The therapeutic benefits of fasting are clear such as it boosts the immune system, weight loss and blood pressure, liver health, and even helps in the regeneration of the pancreas in diabetic people. These are just a few of the many other beneficial effects due to fasting.
The microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes – bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses – that live on and inside the human body. The number of genes in all the microbes in one person’s microbiome is 200 times the number of genes in the human genome. The microbiome may weigh as much as five pounds. The bacteria in the microbiome help digest our food, regulate our immune system, protect against other bacteria that cause disease, and produce vitamins including B vitamins B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and Vitamin K, which is needed for blood coagulation.The Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health, University of Washington (link)
In a study by researchers at Buchinger Wilhelmi lead by Dr. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, they were able to document based on years of experience in fasting about its positive impact on human microbiome.
The microbiome resides in the gut and has a huge impact on human’s overall health and wellness.
It is for this reason that we should be prioritizing in nurturing our microbiome through proper diet particularly.
Moreover, the gut where the huge portion of the beneficial bacteria resides is said to be human’s second brain.
It is here where serotonin, a neurotransmitter for feeling good is produced.
Through proper diet and a healthy lifestyle along with occasional fasting or even doing regular intermittent fasting could help our microbiome thrive.
Eventually, this allows us to reap the benefits of having optimal health especially mental health.
However, it is important to note that in this study, supervised periodic fasting conducted on healthy individuals.
The study demonstrates that fasting has effects on gut health. Hopefully, they would be able to conduct studies or document it from sick people who are treated with fasting.
In a documentary entitled Science of Fasting, there is also a Russian hospital that employs fasting to treat patients of all kinds of illnesses. The documentary is free, unfortunately, but it’s worth watching if you’re interested in learning more about how some health establishments are using fasting as their treatment protocol.
Due to this promising results, hopefully, more and more clinics to incorporate fasting as part of their treatment protocol.
Here is the link to the details on this study. And here is Dr. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo as she explains more about it.
The Importance of Maintaining A Healthy Gut
When it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy microbiome, it’s not just about proper diet. While proper diet and nutrition are key, regular exercise has also been shown to have positive impact on gut health.
Researchers found that getting kids to develop a habit of exercising can be beneficial for gut health. In fact, besides achieving a physically fit body, regular exercise also has anti-aging, boost memory and brain health benefits including better motor skills in senior people.