आरोग्य रहने के लिए उपवास करें Intermittent Fasting Improves Health

Author : Dr. P. D.GUPTA

Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India


Fasting   means to ‘cover’ the mouth and take in nothing eatable. It is the process of abstaining from consumption of solid food, sometimes even liquids which are considered as complete food such as milk. Religious scriptures describe the process of fasting as a medium to make us realize the fragility of our existence and how much we depend on things beyond ourselves for survival. Food is considered as third essential item, first being air and second is water.

However, in the medical literature, the effects of fasting have been highly debated. Some scientists believe and propagate depriving the human body of the food, which is responsible for production of energy in the body, causes weakness and fatigue. On the other hand, recent scientific researchers have concluded that abstaining from meals for a certain period of time can actually help in regeneration of the immune system in human body!

Far from being a potential hazard for health which many label it as, fasting has been proved in recent studies to boost the immune system and regenerate it entirely. In a series of scientific reports our research group had published and put forth evidence for beneficial effects of fasting. As remarkable as it sounds, it is an exercise that is absolutely cost free and saving money too. Even intermittent fasting, for a small period of 8-10 hours, can prove to be beneficial for the overall health of the body. To evaluate the history of mankind, in ancient times regular meals were not accessible. Food was eaten when available, rest of the times were spent on an involuntary fasting. Until a prey was caught for meals, our ancestors went for long without the food. Therefore our system is tuned for fasting.

The person who observes fast periodically lived healthier life. This hypothesis (concept) is not new. Our Rishis in adverse seasons of the year (when the chances of infection is more) used to give up food in order to avoid “Food Poisoning”. When the person is not having food, the all the systems in the body function to conserve energy stores of the body by recycling the unwanted immune cells of the body, majorly the damaged ones, and saving energy. This decrease in the number of white blood cells triggers the stem cells (Stem cells are the body's raw materials — cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated. Under the right conditions in the body or a laboratory, stem cells divide to form more cells called daughter cells) to form new immune cells. (The author has his own study and views)