Study Finds Fasting May Help Rebuild Immune System

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Researchers at the University of Southern California believe that fasting for about three days could help rebuild a person's entire immune system.

In a recent study at USC, researchers found that engaging in a prolonged fast -- defined as between 48 and 120 hours -- may provide benefits for the immune system as well as for individuals undergoing chemotherapy. When a person fasts, the study determined, their white blood cell count falls, which researchers say flips a "regenerative switch," triggering regeneration of the immune system by way of stem cells.

The USC study also found that fasting can reduce an enzyme linked to aging and a hormone linked to higher cancer risk.

While the benefits of a three-day fast may sound enticing, anyone considering a fast should talk to a doctor before proceeding.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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