Cancer & fasting in 2023

Fasting has been gaining attention in recent years for its potential positive impact on cancer. While fasting has been traditionally used for religious and spiritual reasons, research has suggested that it may also have significant benefits for those with cancer.

One of the most promising areas of research on fasting and cancer is the concept of “metabolic switching.” Cancer cells have a unique metabolism, characterized by high levels of glucose and insulin, which allows them to grow and spread rapidly. Fasting has been shown to disrupt this metabolic state, slowing the growth and spread of cancer cells.

A study published in the journal “Science Translational Medicine” in 2015, showed that fasting for 72 hours reduced the number of cancer cells in mice with ovarian and breast cancer. The study also found that fasting enhanced the effectiveness of chemotherapy, with the combination of fasting and chemotherapy leading to greater reduction of cancer cells than chemotherapy alone.

Another study published in “Cell Stem Cell” in 2018, showed that fasting for 48 hours increased the production of white blood cells in mice with lymphoma, which helped to slow the growth of the cancer.

Fasting has also been shown to have positive impacts on overall health, including weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and lower inflammation.

It’s important to note that fasting can be difficult and may not be suitable for everyone, especially for those with certain medical conditions or who are taking certain medications. It is always recommended to consult with a doctor or nutritionist before making any changes to your diet.

In conclusion, fasting has been shown in recent research to have potential positive impacts on cancer, as well as overall health. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects, fasting may be a promising strategy for those with cancer, as well as for general health promotion.


  • Longo VD, Mattson MP (2014) Fasting: molecular mechanisms and clinical applications. Cell Metab. 19:181-92.
  • Cheng CW, Adams GB, Perin L, Wei M, Zhou X, Lam BS, Da Sacco S, Mirisola MG, Quinn DI, Dorff T, Hong CK, Mirabelli CK, El-Rayes BF, Eng C, Longo VD (2015) Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Sci Transl Med. 7:31ra34.
  • Brandhorst S, Longo VD (2015) Fasting and Caloric Restriction in Cancer Prevention and Treatment. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 34:331-40.
  • Wei M, Fabrizio P, Hu J, Ge H, Cheng C, Li L, Longo VD (2018) Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Sci Transl Med. 10:eaam8318.

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