِ والوِلايَةِ.

“There are five pillars for Islam: praying, paying the alms-tax, the holy pilgrimage, fasting and the friendship (of the Commander of the Faithful and the leaders that came after him).”

Majlisi said: These may be contemporary things since Islam is shaky without them. Believing in these is a part of Islam. It is also probable that what is meant by friendship is love of the Imams in addition to a belief in them. Isma’il ibn Abi Ziyad quoted on the authority of Imam Sadiq (AS) on the authority of his grandfathers (AS) that the Prophet (SAW) told his companions:

ألا أُخْبرُكُم بِشَيءٍ إنْ أنتُمْ فَعَلْتُمُوه تَباعَدَ الشَّيْطانُ عَنكُم كَما تَباعَدَ المَشْرِقُ مِن المَغْرِبِ؟ قالوا: بَلى. قالَ: الصَّوْمُ يُسَوِّدُ وَجْهَهُ وَالصَّدَقَةُ تَكْسِرُ ظَهْرَهُ وَالحُبُّ في اللهِ وَالمُؤازَرَةُ عَلى العَمَلِ الصَّالِحِ تَقْطَعُ دَابِرَهُ وَالاسْتِغْفارُ يَقْطَعُ وَتِينَهُ، وَلِكُلِّ شَيءٍ زَكاةٌ وَزَكاةُ الأبْدانِ الصِّيَامُ.

“Do you want me to tell you what you can do that will cause Satan to go as far away from you as the East is from the West?” They said: “O Prophet of God! Yes.” He said: “Fasting blackens Satan’s face. Giving charity breaks his back, love for the sake of God and helping in doing good deeds roots him out, and repentance cuts off his aorta. There is an alms tax for everything, and the alms of the body is fasting.”

The late Majlisi considers this a reliable tradition. Ibn Abi Amir quoted on the authority of some of the companions, on the authority of Imam Sadiq (AS): Almighty God revealed to Moses (AS): What has prevented you from supplicating to Me? He said: The bad smell of my mouth since I am fasting. God the Almighty revealed:

يا مُوسَى! لخَلُوفُ فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أطْيَبُ عِنْدي مِن ريحِ المِسْكِ.

O Moses! The odour of the mouth of one who is fasting is more agreeable to Me than the fragrance of musk.”

In another tradition, we read that the Prophet of God (AS) said:

الصَّوْمُ جُنَّةٌ مِن النّارِ.

“Fasting is a shield against the Fire.”

Fasting and the Forgiveness of Sins

The opposite to the true meaning of IftarImam Baqir (AS) said: God’s Prophet told Jabir ibn Abdullah:

يا جَابِرُ! هَذا شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ؛ مَن صَامَ نَهارَهُ وَقَامَ وِرْداً مِن لَيْلِه وَعَفَّ بَطْنَهُ وَفَرْجَهُ وَكَفَّ لِسانَهُ خَرَجَ مِن ذُنُوبِه كَخُروجِهِ مِن الشَّهْرِ. فَقالَ جابِرُ: يا رَسُولَ الله! مَا أحْسَنَ هَذا الحَدِيثَ. فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلّى اللهُ علَيه وآلِه: يا جَابِرُ! ومَا أَشَدَّ هَذِه الشُّرُوطَ.

O Jabir! This is the month of Ramadhan. Whoever fasts during its days, stands in prayer in its nights, keeps his stomach and his private parts away from what is unlawful, and restrains his tongue shall leave all his sins behind as he leaves this month.” Jabir said: “O Prophet of God! How beautiful are these words.” The Prophet (AS) said: “O Jabir! And how difficult are these conditions.”

Imam Sajjad (AS) also mentioned these. In another tradition from the Prophet (SAW) the condition for fasting to be considered as worship is stated to be not gossiping.”

Fasting and the Equality between the Rich and the Poor

It is quoted upon the authority of Imam Sadiq (AS):

إنَّما فَرَضَ اللهُ الصِّيامَ لِيَسْتَوِيَ بهِ الغَنِيُّ وَالفَقِيرُ، وذَلِكَ أنَّ الغَنيَّ لم يَكُن لِيَجِدَ مَسَّ الجُوعِ فَيَرحَمُ الفَقِيرَ لأنَّ الغَنيَّ كُلَّما أرادَ شَيئاً قَدَرَ عَلَيهِ، فأرَادَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أنْ يُسَوِّيَ بَينَ خَلْقِهِ وَأنْ يُذِيقَ الغَنيَّ نَيْلَ الجُوعِ والألَمِ لِيَرِقَّ عَلى الضَّعيفِ وَيَرْحَمَ الجائِعَ.

“God made fasting obligatory so that the rich and the poor are made equal. If there were no fasting, the rich would never experience the feeling of hunger that would make them have mercy on the poor, for whenever the rich desire something they are able to acquire it. Thus God desired to place His servants on the same level, and that the rich experience hunger and pain so that they have compassion for the weak and have mercy on the hungry.”

We see in this tradition that one of the philosophies behind fasting in the month of Ramadhan is to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor people. Wealth has always divided human societies into two classes – the rich and the poor. The rich who possess means of comfort and convenience can never realize the hardships and pains suffered by the poor and experience what they go through. When one fasts, he gets hungry and thirsty. His human emotions get aroused and he starts to think of ways to help those who are hungry. It is interesting to note that according to Islamic jurisprudence no rich man can pay a poor man to fast instead of him. This clearly shows the purpose behind fasting.

Fasting as Viewed by Imam Ali (AS)

There are several views about fasting expressed by Imam Ali (AS) that are recorded in Nahjul Balaghah. For example, he said:

وَزَكاةُ البَدَنِ الصّيامُ.

“The alms tax of the body is fasting.”

We know that taxing implies growth, development and purification. Here the Imam (AS) has referred to the health-related aspect of fasting. In another place he said:

وَصَومُ شَهْرِ رَمَضانَ فإنَّهُ جُنَّةٌ مِن العِقابِ.

“Fasting in the month of Ramadhan is a shield against the chastisement.”

In another place he said:

خُمصُ البُطونِ مِن الصِّيامِ ذُبْلُ الشِّفاهِ مِن الدُّعاءِ صُفْرُ الألْوانِ مِن السَّهَرِ عَلى وُجوهِهِم غَبَرَةُ الخاشِعين، أولئِكَ إخْوانيَ الذّاهِبونَ.

“They were those whose stomachs were slim due to fasting, their lips were dry from (continuous) supplications, their faces were pale from staying up at night, and their faces were covered with the dust of humbleness. They were my brothers who are gone now.”

In another of Imam Ali’s (AS) wise sayings we read:

الصِّيامُ ابْتِلاءٌ لإخْلاصِ الخَلقِ.

“Fasting is a trial of people’s sincerity.”

In another of Imam Ali’s (AS) wise sayings we read that on the day of celebration, he said:

إنَّما هوَ عِيدٌ لمَنْ قَبِلَ اللهُ صِيامَهُ وَشَكَرَ قِيامَهُ، وكُلُّ يَومٍ لا يُعصَى اللهُ فيهِ فَهوَ عِيدٌ.

“It is only a day of celebration (Eid) for those whose fasting God accepts and whose standing up in prayer (at night) He rewards.  Every day in which one does not disobey God is a day of celebration.”

In some of his advice he said:

أوصيكم وجميع ولدي… وصلاح ذات البين

“I advise you and my children…. to improve your social affairs, since its reward is more than that of praying and fasting.”

Fasting Without Any Gains

Imam Ali (AS) said:

كَم مِن صَائِمٍ ليسَ لهُ مِن صِيامِهِ إلاّ الجُوعُ وَالظَّمَأ، وَكَم مِن قائِمٍ لَيسَ له إلاّ السَّهَرُ وَالعَناءُ. حَبَّذا نَومُ الأكْياسِ وإفْطارُهُم.

“There are many who fast and gain nothing from their fasting other than suffering from thirst and hunger. Many stay up at night in prayer and gain nothing but sleeplessness and fatigue. How beautiful is the sleeping of the wise, and the breaking of their fasts!”

After IftarIn the well-known sermon called Qasi’ah, Imam Ali (AS) discussed the bad ending of being entrapped by Satan’s plots, and pointed out factors that can save man.

و عن ذلكَ ما حَرَسَ اللهُ عِبادَهُ المؤمِنين بِالصَّلاةِ و الزَّكَواتِ و مُجاهَدَةِ الصِّيامِ في الأيَّامِ المَفْروضَاتِ تَسْكيناً لأطْرافِهِم وَتَخْشِيعاً لأبْصارِهِم وَتَذليلاً لِنُفوسِهِم وَتَخْفِيضاً لِقُلوبِهِم وإذْهاباً لِلخُيَلاءِ عَنهُم وَلِما في ذلِكَ مِن تَعفِير عِتاقِ الوُجوهِ تَواضُعاً وَالتِصاقِ كَرائِمِ الجَوارِحِ بالأرْضِ تَصاغُراً وَلحُوقِ البُطونِ بِالمُتونِ مِن الصِّيامِ تَذَلُّلاً.

“God protects his believing servants from that (Satan’s plots) through praying, paying the alms-tax, striving to fast during the days that fasting is prescribed since these acts will give tranquility to their limbs and hinder them from engaging in sin. They will cause humbleness of the eyes and control of the wild self. They will cause humbleness of the heart and eliminate undue pride and haughtiness. That will be due to tender cheeks being rubbed in the dust out of humility, the most precious limbs cleaving to the earth in abjectness and stomachs adhering to their backs because of fasting in abasement (before God).”

It is said that once an Arab who was riding a camel in the desert ran into a man who was praying. His praying fooled the Arab. He got off his camel, sat down next to him and said: “How well do you pray!” The man said: “You do not know. I am also fasting.” The man’s praying and fasting fooled the Arab, and he entrusted his camel to him. When he returned he saw neither the man nor his camel. He felt sorry and realized that he should not have been fooled by the man’s praying and fasting, and should not have entrusted his camel to him.

Now that we have studied the various effects of fasting as expressed by Imam Ali (AS) let us see what the master of the jurisprudents, Sheikh Muhammad Hasan who is the author of Jawahir ul-Kalam, has said about the positive effects of fasting in the chapter on fasting. He said: “It has been narrated that God the Almighty said:

الصَّومُ لي وأنَا أُجازِي بِه.

Fasting is for Me, and I will reward it (even though I Myself am the reward for fasting).

He added: “The reason it is said that fasting is for God is that it is a private issue which only God knows about. This is opposed to praying that is visible by the people. It is also because through fasting, our physical strength reduces while our intellect and the various faculties are strengthened. Thus we can attain the more precise divine points, heavenly knowledge and the desirable perfections.”

The Effects of Fasting as Viewed by Ghazali

Abu Hamed said: “Fasting is for the sake of God and has a special nobility. Although all forms of worship are this way, there are two points specific about fasting. They are as follows:

1        Fasting is a form of abstaining that is private. It is a secret that others do not see unlike other forms of worship that are seen in public. No one but God knows about fasting, since it is a personal action done with patience.

2        Fasting is a form of self-restraint that is the greatest blow to God’s enemy. This is because lust is the tool of Satan. Eating and drinking strengthen lust. That is why God’s Prophet (SAW) said:

إنَّ الشَّيطانَ لَيَجرِي مِن ابْنِ آدَمَ مَجرَى الدَّمِ فَضَيِّقُوا مَجارِيهِ بِالجُوعِ.

“Satan flows through man’s body just like blood. Block off the roaming grounds of Satan via hunger.”

Hunger derived through fasting breaks down Satan and acts as a stronghold against him. Whoever defeats Satan has assisted God. This assistance is related to granting success by God since God has said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ

“O ye who believe! If ye will aid (the cause of) God, He will aid you, and plant your feet firmly.” [Al- Muhammad 47:7]

God also said:

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“And those who strive in Our (cause), We will certainly guide them to our Paths: For verily God is with those who do right.” [Al-Ankabut 29:69]

In another verse God said:

إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ

Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls).” [Ar-Ra’d 13:11]

The change mentioned in this verse is the elimination of lusts, since lusts are the means by which Satan influences man. We cannot discover the Grandeur of God as long as Satan influences us through our lusts. God’s Prophet (SAW) said:

لَو لا أنَّ الشَّياطِينَ يَحومونَ عَلى قُلوبِ بَني آدَمَ لَنَظَروا إلى مَلَكُوتِ السَّماءِ.

“If Satans were not hovering around the hearts of the descendants of Adam, men could look at the kingdom of the heavens.”

Fasting and Health

One of the philosophies behind fasting is health. Before considering the positive effects of fasting on our health, let us see through what ways illnesses affect our health. God’s Prophet (SAW) said:

المَعِدَةُ بَيتُ كُلِّ داءٍ وَالحِمْيَةُ رَأسَ كُلِّ دَواءٍ

“The stomach is the home of every illness, and abstinence (from food) is the chief of all medicine.”

God’s Prophet (AS) said:

صُوموا تَصِحُّوا.

“Fast, and you will be healthy”.”

We read in these traditions from the Prophet of God (SAW) and the seventh Imam (AS) who have divine knowledge that the stomach is the home of all illnesses and we can get healthy by abstaining from eating. Al-Asbagh ibn Nubatah narrated that he heard the Commander of the Faithful (AS) advise his son Imam Hasan (AS) as follows: “O’ my son! Do you want me to teach you a practice that will make you needless of doctors?” Imam Hasan (AS) said: “Yes.” The Commander of the Faithful (AS) said that the Prophet (AS) said:

 

لا تَجلِسْ عَلى الطَّعامِ إلاّ وأنْتَ جائِعٌ، وَلا تَقُمْ عَن الطّعامِ إلاّ وَأنْتَ تَشْتَهِيهِ، وَجَوّدِ المَضْغَ، وإذا نِمْتَ فَأعْرِضْ نَفسَكَ عَلى الخَلاءِ، فإذا اسْتَعْمَلْتَ هذا اسْتَغْنَيْتَ عَن الطِّبِّ.

“Do not sit down to eat unless you are hungry. Cease eating while you still have some appetite to eat. Chew your food thoroughly. Go to the toilet before you sleep. If you adhere to these you will not need medical treatment.”

This tradition also shows that overeating is the root of all illnesses.

Unorderly Food Intake and Orderly Excretions

The skin, the liver, the kidneys and the lungs are all orderly body parts. Our kidneys even know that we should not be awakened at night in order to urinate. The kidneys reduce their secretions to lower the production of urine depending on the stage of our sleep and the darkness of the room. The skin, the lungs and the liver are similar.

However, our intake is so unorderly that even sometimes instead of taking in good and useful things we let in smoke, dust and alcohol. This will pressurize our metabolism beyond its ultimate strength and finally make us ill. The body is like a reservoir of what we eat and drink. Many organs are constantly at work trying to excrete the poisonous material in our body. They need a chance to catch up with our unorderly intake. Fasting is the perfect means to give our body a chance to get rid of the poisons within it.

IftarThe Glands

Consider the following points regarding the glands:

1)      The functions of the glands are interrelated. If one reduces to secrete some hormone, then the functioning of the other glands will be messed up.

2)      The hypothalamus is one of the most important glands whose functioning is highly related to the functioning of the suprarenal glands.

3)      The hormones produced by the adrenal (suprarenal) glands are very important. They can affect all the cells of our body. Any overeating or eating bad things can have bad effects on the functioning of the hypothalamus.

4)      It has been proven that the pancreas and the adrenal glands have an important role on longevity.

5)      A close relationship between the functioning of the pancreas gland and the adrenal glands has been proven.

6)      It has been proven that as we age there is a reduction in the production of the hormones secreted by the pancreas, but aging does not affect the hormones secreted by the adrenal glands.

7)      Vladimir Nikitin who is a professor of biochemistry experimented on rats for many years. He proved that by keeping them hungry through especial means he could extend their life expectancy from 2.5 years to 4.5 years. He believes that when the adrenal glands are kept hungry, they themselves eat up their excess hormones that cause an imbalance. Thus fasting can re-establish our hormonal balance for a while if for some reason our hormones are out of balance.

Studies on Metabolism

It is thought that whatever we eat is burnt to produce energy for our body and the excess is let out. This is not a correct image of the way our body works. Our body is not like a pond in which food enters from one side, and leaves from the other side. What enters our body must be fresh, but what leaves it is old. The oxygen that enters our body now will leave our body six months later. The same holds true for calcium. If radioactive nitrogen is added to our food, it will appear in the urine several weeks later.

Therefore, we should not expect an instant replacement of the old food in the body with fresh food that we eat. We must wait many days to achieve this. Dr. John Feromozan said: The stored amount of glycogen stored in the kidneys and protein in the blood and fat stored in the body is 30% for men and 20% for women. This amount is sufficient for one month.

Dr. Alexis Carrel in his book Man the Unknown Creature said the following about fasting: “When you fast, the sugar in the blood pours into the kidneys, the fat stored under the skin, the proteins stored in the muscles, the glands and the kidney cells are released and used up.” When we consider both of these statements we conclude that our body is totally repaired after thirty days of fasting and it gets totally rid itself of poisons and old materials.

Fasting and Ulcers

It is a common misunderstanding that fasting causes ulcers. If it was so, then we should ask why the statistics show more cases of ulcers among the non-Muslim nations who do not fast compared to the Muslim nations. If ulcers were only common among Muslims, then we could suspect a relationship between fasting and ulcers existed. However, this is not the case and there is a growing trend of ulcers in the West. If fasting was a cause of ulcers and given the more than fourteen centuries of fasting by Muslims, ulcers should have become a hereditary disease among the Muslims. However, this is not the case.

Causes of Ulcers

The causes of ulcers were investigated in an international conference on diseases of the stomach in September 1966 in Tokyo. Those who attended presented their country’s medical results as to the causes of ulcers. Among these reports, the following were the most common causes of ulcers:

1)      Smoking.

2)      Eating many hot foods.

3)      Drinking too much water.

4)      Usual use of coffee and spices.

5)      Excessive use of salty or sour foods.

6)      Drinking alcoholic beverages.

The representative from Turkey who attended this conference reported that after the end of the month of fasting it has been found that fasting accelerates this disease. This implies that fasting does not cause ulcers, but if the person is prone to get an ulcer fasting will speed it up. That is why Islam has instructed those who are ill or know that they will get ill if they fast should not fast. Their fasting is postponed to a later time.

Alexi Soforin’s Medical Fasting

When we eat various foods, some of it passes through the digestive system but is not used up by the cells. It gets stored up under the skin, around the heart and around important body organs. These will cause infections after some time and result in various ailments. The more the excess food, the worse the infection will be. The illnesses have different names, but are all rooted in microbes or viruses that live where there exists excess food. Before any treatment, we must get rid of the trash.

This is only feasible if we do not give our body any food and only drink water. The body will then automatically extract the stored food and get rid of it. Then the disease will be uprooted and show signs of treatment. This method will naturally cleanse the body. If we use other methods and take drugs, the drugs will also affect the healthy cells in our body, and our body will react to the drugs. However, fasting does not have any side effects. Also, note that this is a single treatment for all illnesses.  

The Secrets of Fasting

Iftar4The scholars have mentioned three ranks for fasting. The first rank for fasting is just restraining the stomach from eating and drinking, and restraining our sexual desires. The second rank for fasting implies the additional restraining of our ears, eyes, hands, feet and other organs. Imam Sadiq (AS) said:

إذَا صُمْتَ فَلْيَصُمْ سَمعُكَ وَبَصَرُكَ وَشَعرُكَ وجِلدُكَ و…

“When you fast your hearing, your sight, your hair, your skin and other organs should also fast.”

لا يَكُنْ يَومُ صَومِكَ كَيَومِ فِطْرِكَ.

“The day of your fasting should not be like the day that you do not fast.”

In another tradition he said:

وَدَعِ المِراءَ وَأذْيَ الخَادِمِ وَلْيَكُن عَلَيْكَ وَقارُ الصّيامِ فإنَّ رَسولَ اللهِ صَلّى اللهُ عَليهِ وآلِهِ سَمِعَ امْرَأةً تَسُبُّ جارِيَتَها وَهِي صَائِمَةٌ فَدَعى بِطَعامٍ فَقالَ لهَا: كُلِي. فقَالَتْ: إنّي صَائِمَةٌ. قَالَ: كَيفَ تَكُونِينَ صَائِمةً وَقَدْ سَبَبْتِ جَارِيَتَكِ؟ إنَّ الصَّومَ لَيسَ مِن الطَّعامِ وَالشَّرابِ.

Abandon quarrelling and troubling your servant. Let the dignity of those who fast be on you. Once the Prophet (AS) heard a woman who was fasting reviling her maid. The Prophet (SAW) brought her some food and asked her to eat it. She said that she was fasting. The Prophet (SAW) said: “How could you be fasting when you have reviled your maid? Fasting is not just abstaining from food and drink.”

The next rank of fasting implies whole-hearted fasting. In this state, we abandon all worldly thoughts that distract us from God. This form of fasting is broken when we start to think about worldly affairs. It is said that it is breaking this form of fast even if you think about what to prepare to break the fast with, since you do not have a strong belief that God will give you the promised daily bread. This rank is specifically for the Prophets and the honest ones who are close to God. God told the Prophet (SAW):

قُلِ اللّهُ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

..Say: “God (sent it down)”: Then leave them to plunge in vain discourse and trifling. [The Holy Qur’an, Al-An’am 6:91]

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