I am doing further research on the subject of repairing the body on a cellular level and the how fasting can play a huge role in it. Today I will see my doctor again as a follow up to a prior visit and most likely any help that can, or will be extended, will be in the form of harsh pharmaceuticals only. Not my gig, but I with little choices and running out of time, I will have to do what needs to be done. The last straw for me now is the subject of fasting and what happens to the body. I will quote an article by Christian Coulson from 2020.
Fasting is not only for weight loss but also autophagy, something I never even heard of before and here is a closer look to what happens to us during the fast.
The Fed State (0-6 hours) After having your last meal, blood glucose levels rise. The increase will promote insulin secretion and stimulate protein synthesis as a signal to move glucose into the cell to be used as energy. The excess glucose will then be stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. The liver will store glycogen to reduce blood glucose and have energy during times of low food availability. The liver, however, can only store around 100g of glycogen and the excess is stored as fat.
The postabsorptive stage (6-24 hours) after 6 hours, blood glucose levels start to decrease, this leads to a decrease in insulin and an increase in glucagon, furthermore, the liver breaks down glycogen into glucose to be used as energy. When there is no intake of glucose, glucagon will serve to move glycogen stores as well as to prevent fatty acid synthesis.
Gluconeogenic stage (1-2 days) After 24 hours, you’ve used most of your glycogen stores. Consequently, your body starts transitioning from using glucose to using fat for energy. However, due to fats being difficult to access and be delivered where needed, this transition can take some time. Meanwhile, your body breaks down amino acids into glucose for energy in a process called gluconeogenesis.
Ketonic stage (2-3 days) One of the stages of fasting is the ketonic stage. At this point, your body starts entering ketosis. The decrease in insulin serves as a signal of low energy availability and promotes the break down of fats for energy. Fats are broken down into three fatty acids and glycerol. Fatty acids will be used as energy by most tissues. Glycerol, on the other hand, will be used to produce glucose, since some other tissues, such as the brain and red blood cells still need it.
Protein conservation (4+ days) After day four, your body relies mostly on fatty acids and ketones for energy. It also releases Hugh amounts of human growth hormone to maintain tissues and muscle mass.
Depending on how big your last meal was, you can expect to start burning fat after fasting for 6-24 hours. For most people, it ends up being around 12 hours. When you enter a fasted state, your body can burn the stored fat that it couldn’t access during the fed state. Here is a more in depth look
4-8 hours. Blood sugar and insulin levels drop.
12 hours. Food eaten has most likely been burned, digestive system starts resting, body begins the healing process, human growth hormone (HGH) increases, and glucagon is released to balance blood sugar.
14 hours. HGH keeps increasing and body begins to burn fat as energy.
16 hours. Fat burning increases.
18 hours. HGH increases even more.
18-20 hours. Autophagy starts to kick in and ketones are released.
36 hours. Autophagy increases by 300%.
48 hours. Cellular regeneration starts, and inflammation starts going down. Autophagy increases 30% more.
72 hours. Autophagy peaks.
Autophagy stands for cellular regeneration. During fasting, since you are not eating, your body is not getting enough nutrients. The lack of nutrients will force your body to break down old proteins and cells to get energy. Basically, autophagy forces your body to clean out the old, unwanted, and unneeded cells, as well as recycling and fixing damaged parts. During the period of refeeding, your body then starts creating new cells. Many people use fasting and autophagy to prevent cancer by destroying old cells.
All in all it sounds like a great opportunity to explore for me. Not only for getting a few extra pounds off and weight loss, but mainly to follow my theory on the subject to “Fix the cell to be well.” I think it is worth a try and I will definitely give it the green light.