February 3, 2015 Articles, Nutrition 7 Comments

What’s This Fasting Business All About?

A couple of months ago, Dr. Thomas Seyfried – the author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer – came on the show to speak to us about metabolic fasting as a means of cancer therapy – and (possibly) prevention.

For the more in-depth explanation of how exactly that works, click here to listen to the episode.

The rest of this post will throw around words like ketosis and just assume, you know what that means – so if you don’t, check out Episode #56!

The short version?  It may be that we have the ability to “starve out” stray (pre-tumorous) cancer cells by simply… not eating.  Cancer cells don’t survive nearly as well as healthy cells in a ketotic internal environment.  And the quickest way into ketosis is, well… starving.

Dr. Seyfried cited “a 7-day water fast, once per year” as his recommendation for a healthy person to remain cancer-free by starving any errant cancer cells before they can get a foothold in the body.

This means that for a comparatively small investment of time (and a larger dollop of willpower), we might be able to significantly extend both our lifespans and our “health-spans.”  Cancer remains a distressingly prevalent killer and misery-bringer – so anything to safely lessen its likelihood is great news, right?

Why Water Fast?

While there are many variations on this theme – slightly different fasting methods promoting slightly different health benefits – research suggests that a water-only fast of at least three days is the most effective method to achieve a ketotic body state in the shortest amount of time.

Why a Week?

Three-to-four days to get firmly “into ketosis,” then the rest of the week to give any loose cancer cells in our bodies time to starve.

A day or two shorter might not be enough time to kill the stray cancer cells.  Any longer might be (pardon the pun) overkill.

The Plan

We plan to do a 7-day water-only fast – and if it goes well, it will likely become an annual ritual.

While we’re very set in the belief that the possible-rewards outweigh any expected unpleasantness, we’re also realistic about this being a pretty big undertaking.  (7 days.  Water.  Only.  Ugh.)

So, in an attempt to make the week infinitely less excruciating, and beneficial to as many people as possible, we’ve decided to arm ourselves with as much information as we can.  And in the company of other like-minded, willpower-imbued longevity-seekers.

And so, Water Fast Week was born.

From February 16th-22nd, everyone participating will be communicating via an online forum, sharing their personal experiences, tips, and helpful information with the group.  We’ll have a few experienced fasters – as well as a medical doctor – in our midst, to chip in where they can as well.

And, almost certainly, we’ll cover the action* in a Smart Drug Smarts episode.


* “Action” might not be the right term; we’re expecting a pretty lethargic week.

Written by Rhiannan Roe
Rhiannan Roe is a writer, editor and unapologetic champion of self-improvement. Combining her passions has led to her helping several start-ups across three continents. In her spare time she travels, collects stories from inspiring people, and fruitlessly endeavors to read every book ever written.
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