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Fasting is considered extreme by many people. But did you know that our biology is built to survive periods of scarcity. In ancient times, times of abundance often alternated with scarcity. It was very common to eat nothing or less for extended periods of time. Probably our ancestors, like extant hunter-gatherer tribes, ate 1, sometimes 2 twice a day. Our genes knew how to survive in conditions with very little food, for as long as possible. We now call the absence of food fasting. During periods of fasting, the body searches within itself for energy. It gets this energy from our body fat (ketosis) and by recycling cells (autophagy) which releases proteins, among other things. Fasting thereby provides maintenance and repair to the cells and our internal systems. Due to their natural living conditions, our distant ancestors were accustomed to switching between burning glucose or fat as their primary fuel and naturally performed major maintenance on their bodies from time to time due to the absence of constant nutrition. Further in time, fasting is practiced in many cultures and religions. However, the performance of such rituals has been modified, relaxed or abandoned over the centuries.


In modern times, three meals with snacks and evening snacks is quite normal. Unfortunately, under pressure from the food industry, it is still promoted worldwide to have all those meal times in a day. Keep in mind that this is mainly beneficial for the revenue of this industry. Today, we eat from the moment we get up until we go to sleep. We also feed ourselves on mostly carbohydrate-rich, processed foods. Therefore, fat reserves hardly need to be tapped, as there is always glucose available. As a result, most people are constantly in the metabolic state of glucose burning. Because of this, we never actually fast for more than 12 hours, our system no longer has sufficient opportunity to carry out the recovery necessary for optimal health. Thus, it is more stressful for our bodies to always have to process nutrition than to fast occasionally. Fortunately, the health care industry is gaining an increasing understanding that our Western way of eating underlies many of our diseases of affluence. Also read Fasting for your health.


Just a brief explanation. Initially, we use glucose as a fuel. The body makes glucose in the liver by converting carbohydrates into usable glucose molecules. The liver can store a supply of glucose just like the muscles. If you eat more carbohydrates than the liver can process and store then these glucose molecules are converted into fat that is stored in the fat reserves. This is the fat responsible for obesity, fatty liver and cardiovascular disease, but that is another chapter. Imagine not eating any carbohydrates for a while. Then the stored reserves of sugars are consumed first. After 24-48 hours, these reserves are depleted and the body looks for an alternative fuel. This fuel is the fat we have stored in our bodies. Using fat as fuel releases ketones that is why we call using fat as fuel, being in ketosis. So energy in fasting comes from fat reserves and most people have enough body fat to survive for a long time. Ketosis can help your health and also works positively for ms and type two diabetes, among others. So what seems extreme at first, is all actually very natural and healthy for our bodies. However, it is very important to measure your ketones regularly (or have them measured).


These are very technical and complicated processes that are explained in condensed form below:

  • Ketones: the production of ketones begins as soon as sugar reserves are depleted after about 24/48 hours. As soon as you measure ketones you know you have switched to fat burning. This will continue throughout the duration of the fast and often for a few days after.
  • Detoxing: Fat cells often store toxic substances. Once you start burning fat cells, these substances are released. This can cause symptoms because these toxins need to be disposed of. The degree of detoxing will vary for everyone depending on the amount of stored toxins.
  • Autophagy: is a recycling process of proteins within the cell. This process basically always takes place to a greater or lesser extent depending on your lifestyle. And precisely because of our lifestyle this happens too little. Fasting and FMD activate autophagy. When the real clearing of the cells starts, there is no simple answer, but somewhere between 16 and 72 hours this important process starts to do its work on a larger scale. Again the degree depends on various factors such as protein from food, degree of sports and exercise, stress, healthy sleep, etc..
  • And then after 72 hours the stem cells begin to regenerate, more on that later.
This Italian-born professor has been researching calorie restriction and fasting in the USA for decades as an intervention in aging processes at the cellular level and as a remedy for various diseases. He developed the fasting micking diet as an alternative to the difficult 72-hour water fast. A diet that is easier to apply, to which physicians have less resistance and thus accessible to more patients. A small-scale study was done with ms patients with very nice results. I understand that a large study is now being started in the Netherlands as well. Valter Longo is working closely with, among others, Prof. Hanno Pijl of LUMC in Leiden.
Several studies have been ongoing for years. Diseases under the microscope include MS, Parkinson's, alzheimer's, rheumatism, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and various cancers. With the exception of ms, the results have not yet been published but are very promising. Brief summary of the research in ms: The ms patients follow a fasting mimicking diet of three days a week over a duration of three months. The study shows increased production of myelin and an increase in the number of healthy cells (white blood bodies). The improvements are associated with increased corticosterone levels and T cells combined with lower levels of pro-inflammatory cells. In parallel with fasting, the ketogenic diet is being investigated. Both are effective but the FMD shows more improvements. The study reports that both diets are safe to do under supervision. The good results of these initial studies have made it possible to expand the studies. Perhaps in the near future this diet could be prescribed by your doctor as a treatment method for ms. However, it is not that far off yet.
Stem cells are much discussed in relation to ms. They are cells that are diseased and damaged in ms patients. Stem cells are very important in keeping your body functioning and healthy they can multiply themselves and form new tissue cells such as brain cells, blood cells, muscle cells, etc. Therefore, our stem cells also offer the ability to restore the immune system and repair damage done by diseases such as ms. You have probably read about stem cell therapy. A difficult and not without risk but hopeful treatment that is not yet performed in the Netherlands. You can be cured of ms thanks to stem cell therapy. More and more of our fellow sufferers travel to Sweden and Russia to undergo this very expensive treatment at their own expense. Stem cells play an important role in recovery from ms. Unlike stem cell therapy where stem cells are replaced, there are ways to promote stem cell recovery and this can be done by fasting.
Professor Valter Longo talks about Stem Cell Regeneration in his interviews. He indicates that with periodic fasting and MFD you can influence the health of your cells and stem cells in particular. This would involve a 5-day cycle of FMD to achieve the same effect as a 73-hour water fast. But what exactly happens to the cells? The white blood cells (T cells) in ms (and several autoimmune diseases) are responsible for the challenged auto immune responses due to a defect. In ms, the immune system reacts disturbed by attacking the body's own cells. Now comes the!!!! During fasting, the body clears about 40% of these diseased white blood cells (T-cells). During a fast period of at least 72 hours (120 hours FMD), it appears that stem cell regenerationalso occurs. The stem cells come into action, renew themselves and/or ensure that the cleared cells are replaced during the re-feed. This not only improves health and reduces immune responses to various conditions but also rejuvenates your cells. Partly because of this, it seems possible not only to extend life span but also to delay the deterioration of our systems and thus stay healthier until the end of our lives.
After fasting, rebuilding of the broken down cells begins. Rebuilding starts as soon as you start eating again. Eating again (re-feed) is perhaps the most important part of the FMD cycle. The discarded old, diseased, broken cells are now replaced for healthy new cells! The fasting is just the means that takes care of the breakdown and thereby enables the rebuilding of healthy cells. In the studies, the re-feed and the follow-up diet consists of the Mediterranean diet or the longevity diet. It is good to relieve the liver after the fasting period or FMD and put it to work in a dosed manner. First day still no animal protein and do not overeat.
So FMD is a method that mimics long-term periodic fasting of several days. The advantage of this mimick (pretend) is that you do get to eat restricted foods. For the duration of the diet, following a pattern of reduced calorie intake, you eat up to 30% of your normal daily kcal with a maximum of 725 kcal. In the studies, the number of daily kcal is determined by your body weight in kg x 8.6 (equals pounds x 4kcal) It is important to minimize protein, by eating only plant-based foods. Only then will your cells start recycling. This way your body experiences the benefits of a 73-hour water fast, while still being allowed to eat something. The fast lasts for 5 days (120 hours)
Day 1: (transition day) 50% of your calorie intake max 1090kcal. 10% protein (27 grams) 56% fat (68 grams) 34% carbs (93 grams).... Days 2 through 5: 30% of your calorie intake, max of 725kcal. 9% protein (16 grams) (research uses 5%) 44% fat (35 grams) (research uses 60%) 47% carbs (85 grams). (research uses 35%) Stay as low in protein as possible and get it only from plant sources so vegetables (no meat, egg, fish, dairy). That way you can easily get the carbs and not go over that (no fruit, except maybe some berries).
What you can expect is to go into ketosis on day two where your body will detox. As a result, you may experience headaches, nausea and fatigue (ketosis flu). It is then important to replenish your minerals by taking plenty of salts (dissolve a bit of Celtic sea salt in your water=sole) and magnesium. The second day is known as the hardest day. After the second day it will get easier and hunger will decrease. Very important is to drink well at least two liters a day to get the waste products out of the body quickly. How people feel during fasting varies. Everything between fit and lousy occurs. Good to know is that cell breakdown and regeneration can be accompanied by a slight increase in body temperature. Fasting is something your body has to get used to it may be that the first time you stop after three days, no problem do a good re/feed. wait a few weeks and try again. Because if it doesn't go so well the first time, rest assured experienced fasters will go better and easier every next cycle.
NO! fasting longer than 24 hours in any form is not allowed without the guidance of a doctor or expert. People who are underweight or on medication such as diabetes should be extra vigilant and be careful when fasting and certainly not do it on their own. Whether you can handle it is personal and depends on factors such as: how fit are you, what is your motivation, how is your condition, do you have experience with fasting, etc.? Above all, it remains your own choice and responsibility. Valter Longo says the following when asked if you should adopt the method now: if your ms allows you to wait, wait until the fasting mimicking diet is registered as a treatment. If you cannot wait then go and find a doctor who can help and monitor you in this regard.
There are ready-made packages for sale to do 5 days of FMD. Other options are two avocados and a greenpowder supplement (drink). You can also do it with fresh ingredients. With www.myfitnesspal.com you can start calculating a menu. As it turns out, it is not easy to stay within the protein allowance. It is therefore quite a puzzle to arrive at the green soup recipe and achieve the highest possible nutritional value. You can use the green soup with dinner for all 5 days. For breakfast you can take bulletproof coffee as a base initially but if your ketones get too high you can take it in vegetables instead of the fats in the coffee. Lunch is a vegetable soup based on mixed stir-fry vegetables. The advantage of mixed vegetables is that you get a wide variety of nutrients and can also expect a more consistent protein intake which in turn lowers the risk of too much protein. Easy about a set menu is that you can prepare the whole thing ahead of time and freeze it in portions. Nothing is said about supplements by Valter Longo but good advice from a doctor or expert therapist is definitely recommended.
kcal carb. fats protein Breakfast 2 cup coffee 0 0 0 0 coconut oil 135 0 15 0 grass-fed butter 75 0 8 0 subtotal 210 23Lunch Sambal oelek 10gr 5 1 0 0 Vegetable broth z.yeast (Rapunzel) 300ml 18 1 1 0 Olive oil 10gr 90 0 10 0 Stir-fried vegetables Italian ah 100gr 31 5 0 1 Stir-fried vegetables Mushrooms ah 100gr 33 5 0 2 subtotal 177 12 11 3Dinner Green soup 1 serving 150 12 8 7 Blueberry Frozen, 50gr 22 4 0 0 subtotal 172 16 8 7Day total 559 28 42 10  
kcal carb. fats protein Breakfast 2 cup coffee 0 0 0 0 0 Coconut oil 10gr 90 0 10 0 stir-fried vegetables Ah Dutch 200g 54 7 0 2 Provencal herbs tl 3 0 0 1 Blueberry Frozen, 50gr 22 4 0 0 subtotal 169 11 10 3Lunch Sambal oelek 10gr 5 1 0 0 Vegetable broth z.yeast (Rapunzel) 300ml 18 1 1 0 Olive oil 10gr 90 0 10 0 Stir-fried vegetables Italian ah 100gr 31 5 0 1 Stir-fried vegetables Mushrooms ah 100gr 33 5 0 2 subtotal 177 12 11 3Dinner Green soup 1 serving 150 12 8 7 Blueberry Frozen, 50gr 22 4 0 0 subtotal 172 16 8 7Daily total 518 39 29 13RECEPT GREEN SOEP for 6 servings a 150 kcal 600 gr, Broccoli in florets 200 gr, Fresh Kale 200 gr, Spinach 300 gr. Celery 200 gr Onion 3 st garlic For 1500 ml, Clear Broth Powder Without Yeast (Rapunzel) Salt Pepper to taste 25 grams, Ginger 25 Gr., Red Peppers 5 grams, Provencal Spices 36 g, Coconut oil All ingredients stir-fry and cook in the broth then blend. Note add broth powder for 1.5 liters and 1 liter of water. While blending, add more liquid if necessary. sources: https://www.google.com/patents/US20150004280 https://www.nationaalmsfonds.nl/onderzoek/veelbesproken-onderzoeken/stamcelonderzoek

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