Fasting could offer protection from chemotherapy effects

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Fasting could offer protection from chemotherapy effects

Postby rainer » Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:22 pm

I wonder if this approach would make chemo more or less effective for MS. How immune cells are effected by starvation I guess is the real question.

A new study is suggesting that short-term fasting could help protect cancer patients against the effects of chemotherapy.

Scientists from the University of Southern California have found in experiments with mice that fasting strengthens healthy cells but not cancer cells, and they are optimistic such strategies could be employed to improve cancer treatment.

Chemotherapy has many side-effects because the drugs also kill healthy body cells and scientists have long been searching for ways to improve the body's defences against the drugs because one of the many side-effects of chemotherapy is that the powerful drugs also kill healthy body cells.

The researchers led by Dr. Valter Longo, found that a short period of fasting deprived healthy cells of oxygen, causing them to enter an emergency mode that made them highly resistant to stress.

But this did not apply to cancer cells and when they were deprived of oxygen they became more vulnerable to drugs than the normal cells.

This means in theory that more powerful and effective doses of cancer treatment could be used without harming patients.
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