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04-20-2008, 02:26 PM
Have you ever wondered whether fasting could be dangerous to your health? :? Of course you have. Apart from the torture of self-inflicted semi-starvation which usually leaves you weak as a kitten with the social stance of an Indian refused extra baggage, it also seems to be capable of much more serious things too.

Just have a look at the below article I read from Sciencedaily

“Over one billion Muslims fast worldwide during the month of Ramadan. Other studies have shown that fasting during Ramadan does not affect the rate of arterial stroke. This study looked at cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), a rare type of stroke that most often affects young adults and children and is more common in women.

For the study, researchers included all people with CVST strokes admitted to three hospitals in Isfahan, Iran, over a five-year period. Of the 162 people, 33 had strokes while fasting; 129 had strokes during the other months of the year. The average number of strokes during the month of Ramadan was 5.5, compared to 2.0 during the rest of the year. The average age and percentage of men versus women was the same in the two groups.

"These results need to be confirmed by other studies, but they should be looked at carefully," said study author Mohammad Saadatnia, MD, of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. "Coexistence of usual risk factors, such as oral contraceptive and coagulopathic disorders, along with dehydration in patients while prolonged fasting can be the reason for increased susceptibility to CVST. People and their physicians need to be aware of possible complications of prolonged fasting."

This research was presented at the American Academy of Neurology 60th Anniversary Annual Meeting in Chicago on April 15, 2008.”

Whats life without a little risk, eih?:?:?

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04-20-2008, 03:23 PM
Originally Posted by Nerd

Whats life without a little risk, eih?:?:?
Yeah, but what the heck? you make me sick, its not torture you freakazoid,

Wow today is not a nice day for happy.

04-20-2008, 04:14 PM
"And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good."
(Surah: Al-Baqaraa, Verse: 195)

04-20-2008, 04:20 PM
Fascinating study coming from Isfahan..
it is almost as beneficial as reading about Niemann-Pick disease or Canavan disease in the Purepecha Indians as opposed to Ashkenazi Jews... A nice orphan article in the sea of solid research of the endless benefits of fasting... From a very low common denominator ignoring the healthy body's own metabolism and energy storage ..
I love the insta smarts of google scholars..
The Benefits of Fasting

By Alan Goldhamer, D.C.

IN THIS ARTICLE YOU WILL learn about some of the tremendous benefits that can be derived from a properly conducted fast. When properly utilized, fasting is a safe and effective means of maximizing the body’s self-healing capacities. The results can be truly amazing. Before going on to describe some of the many advantages of fasting, let’s define it. Fasting is the complete abstinence from all substances except pure water, in an environment of total rest. Let’s also keep in mind that fasting is only one part of the total health-supporting program we call Natural Hygiene.

Health results from healthful living. No matter how successful a fasting experience might be, it needs to be followed by a consistently healthy lifestyle. The requirements of health must continue to be provided — especially in the areas of diet, environment, activity and psychology.

The examples that follow are just a few of the many beneficial uses of fasting.

An aid in transition

During the past seven years I’ve worked with thousands of patients from all over the world who had a wide variety of disorders and health concerns. A great many of these patients required a period of supervised fasting to achieve their health goals. Virtually all of them needed to make lifestyle changes to achieve improved health. Fasting made the transition easier!

My observation is that the best motivating factor in helping people adopt healthful living practices is often the positive reinforcement that comes with feeling good and healthy.

Fasting, for as few as five days to as many as 40 days, will often dramatically shorten the time it takes for an individual to make the transition from a conventional diet and lifestyle (with all the associated addictions, pains, fatigue and disease) to the independent and energetic state associated with healthful living.

People who undertake a fast in a supervised setting, tend to achieve health more quickly than those who attempt changes without a fast. The intensive health education, plus the emotional support they receive during their stay, result in increased compliance with dietary and lifestyle recommendations.

A speedy recovery

When individuals try to make major dietary changes without the benefit of a fasting experience, they often become frustrated. The transition to a healthful eating pattern can make you feel sick. Symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating, joint pain, headaches, skin rashes, irritability, depression, etc. are just a few of the common problems that can arise as the body attempts to eliminate toxins, metabolic byproducts, etc., and adjust physiologically to a health promoting diet.

It is difficult to get people to practice new healthful living habits for long unless they begin to experience some benefits quickly. Changes that may take months (or even years) with careful eating may occur much more quickly if a properly supervised fast is utilized. This is an important consideration because once people begin to realize their health potential, they become a likely candidate for a lifelong commitment to healthful living.

Overcoming addictions

Addictions to drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, nicotine and caffeine are examples where fasting can dramatically reduce the often protracted withdrawal symptoms that prevent many people from becoming drug-free. Most people are surprised at how easy it is to quit smoking or drinking with the help of fasting.

Uterine fibroid tumors

Fasting can often be especially important in situations where drugs or surgery have been recommended. When uterine fibroid tumors contribute to pain and excess bleeding, a hysterectomy — removal of the uterus — is often recommended. A proper fast will often dramatically reduce the size and effect of these tumors. I have treated numerous women who have been able to successfully avoid hysterectomy using conservative methods. Ovarian cysts and cervical dysplasia also often respond favorably.

Back and neck problems

Back and neck pain are remarkably responsive to conservative care. In my institution I utilize fasting, rest and exercise, improved posture and body use, and when appropriate, chiropractic manipulation and physical therapy. It is interesting to note that often patients with chronic pain who have received extensive treatment, including drugs, surgery and manipulation, will experience dramatic improvement through the use of fasting.

A case history

I recently treated a young man, a Natural Hygienist since birth, who had been in a severe automobile accident four years ago. He had suffered with constant neck pain and headaches since the accident. His greatest concern was his tendency to pass out unexpectedly. Apparently the dysfunction in his neck had interfered with the autonomic portion of his nervous system altering blood flow to his brain.

After a period of four weeks of care, which included a fast, followed by careful re-feeding and, in his case, spinal manipulative therapy, this individual made an excellent response. At his three month follow-up he reported complete absence of neck pain and headaches and had not felt faint or passed out since his stay at the Center.

Cardiovascular disease

Most cases of cardiovascular disease are also responsive to conservative care. In 154 consecutive cases of high blood pressure [hypertension] that I have fasted, 151 (98%) have been able to achieve and maintain normal blood pressure without the use of medications. [Complete details of this study will appear in an upcoming issue of Health Science.]

Angina and intermittent claudication are examples of conditions that will often respond rapidly to fasting. Often patients can achieve freedom from pain and medications within a few days or weeks. It is not unusual to see cholesterol levels drop as much as 100 points with diligent effort.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Disturbances of the gastrointestinal system — including esophagitis, gastritis, colitis, constipation, bloating, and the symptoms associated with so-called “candidiasis” — usually respond well to conservative care.

My most recent case of gastrointestinal disturbance was a young woman with severe colitis [inflammation of the colon]. She reported severe, constant bleeding through the rectum. She said that despite continual medical treatment with cortisone, implants, and a wide range of other medication, she had bleeding with every bowel movement for eight years. Her physician had explained that surgery would have to be performed.

After we had eliminated her medications, a period of fasting was undertaken. Within a week, the constant pain was resolved. By the 10th day, the passing of blood and mucus had stopped. After two weeks of fasting we began to carefully feed her. Her bowel movements were blood-free from the first. At her three-month follow-up she reported feeling great and completely free of any significant bleeding or problems.


Many chronic degenerative conditions respond well to fasting and a Natural Hygiene lifestyle. Diabetes is no exception.

Working with diabetic patients is very satisfying because the consequences of the disease are so devastating and the results with conservative care are usually so dramatic. Most adult onset diabetics can be brought under control and freed from the use of insulin and other medication through the use of fasting and a carefully followed diet and lifestyle program. Such a program will allow most diabetics to achieve a high level of function and the ability to maintain normal sugar levels without medications.

There are exceptions

Not everyone is a candidate for fasting. There are a number of factors to consider before a fast is recommended. My procedure is to first review the patient’s medical history and perform a comprehensive physical examination including appropriate laboratory or specialized diagnostic tests. I then review my findings with the patient and make appropriate recommendations. These may include dietary and lifestyle recommendations. These may include dietary and lifestyle changes, exercise programs, etc., and, when indicated, fasting. When fasting is indicated, patients stay at my institution.

Not every individual or every condition will respond to conservative treatment. Occasionally medical care may be necessary. When a medical consultation or treatment is indicated, the safest methods available should be utilized.

Where to fast

With the possible exception of very short fasts in acute disease — such as a cold, fever, etc.— all fasting should be undertaken in an institution under the direct supervision of a doctor trained in fasting supervision. A certified member of the International Association of Hygienic Physicians would by far be your best choice.

Fasting in an institution offers several advantages. The most important is the constant availability of an experienced doctor to guide and advise you. Most institutions have an educational program designed to help you better understand Natural Hygiene — the science of health. The benefits of being in a clean, quiet and emotionally supportive environment should not be underestimated.

In addition, a timely and proper termination of each fast is critical to the long-term success of the patient. Fasting under the supervision of a trained, qualified doctor is your best assurance of a well-conducted, beneficial fasting experience.

A Case Study:

Chronic gastrointestinal disorder

“A woman came to the Center recently who had suffered chronic constipation for more than 20 years. She complained that she had not had a single spontaneous bowel movement during that time without the assistance of enemas, colonics or laxatives.

“She fasted with us for a period of 12 days, during which time she experienced mild discomfort and referred low back pain. On the fifth day of feeding after the fast, she was having spontaneous, normally formed bowel movements — and she had continued to have them since.

“The long-term follow-up for people who stay on the Natural Hygiene dietary program is excellent. Chronic constipation is definitely a problem that people can learn to live without.”

Alan Goldhamer, D.C.

A natural process

“Fasting, or the abstinence from food, is a means used in nature by all creatures from the beginning of time. Either by instinct or intelligence this means has been used to assist the body to relieve itself from discomfort, pain and disease.

“Regulatory and reparative processes of the body are given unimpeded encouragement by the temporary omission of food. No other form of health care can boast the rewarding and gratifying results in the elimination of disease and the restoration of health.

“Fasting, once considered a fad, has gained acceptance not only by a constantly increasing segment of society — and has also earned the stamp of approval by many in the scientific community.

“Under qualified and experienced supervision, fasting is the greatest gift which can be given to an overburdened, sick body without benefit of any other form of therapy or treatment.”

William Esser, N.D., D.C.

An empowering rest

“Fasting is simply a process of deep physiological rest. This rest period helps you rebuild functioning power and recover from the energy dissipation caused by hectic daily schedules and abusive living habits.

“When outside stressors, dietary and therapeutic influences are eliminated during the fasting state, fasting reveals the baseline status of your body. This enables you to become more sensitive and connected to your body. This connection fosters a greater awareness of the instinctive biological and emotional requirements that are essential for the maintenance of health and wholeness.”

Frank Sabatino, D.C., Ph.D.

Unfounded fears about fasting

“Unfounded fear is a peculiar state of disease within the imagination, arising largely out of a lack of knowledge.

“If we are slaves to unfounded fears, we are also slaves to beliefs and practices and action which are inconsistent with our well-being. So it is a matter of necessity that we understand fasting and all its facets if we are to overcome the fears that are associated with it.

“Many people attempt to solve the problems of life, the distresses of the body and the anxieties of the mind with food and drugs. They have great fear about not eating because they have experienced the headaches, the weakness and distress they associate with it, and they are convinced that food and drugs are the answer to their problems.

“How can you convince someone that going further without food is a matter of necessity for the recovery of his health? Only through knowledge and enough suffering to change his attitudes.

“The best way to dispel unfounded fear about fasting is with knowledge — knowledge that breeds confidence, confidence that engenders beliefs, and beliefs that result in correct action.”

D.J. Scott, D.C.

Making wise decisions

“Not everyone is a good candidate for fasting. Many factors need to be considered before a fast is undertaken. Not every condition will respond optimally to fasting and conservative care alone. Occasionally, medical care may be necessary.

“At the Center we have established good working relationships with some of California’s best specialists. When a medical consultation or treatment is indicated, the safest methods available should always be utilized.”

Jennifer Marano, D.C.

Heightening your awareness

“A wonderful thing about fasting is that it puts an interval between the behavior that you are accustomed to and the behavior that you aspire to. We tend to be creatures of habit, and the ways that we are accustomed to eating and living feel as natural to us as breathing. That is why it is so difficult for people to stop bad habits. But fasting brings your present lifestyle to an abrupt halt. It gives you an opportunity to pause, reflect and decide how you are going to conduct your life afterwards. This enables you to make a break with your past and set off in a new, more positive direction.

“There is nothing routine about eating after a fast. Each meal is a celebration. After fasting, you tend to be very conscious about what you are eating, and why. Fasting heightens your awareness, as well as your appreciation for food. By fasting, we learn to eat with reverence.

“It is the non-doing aspect of fasting that enables us to make behavioral stopping and pausing and interrupting our usual patterns, as we learn to take more conscious control of ourselves.

“There is no better way to stop a vicious cycle of self-destructive behavior than by fasting.”

Ralph C. Cinque, D.C.

The Spiritual and Health Benefits of Ramadan Fasting
Shahid Athar, M.D.

This year the Islamic month of Ramadan will start on December 20th. Muslims all over the world will start this month with fasting from dawn to dusk daily for 30 days as ordained in Quran.

"O you who believe fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you so that you can learn Taqwa" (Quran 2:183)

The Arabic word Taqwa is translated in many ways including God consciousness, God fearing, piety, and self restraining. Thus we are asked to fast daily for one month from dawn to dusk and avoid food, water, sex and vulgar talk during that period.

But why do we need to fast? "
It is our experience that temptations and ways of the world tend to spoil our purity and austerity. Thus we indulge in food all of the time, snacking and nibbling the whole day, heading to obesity. We drink too much coffee, or tea, or carbonated drinks. Some sexaholics can not stay away from sex unless they do it at least once or more a day. When we argue, we leave our decency aside and resort to vulgar talk and even physical fighting.

Now when one is fasting, he or she cannot do all of that. When he looks at the mouth watering food, he cannot even taste it and he has to give up snacking and nibbling as well as smoking cigarettes if he does. No constant coffee, tea or Coke drinking either. Sexual passions have to be curtailed and when he is provoked to fight, he says " I am fasting that I cannot respond to your provocation". To achieve God consciousness or God nearness, a better word, we are advised to do additional prayer and read the Quran.

Medical Benefits of Ramadan
Muslims do not fast because of medical benefits which are of a secondary nature. Fasting has been used by patients for weight management, to rest the digestive tract and for lowering lipids. There are many adverse effects of total fasting as well as of crash diets. Islamic fasting is different from such diet plans because in Ramadan fasting, there is no malnutrition or inadequate calorie intake. The calorie intake of Muslims during Ramadan is at or slightly below the nutritional requirement guidelines. In addition, the fasting in Ramadan is voluntarily taken and is not a prescribed imposition from the physician.

Ramadan is a month of self-regulation and self training, with the hope that this training will last beyond the end of Ramadan. If the lessons learned during Ramadan, whether in terms of dietary intake or righteousness, are carried on after Ramadan, there effects will be long lasting. Moreover, the type of food taken during Ramadan does not have any selective criteria of crash diets such as those which are protein only or fruit only type diets. Everything that is permissible is taken in moderate quantities.

The difference between Ramadan and total fasting is the timing of the food; during Ramadan, we basically miss lunch and take an early breakfast and do not eat until dusk. Abstinence from water for 8 to 10 hours is not necessarily bad for health and in fact, it causes concentration of all fluids within the body, producing slight dehydration. The body has its own water conservation mechanism; in fact, it has been shown that slight dehydration and water conservation, at least in plant life, improve their longevity.

The physiological effect of fasting includes lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of the systolic blood pressure. In fact, Ramadan fasting would be an ideal recommendation for the treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity, and essential hypertension.

In 1994 the first International Congress on "Health and Ramadan", held in Casablanca, entered 50 extensive studies on the medical ethics of fasting. While improvement in many medical conditions was noted; however, in no way did fasting worsen any patients' health or their baseline medical condition. On the other hand, patients who are suffering from severe diseases, whether type I diabetes or coronary artery disease, kidney stones, etc., are exempt from fasting and should not be allowed to fast.

There are psychological effects of fasting as well. There is a peace and tranquility for those who fast during the month of Ramadan. Personal hostility is at a minimum, and the crime rate decreases. Muslims take advice from the Prophet who said, "If one slanders you or aggresses against you, say I am fasting." This psychological improvement could be related to better stabilization of blood glucose during fasting as hypoglycemia after eating, aggravates behavior changes. There is a beneficial effect of extra prayer at night. This not only helps with better utilization of food but also helps in energy output. There are 10 extra calories output for each unit of the prayer. Again, we do not do prayers for exercise, but a mild movement of the joints with extra calorie utilization is a better form of exercise. Similarly, recitation of the Quran not only produces a tranquility of heart and mind, but improves the memory.

One of the odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan is called the night of power when angels descend down, and take the prayer of worship to God for acceptance.

Fasting is a special act of worship which is only between humans and God since no one else knows for sure if this person is actually fasting. Thus God says in hadith qudsi that "Fasting is for Me and I only will reward it". In another hadith, the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) has said "If one does not give up falsehoods in words and actions, God has no need of him giving up food and drink".

* Author, Islamic Perspectives in Medicine and Health Concerns for the Believers. http://www.ISLAM-USA.com.
E-mail: SATHAR3624@AOL.COM

Reprint Requests:
Shahid Athar, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Indiana University School of Medicine
8424 Naab Road
Suite 2D
Indianapolis, IN 46260



Kelly Grimes

The Purpose of Fasting

Fasting is a body cleansing procedure during which food is restricted and only liquids are consumed. Strictly water fasts are the most brutal; herbal teas and juices made from fresh fruits and vegetables are consumed during a more liberal fast. Juice fasting is the preferred method amongst many doctors and European fasting clinics, perhaps because it is less harsh than other treatment plans.
Today in the Western Hemisphere, many chronic health problems result from bad eating habits. There are a mix of people who are over-nourished, malnourished, or both. We eat chemically altered, high-fat toxic foods that do not provide a sufficient amount of essential vitamins and minerals to our bodies. Clogging of the eliminative systems with excess mucous is thought to sustain congestive diseases. Ineffective digestion and poor nourishment result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A well-balanced diet can overcome this health crisis. A diet of raw foods and fluids helps cleanse the body, and fasting takes the cleansing a step further.
Every fasting method, suited individually to a person�s needs, cleanses toxins from the person�s body. The nutrients in fresh juice provide energy and support to the body while stimulating the detoxification process by clearing waste from its systems. This detoxification process is an important corrective process in our nutritional cycle. We allow our body to breathe and naturally cleanse itself. (Haas)

The Ancient Practice of Fasting

The history of fasting goes back thousands of years. Many religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Eastern religions used and still use fasting as a healing process for spiritual purification and communion with God. Philosophers, scientists, and physicians have used it as a healing process to cure sicknesses. Fasting effects not only our physical being, but our mental, emotional, and spiritual self as well. Physicians with a spiritual orientation are more likely to prescribe fasting to their patients because they are also more likely than other doctors to use the fasting method for cleansing.

The rationale behind fasting places an emphasis on control over our habits. When we need to recharge, we take a break from life and go on vacation. When our body needs cleansing, fasting is time away from food. Both methods of withdrawal from normal routine help us get back in touch with what our bodies need. (Haas)

The process and benefits of fasting

Fasting is a multidimensional experience in which total body transformation occurs. There are a wide range of metabolic changes and experiences. The benefits of fasting include heightened spiritual awareness and relaxation of the body, mind, and emotions. Many feel a sense of letting go of pain from the past and developing a positive attitude towards the present. During fasting, the body is able to clean out its system because it is not expending energy towards the digestive organs. The blood and lymph are detoxified. When fasting, the release of toxins from the colon, kidneys, bladder, lungs, sinuses, and skin clears out complications that have arisen from a bad diet and unhealthy lifestyle. (Haas)

The lack of calories consumed during fasting has dramatic effects on the body�s systems. Because of the lack of glucose consumed, the liver converts glycogen stores into glucose and energy. The brain and the central nervous system need direct glucose, so they must get it either from the breakdown of proteins or fatty acids. The body resists breaking down the proteins, so fatty acids, after being converted into ketones, become the primary source of energy. Ketosis is subdued by drinking plenty of fruit juices, which provide simple carbohydrates for energy and cellular functioning.

How to fast

Both Dr. Haas (http://www.healthy.net/hwlibrarybook...ox/fasting.htm) and Dr. Chaitow (www.healthy.net/library/books/chaitow/chap13.htm) outline a typical short fast, the kind that can be done by almost anyone (except for those mentioned in the next section) without medical supervision. Short-term therapeutic fasts rely on a low-stress, quiet environment. They rely also on educating yourself about the course of treatment and what side effects you might expect to experience. Avoiding exercise and medications is vital. All of these instructions, in addition to what sorts of fruit and vegetable juices should be consumed at what times of the day, are available on the websites.

For information on spiritual fast look at Bill Bright�s 7 Basic Steps to Successful Fasting and Prayer at www.ccci.org/7steps/index.html.

Who does fasting work for? What are some of the conditions for which fasting is beneficial?

Fasting is a safe preventive method to enhance existing well-being. Short-term fasts (48 hours or less) usually can go unsupervised. For longer fasts or fasts used to treat medical conditions, medical doctors recommend a physical evaluation by a qualified professional, the prescription of a particular fasting pattern, and monitored physical and biochemical changes. Fasting has been successful treating conditions such as:

Colds diabetes

Flus fever

Bronchitis fatigue

Headaches back pains

Constipation mental illness

Food and environmental allergies cancer

Asthma obesity

Insomnia skin problems

Back pain caused by tight muscles is usually alleviated with juice fasting by unclogging congested organs and the colon area. Fasting is frequently used in the traditional medical system to treat obesity; however, some doctors take issue with whether overweight people should be fasting at all. A change of diet might be the first step to a healthier lifestyle- the fast might be the push that person needs to get their diet started. In cases of severe obesity one needs to be closely monitored by a trained professional Patients with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia may also be helped- not as a cure, but as an indication of what foods and drugs should be used or avoided in the patient�s treatment plan.

Who should avoid fasting?

Chaitow explains that the Lancet, a very conservative medical journal, regards supervised fasting as extremely safe. Some cases of fever and fatigue should not be accompanied by fasting, usually because a nutritional deficit requires nourishment rather than deprivation of food. There are a number of groups of people who should not fast. People with life-threatening conditions should not fast, especially those who are emaciated due to cancer, TB, or AIDS. Both Type I and Type II diabetics should be under supervision if they decide to fast, but it is not recommended. Pregnant women, infants, and those with kidney failure are discouraged from fasting. Anyone who takes prescribed medication should avoid fasting because of unpredictable reactions. People with liver disease and anaemia should avoid long fasts. Chaitow goes into greater detail on this website-www.healthy.net/library/articles/chaitow/fasting.htm

How effective is fasting- where are the examples of when it has worked?

Medical reports and personal examples of fasting stories suggest the effectiveness of the alternative therapy. Thousands of website testimonials cover the personal success stories of people who have fasted and explain the specific treatment or program they used. Fasting Center International (FCI) has dozens of personal testimonies on its website (www.fasting.com/supervision.html) that advocate its program as the most effective one on the market for supervised long-term fasts (Archer).

NaturalDoc fasting and health vacations provide safe and tranquil sites in beautiful locations. Various programs throughout the year provide different treatment programs that are guaranteed to work. But they only tell you what the fabulous results of these treatments will be. They don�t tell you about the side effects and the possible hazards, at least not at their website www.naturaldoc.com/.

What is the evidence that it is bad and dangerous for your health? What are the hazards of fasting?

Side effects of fasting due to the physiological changes taking place on the body include headaches, nausea, and muscle aches. Everyone responds to detoxification differently, depending on the level of toxicity in the body. While one person�s body becomes sick immediately after beginning a fast another person may feel energized and renewed The initial changes are replaced with a sense of well-being and clarity of mind. Hunger disappears after the first day. However, more serious complications arise during long-term fasts if necessary precautions and safety measures are not taken.

There are rare side effects that can occur during long term fasting. These side effects include a drop in blood pressure, a persistent cold, and acute emotional distress. A complete listing and description of these side effects can be found at http://www.healthy.net/library/artic...ow/fasting.htm. If they persist, the fast should immediately be stopped.

There is a fair amount of dissension to fasting. At a U.C. Davis website, a protein lecture describes and a chart illustrates the potential dangers of fasting. (The chart can be see at http://medtstgo.ucdavis.edu/endo/lecture/metProNit.htm) The physiological consequences of long fasts are very similar to those during a period of starvation for a homeless or anorexic person. According to George True, the body can�t tell the difference between a spiritual fast and starvation. It reacts the same way regardless because it simply is not getting enough food. He quotes Barrett, a board member of the national Council Against Health Fraud, Inc.: "A prolonged fast can lead to anemia, impairment of liver function, kidney stones, mineral imbalances, and other undesirable side effects. Deaths due to prolonged fasting have occurred, usually in people who believe this would �purify� their body or cure them of some disease." www.netasia.net/users/truehealth/Fasting.htm.

Once glycogen and fat stores are used up, the body turns amino acids from protein into glucose to supply the brain with energy. Then the fat stores are turned into ketones to supply brain fuel. The body essentially eats away at itself by taking protein from the heart, kidney, liver, and skin. Fasting can slow you down, according to George True. He has evidence from different nutritionists who say that fasting is unnecessary. Because we fast between meals and while sleeping it is not necessary to make ourselves feel weak and sick as well.

The Medical Evidence

There are more than several research studies that illustrate the benefits of fasting. The medical researcher Sir Robert McCarrison discovered patterns of health within the subcontinent of India that correlated with their eating habits. As the nutritive value of their food got progressively worse from north to south, so did the health of the people. He saw that the people in the south ate more processed foods, stripped of their vitamins and minerals, while the people in the north consumed more fruits and vegetables. McCarrison developed an experiment with rats in which he mimicked the groups. He gave different groups of rats varying levels of nutritive foods. After 140 days, the rats with a diet abundant in nutrients were much healthier than the rats with a diet high in poor quality carbohydrates and deficient in protein and other nutrients. His experiments provided a basis for understanding the relationship between nutrition and health, and the need to have the right nutrients, whether fasting or not, in order to sustain healthy living. (Chaitow, Chapter 4)

A Norwegian research study tested fasting on rheumatoid arthritis patients. They found that fasting was an effective treatment, but patients lost the benefits of the fast once they fell back into their normal lifestyle and began eating unhealthy again. In this study the patients took a fast for four weeks and maintained a strict vegetarian diet for a year afterwards. The benefits of the fast included reduction in swollen joints, increased strength, and overall better health. They were still evident at the end of the year. They found that there was a substantial reduction in disease activity as well. The researchers concluded that sustained long-term health benefits result from fasting and keeping a strict diet (Kjeldsen-Kragh).

Hormonal changes are one of the many biochemical changes that takes place during a fast. Most of these changes are unpredictable and depend largely on your state of health at the beginning of the fast. In a study by Kernt et al, they discovered a change in the production of Growth Hormone (GH) by the pituitary gland. This is seen to have a positive role in strengthening the immune system.

These three studies show how important our diet is to our well-being. It effects our growth patterns and the health of our body systems.

The websites I found had an enormous amount of information both for and against the use of fasting as a method of preventative medicine. On the one hand, fasting sounds like a good way to eliminate wastes that have built up in the body for many years. There is research showing that certain ailments have been helped with fasting, but usually when it was later accompanied by a change in diet and lifestyle. Medical literature also shows that the side effects of long-term fasting are potential hazards to health and that change in diet is sufficient without utilizing drastic measures to bring the body back to homeostasis. At first I was convinced that I needed to go on a fast. Cleansing myself sounded much needed and extremely cathartic. But a fast takes at least a couple days of time if you want to do it right, and frankly, as a college student, it�s a crazy notion that I can do without for now.


Archer, J. Fasting Supervision: Is It Necessary? Fasting Journal-Fasting Center International. Found at www.fasting.com/supervision.html.

Bright, B. Seven Basic Steps to Successful Fasting and Prayer.Found at www.ccci.org/7steps/index.html.

Chaitow, L. Diet, Fasting, and Reduction of Disease. Found at www.healthy.net/hwlibrarybooks/chaitow/chap4.htm.

Chaitow, L. Fasting for Health and as an Anti-Aging Strategy- Is it Still Safe? Found at http://www.healthy.net/library/artic...ow/fasting.htm.

Chaitow, L. Fasting, Mono-diets and Raw Food Days.Found at www.healthy.net/library/books/chaitow/chap13.htm.

Haas, E. Fasting. Found at http://www.healthy.net/hwlibrarybook...ox/fasting.htm.

Kernt, P. et al, �Fasting: the history, pathophysiology, and complications" Western Journal of Medicine (1982) 137:379-99

Kjeldsen-Kragh, J. et al, �Controlled trial of fasting and one-year vegetarian diet in Rheumatoid Arthritis� Lancet (1991) 899-904.

NaturalDoc: Fasting and Health Vacations. Found at www.naturaldoc.com/.

Protein and Nitrogen Homeostasis. Found at http://medtstgo.ucdavis.edu/endo/lecture/metProNit.htm

True, G.N. How Fasting Can Slow You Down. Found at www.netasia.net/users/truehealth/Fasting.htm.


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04-20-2008, 04:46 PM
I could google 'health problems with fasting' and get some results too :)

Abdul Fattah
04-20-2008, 04:57 PM
Originally Posted by Nerd
I could google 'health problems with fasting' and get some results too :)
Yeah but the results would be insignificant, because the ruling says that as soon as your health is endangered you have to stop fasting.

04-20-2008, 05:02 PM
Originally Posted by Nerd
I could google 'health problems with fasting' and get some results too :)
I thought that is what you already did in your original attempt quote from some lonely article??

therein lies the difference, can you use your brains to filter through crap and form a well-informed thought, or do you enjoy cutting and pasting? my articles are to merely show that for every orphan article that you deem scientific and significant, I can find 10.. but I can also sit here and write endlessely of how the body breaks down carbohydrates and other sugars through a series of reactions to pyruvic acid or lactic acid and releases energy for the body in the form of ATP, I can sit and write of gluconeogenesis, I can write of the cleavage of a glucose monomers in a fasting state, I can write of fatty Acid synthesis.. I can write of any lonely amino acid entering a biosynthetic pathway to yeild a form of energy even if very prolonged fasting...

Do/did you have a point with your original cut and paste?


04-20-2008, 05:21 PM
If you read through that, you would notice the date on which it was presented "18th April 2008" ... fairly recent past I suppose as opposed to the cut and pastes that you have up there... and it might have been something of interest to discuss about... like the Islamic rulings surrounding the act of fasting etc... like Abdul Fattah has mentioned

Guess the collective Muslim psyche is too temperamental as it keenly takes offense in anything that contradicts, negates or criticizes its faith...

Abdul Fattah
04-20-2008, 05:28 PM
Yes and we all know how the newest article out there is always the most correct. Oh btw, that means that this post defeats your post, since this one is posted after yours post was posted. ^_^
Just kidding, but surely you see the flaw in your reasoning, right? I suggest we judge arguments by their own strength and not by who said them or when.

04-20-2008, 05:30 PM
Originally Posted by Nerd
If you read through that, you would notice the date on which it was presented "18th April 2008" ... fairly recent past I suppose as opposed to the cut and pastes that you have up there...
Again, as inconsequential as doing a study on Niemann-Pick disease or Canavan disease in the Purepecha Indians as opposed to Ashkenazi Jews...

and it might have been something of interest to discuss about... like the Islamic rulings surrounding the act of fasting etc... like Abdul Fattah has mentioned
Sure let's discuss it... I'd like to know what kind of study this was?
Non-randomised? Observational? Open label? Prospective observational? Randomized controlled? was there a Selection bias? what kind of population was used in the study? what is the Statistical significance in the scheme of 1.6 billion Muslims? what is the P value? relative risk? what are the Confounding factors?

Guess the collective Muslim psyche is too temperamental as it keenly takes offense in anything that contradicts, negates or criticizes its faith...
that seems to me more like an adequate assessment of the 'kaffir psyche' who fancies himself scientific ergo a google search, and the rest as bucolic country oafs.

try harder next time ..


04-20-2008, 05:39 PM
The study was conducted in Iran. Of course people are more likely to become dehydrated.

Generally speaking, fasting is not bad for your health, and if it becomes bad for your health, Muslims are instructed not to fast. Feeling sick or faint while fasting? Break your fast. Vomiting while fasting? Break your fast. Wounded and losing blood while fasting? Break your fast. And bandage that thing pronto.

It's fairly simple, and only Islamaphobes or people unfamiliar with the Islamic rules pertaining to Ramadan tend to put too fine a point on it. I hope your 'Muslim psyche' comment was tongue-in-cheek, since people in the former group tend to get kicked off this site and back to Faith Freedom from whence they came. I'm not taking offence, I'm being ironic and post-modern.

04-20-2008, 05:54 PM
fasting may have some risks, but the benifits far outweigh the risks.

Obesity is a major cause of many types of illness and deseases, and fasting helps one to keep their diet under control. It also teaches one patience, emapthy and sympathy [for the poor and hungry] thus makes them a better human being. It also helps one refrain from sins [as Muslims who fast, give up most types of sins]; sins which are potentially damaging to one's physical and sycological health [sins such as smoking, fornication, adultery, etc]

Everything that Allah has enjoined, has more benifits than harm in it, and everything that Allah has forbidden, has more harm than benifits in it and that is a fact. :statisfie


04-20-2008, 06:05 PM
[QUOTE=Muezzin;930192]The study was conducted in Iran. Of course people are more likely to become dehydrated.

The kidneys are able to osmoregulate to concentrate or dilute urine according to the body's needs with a remarkable ability in the healthy individual.. you want to talk about a very brilliant system that starts in the brain (ADH) all the way to the glomerular apparatus that is a magnificent read right there.. If I had more time I'd delve into it.. I have my doubts about the so-called article from isfahan...


04-20-2008, 06:19 PM
anti-diuretic hormone secreted by the pitutary glands of the brain regulates osmotic potential within a human body.... and water is retained back according to the needs of the body etc etc... well the whole point of posting about the study over here was to discuss to validate or invalidate the points posed in the study and more ever it's relevance to the annual fasting that Muslim's observe during the month of Ramadan... as you can see, they have drawn directly proportional correlation between the number of CVST cases and fasting... which am not defending as valid or invalid

04-20-2008, 06:33 PM
People claim to have cured their cancer by fasting.
Fasting during daylight and eating like crazy during the night can be that healthy though. I heard quite a lot of people gain weight during the ramadan.

Oh yeah, what's the ruling on people who happen to find themselves on either of the poles during the ramdan?

Abdul Fattah
04-20-2008, 07:13 PM
Originally Posted by Nerd
anti-diuretic hormone secreted by the pitutary glands of the brain regulates osmotic potential within a human body.... and water is retained back according to the needs of the body etc etc...
1. How long does one need to fast before this takes in effect?
2. How long after it starts does this become problematic?

well the whole point of posting about the study over here was to discuss to validate or invalidate the points posed in the study and more ever it's relevance to the annual fasting that Muslim's observe during the month of Ramadan...
If that's true, then you should have written a more careful opening posts, yours was very condemning and self-assured. Not the kind of posts that says: "lets discus to validate or invalidate the points posed in the study"

Originally Posted by Nerd
as you can see, they have drawn directly proportional correlation between the number of CVST cases and fasting... which am not defending as valid or invalid
You should keep into account that people don't always fast in the way it is supposed to (like eat before fadr). Either way the correlation is a slippery slope. For example, during ramadan people tend to eat together more. When this eating together is done in places with questionable hygiene, this may result in an increase of meningitis (still a risk factor in mid-east) which in turn can explain the increase of CVST. Other known contributors that pose a risk factor, such as thrombophilia are actually genetic, not diet-induced. Not to mention that due to the relatively small cases of CVST that are unaccounted for (not due to meningitis for example) I'd say the statistics are easily dismisable.

04-21-2008, 12:08 AM
I totally agree the intro was a bit.. ok really rude... but that sorta start is more provocative and gives that extra push for people to make a good argument for or against :P

04-21-2008, 12:16 AM
as for the anti-diuretic hormone... errr it is naturally present in all human beings... its a part of the natural osmo-regulation... whenever there is drop in water in-take, this hormone is secreted and it would help retain most of the water that be lost otherwise in the urine... (basically it makes your urine more concentrated - more Yellowish)... I think this hormone and its effects were thrown in to the discussion by one of the members here...

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