liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Fasting Odds and Ends

semi-scientific arguments against fasting

fasting may help prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Nutr Rev. 2003 Oct;61(10):327-41.
Ketones: metabolism's ugly duckling.
VanItallie TB, Nufert TH.
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, 10025, USA.


Ketones were first discovered in the urine of diabetic patients in the mid-19th century; for almost 50 years thereafter, they were thought to be abnormal and undesirable by-products of incomplete fat oxidation. In the early 20th century, however, they were recognized as normal circulating metabolites produced by liver and readily utilized by extrahepatic tissues. In the 1920s, a drastic "hyperketogenic" diet was found remarkably effective for treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in children. In 1967, circulating ketones were discovered to replace glucose as the brain's major fuel during the marked hyperketonemia of prolonged fasting. Until then, the adult human brain was thought to be entirely dependent upon glucose. During the 1990s, diet-induced hyperketonemia was found therapeutically effective for treatment of several rare genetic disorders involving impaired neuronal utilization of glucose or its metabolic products. Finally, growing evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction and reduced bioenergetic efficiency occur in brains of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Because ketones are efficiently used by mitochondria for ATP generation and may also help protect vulnerable neurons from free radical damage, hyperketogenic diets should be evaluated for ability to benefit patients with PD, AD, and certain other neurodegenerative disorders.

PMID: 14604265 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Human brain likes ketones, rat brain different

J Inherit Metab Dis. 2005;28(2):109-21.
Cerebral ketone body metabolism.
Morris AA.
Willink Biochemical Genetics Unit, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Hospital Road, Pendlebury, Manchester, M27 4HA, UK.


Ketone bodies (KBs) are an important source of energy for the brain. During the neonatal period, they are also precursors for the synthesis of lipids (especially cholesterol) and amino acids. The rate of cerebral KB metabolism depends primarily on the concentration in blood; high concentrations occur during fasting and on a high-fat diet. Cerebral KB metabolism is also regulated by the permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which depends on the abundance of monocarboxylic acid transporters (MCT1). The BBB's permeability to KBs increases with fasting in humans. In rats, permeability increases during the suckling period, but human neonates have not been studied. Monocarboxylic acid transporters are also present in the plasma membranes of neurons and glia but their role in regulating KB metabolism is uncertain. Finally, the rate of cerebral KB metabolism depends on the activities of the relevant enzymes in brain. The activities vary with age in rats, but reliable results are not available for humans. Cerebral KB metabolism in humans differs from that in the rat in several respects. During fasting, for example, KBs supply more of the brain's energy in humans than in the rat. Conversely, KBs are probably used more extensively in the brain of suckling rats than in human neonates. These differences complicate the interpretation of rodent studies. Most patients with inborn errors of ketogenesis develop normally, suggesting that the only essential role for KBs is as an alternative fuel during illness or prolonged fasting. On the other hand, in HMG-CoA lyase deficiency, imaging generally shows asymptomatic white-matter abnormalities. The ability of KBs to act as an alternative fuel explains the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet in GLUT1 deficiency, but its effectiveness in epilepsy remains unexplained.

PMID: 15877199 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

schizophrenics have more ketones in their urine 1952

A.M.A. Arch Neurol Psychiatry. 1952;68(4):506-509.

ABNORMALITIES in the production of ketone bodies have been studied in patients with mental disease for over 60 years. Ketonuria has been found by a number of investigators1; more important are observations showing that the rate of formation of ketone bodies is abnormally high in schizophrenia.1d,f The blood ketone-bodyconcentration has not been investigated so thoroughly. Freudenberg and Fine2 found that blood ketones were increased in two of five schizophrenic patients studied; Greving3reported abnormal increases during exercise. In a more recent study, Hinkle and associates4 reported increases in blood ketones in normal and diabetic subjects after mental stress, while Sargent and Consolazio5 observed ketonuria in normal subjects in conditions of stress.
Kitay, JI, Blood Ketone Concentration in Patients with Mental and Emotional Disorders, A.M.A. Arch Neurol Psychiatry. 1952;68(4):506-509.

a case of euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis in a depressed type I diabetic who stopped eating
dx criteria for DKA includes serum glucose >250mg/dl but they use the term here anyway

“The best of all medicines is resting and fasting”
~Benjamin Franklin


“What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are for the inner.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

Alex Shalman on practical personal development
this guy is pretty right on, I might read more of him


Spiritual Fasting
for Christians

Paul Bragg, one of the fathers of the holistic health movement, expressed this phenomenon simply: ‘‘The greatest discovery by modern man (woman) is the power to rejuvenate physically, mentally, and Spiritually with rational fasting."

Fasting in the bible

Some Examples of Fasting in the Bible

Old Testament
Moses fasted 40 days on behalf of Israel’s sin: Deuteronomy 9:9, 18, 25-29; 10:10.
David fasted and mourned the death of Saul: 2 Samuel 1:12.
David fasted and mourned the death of Abner: 2 Samuel 3:35.
David fasted and mourned the death of his child: 2 Samuel 12:16.
Elijah fasted 40 days after fleeing from Jezebel: 1 Kings 19:7-18.
Ahab fasted and humbled himself before God: 1 Kings 21:27-29.
Darius fasted in concern for Daniel: Daniel 6:18-24.
Daniel fasted on behalf of Judah's sin while reading Jeremiah’s prophecy: Daniel 9:1-19.
Daniel fasted regarding a mysterious vision from God: Daniel 10:3-13.
Esther fasted on behalf of her people: Esther 4:13-16.
Ezra fasted and wept for the sins of the returning remnant: Ezra 10:6-17.
Nehemiah fasted and mourned over the broken walls of Jerusalem: Nehemiah 1:4-2:10.
The people of Ninevah fasted after hearing the message of Jonah: Jonah 3.
New Testament
Anna fasted for the redemption of Jerusalem through the coming Messiah: Luke 2:37.
Jesus fasted 40 days before his temptation and the beginning of his ministry: Matthew 4:1-11.
The disciples of John the Baptist fasted: Matthew 9:14-15.
The elders in Antioch fasted before sending off Paul and Barnabas: Acts 13:1-5.
Cornelius fasted and sought God’s plan of salvation: Acts 10:30.
Paul fasted three day fast after his Damascus Road encounter: Acts 9:9.
Paul fasted 14 days while at sea on a sinking ship: Acts 27:33-34.

Dharma healing community


not a bad article on the daily beast
Tags: diabetes, fasting, metabolism, religion

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