Will a 3 day fast reboot your immune system?

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HOUSTON, TX – An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? That old proverb may be replaced by a 3 day fast can reboot your system.

This comes from an article published in the journal Cell Stem Cell by scientists at the University of Southern California who say fasting for just 3 days can regenerate your entire immune system.

“There’s some things that look promising but on the other hand there are things that are concerning,” says Dr. Anneliese Gonzalez at UTHealth/ Memorial Hermann.

When you fast or starve yourself, your body’s stem cells kick into overdrive and produce new white blood cells which fight infection. By mass producing new cells, the body regenerates its immune system.

That sounds great but Dr. Gonzalez says, “This study was done primarily in mice so we can’t really extrapolate all of that to human at this point. As a doctor it’s hard to recommend to fast. I think it’s – people are doing it, and it may not cause significant harm but you have to be very careful about it if you’re going to do it. I will not recommend it.”

The doc says people battling advanced cancer should not try fasting.

“Fasting in that situation can really make the treatments more difficult and can really harm the patient.”

So a 3 day fast might reboot your system; but it also might just make you really hungry.