How To Fast For Chemotherapy Effectiveness

How To Fast For Chemotherapy Effectiveness

Photo courtesy of and Hordur Vilhjalmsson

How To Fast For Chemotherapy Effectiveness

Following yesterday’s article on the study that is currently underway investigating the benefits of fasting combined with chemotherapy, I thought it a good idea to share with you the best, safest way to fast should you decide to do this.

Let me preface this by stating that if you are undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, you most definitely should consult with your doctor regarding your fitness to undertake this kind of fasting prior to doing so.

Yesterday’s article mentioned the study done by Professor Valter Longo at the USC Davis wherein the effects of fasting for a time prior to chemotherapy and again one day post-chemotherapy were found to be quite effective for killing cancer cells in mouse models.  Now, I have to remind you that human studies are ongoing and the results won’t be known for a year or two.

Fasting is known, however, to be beneficial for many disease processes, many natural therapists highly recommend fasting for detoxification and improvement of health.  Fasting has been done for thousands of years by many different groups of people for reasons that range from religious ceremony to weight loss to detoxing organs like the liver.

The thing to be careful about is how and when to do fasting when you are going through chemotherapy.

The fast discussed by Prof Longo is of relatively short duration – 1-2 days prior to chemotherapy and then the day following.  The good thing about that kind of fast is that your metabolism doesn’t have a chance to slow down and you don’t need to be concerned about entering into starvation mode, which would be bad news for your muscles and your health in general.  The short duration of this kind of fast eliminates the risk of nutrient depletion.

How To Fast In Combination With Chemotherapy

Here’s the plan.  You devote just one day prior to your chemotherapy infusion and one day after your chemotherapy to fasting.  When you fast, you consume as much filtered water as you like and if you get too hungry (as in weak and dizzy or have a headache), you may juice fresh organic carrots, kale, beet, spinach (any combination) because the vitamins and enzymes from the juice also help to kill cancer cells.  Do not drink bottled juices because the living enzymes contained therein are wrecked by the bottling process, many have sugar, and will not assist your healing endeavors.  If you don’t like juicing, you can try drinking green tea or herbal tea along with your water.  When you do return to your normal diet, try to follow a healthy one, such as outlined on my page Diet and Cancer.

During the time you are fasting, don’t overdo anything.  Be gentle with yourself – don’t go on a 5-mile hike!  Try yoga or qigong or tai chi for some nurturing exercise.

I will say it again – make sure you check with your doctor about your fitness levels to ensure you are strong enough to undertake fasting combined with chemotherapy.

Spend 7 minutes and watch this video of Professor Valter Longo discussing his research on fasting.

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (  It is my honor to help you through this.

Fasting Combined With Chemotherapy – Double Trouble For Cancer Cells

Fasting Combined With Chemotherapy Double Trouble For Cancer Cells

Photo of cancer cells courtesy of and jscreationzs

Fasting is no new notion to mankind.  Many religions promote fasting as a way of purifying the body and mind. What we are now learning, however, is that fasting could help to combat cancer and boost the effectiveness of cancer treatments.

Research on animals discovered that fasting slowed the growth and spread of tumors and cured some cancers when it was combined with chemotherapy.  Fasting and chemotherapy appear to have synergistic effects.

A professor at the University of Southern California, Valter Longo, investigated 18 different types of cancers in animals, showing that if you starve the cancer for a few days before and after you hit it with chemotherapy, the results are twice as good.  In some cases, for example breast cancer, cycles of fasting were working as well as chemotherapy.  The majority of cancers tested showed that either fasting alone or fasting plus chemotherapy was consistently better than the chemotherapy alone.

Pretty fascinating stuff.  But what about in people?

Clinical trials in humans started two years ago, and shortly the researchers will know whether it is safe or not for cancer patients to try.  Apparently the human studies will determine whether patients could tolerate short fasts of two days before and one day after chemotherapy.

How Does It Work?

The researchers contended that normal cells are very able to adapt to the conditions of starvation and know what to do and can manage for a long time. Cancer cells, however, have no idea because they are less able to adapt to different environments, and starvation is a very extreme environment.

The researchers believe the cancer cells are dying because they are confused and don’t understand the starvation environment. They try to respond by activating different pathways, for example, creating more proteins, even though they are starving. In this process they destroy themselves.

My suggestion?  If you’re interested in trying this, have a chat with your oncologist.  Show him/her the research that’s been done so far and together the two of you can decide if this is something that might be worth trying right now, even before the clinical trial is finished.  At least it doesn’t cost anything (other than a few grumbly tummies)!  I wouldn’t recommend this for patients who have already lost a lot of weight or are affected by other health risks, such as diabetes, but for those of you who are pretty healthy, it sounds like a powerful combination of therapies.

It’s all about creating a cancer-unfriendly environment (to paraphrase one of my thought leaders, Ian Gawler).  Tomorrow I’ll share the best way to fast properly and safely.


If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (  It is my honor to help you through this.


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