- If cars can be fixed, why not us?
- Why you don’t have to get rusty, stiff and slow as you get older – here are ways to turn back the clock
- How to put your body into repair mode
Remember when you could fix your own car?
It was in the days before cars became big moulded plastic shells around clusters of microchips. It’s usually ‘electrical problems’ these days, not mechanical ones.
When I was a kid the Dad and son from the family next door were always out tinkering with their car….
One had his head permanently shoved under the bonnet while the other was under the wheels, the stink of oil and petrol everywhere, chart hits blasting from a paint-splattered radio.
I have to admit, I’m no mechanic. (I can hear my wife cackling about this already!).
But I’ve always loved the idea that you could take an old car and keep making it anew, refreshing the faulty parts, clearing out the rust, giving it new oil, polishing the metalwork.
With a bit of TLC, a car could be eternally young.
Not so for we humans, right?
We’re made of fragile bone, flesh, cartilage, hormones and fragile cells… and everything decays!
The general narrative is that we get older, rustier, stiffer and slower… and there’s nothing we can do about it.
In other words…
Buckle up, we’re all heading to the trash heap!
But if you’re been reading The People’s Doctor for the past year or two, you’ll know that this isn’t quite true.
I’ve shown you quite a few ‘inevitable’ signs of ageing that aren’t so inevitable – if you know what you’re doing and are willing to take some action.
For example –
- A Chinese study has found that men who had an hour’s nap each day kept their brains from ageing by five whole years! Click here to read my article.
- According to a study in the journal Cell Metabolism According to a study in the journal Cell Metabolism’ Click here to read my article. ’ scientists have discovered a natural compound called NMN which stops the signs of ageing, restores energy and reverses metabolic dysfunction in the skeletal muscles, heart, liver and blood lipids.
- Recent research published in Molecular Recent research published in Molecular & Find out why… & Cellular Proteomics has suggested that when you cut calories it slows down the protein makers in your cells, known as ribosomes. This decrease slows down the ageing process.
- A lot of symptoms of old age like restless legs, cramps, tiredness, dizziness, poor memory and anxiety are actually symptoms of a magnesium deficiency. Click here for more details.
There is one thing you can start doing that a lot of experts now believe is beneficial – though it remains controversial.
How fasting can help you repair yourself
Almost a year ago I wrote to you about fasting.
And not because of its weight loss powers…
Yes, fasting CAN help you control your weight.
But like any diet it comes with the risk of relapse…
In May this year a year-long study of fasting showed that while fasting helps you lose weight it’s no better than, say, a calorie-controlled diet.
However, back in July I wasn’t talking about fasting for weight loss but for healing your brain. For instance…
- Fasting boosts the levels of catecholamines in your brain helping you feel happier and less anxious or depressed.
- Fasting boosts your levels of BNF a protein which helps your brain with memory and learning.
- Fasting turns self-control into a habit that, over time, will boost your confidence.
But there’s another even more powerful benefit to fasting…
There’s a pile of evidence that shows it can put your whole body into a form of ‘repair mode’.
You see fasting can causes something known as ‘neuronal autophagy’. This is a phenomenon where your brain cells recycle waste materials and repair broken connections.
And not only your brain….
Autophagy can happen throughout your WHOLE BODY.
After about 12 hours of not eating, your starving cells begin to burn up damaged proteins, clear up tumours and rid themselves viruses. It’s a form of waste disposal!
This is why, done regularly, fasting can lower your levels of inflammation, replace damaged DNA, charge up your immune system and protect your cells from attack.
A really encouraging study…
Last year a study published in the journal ‘Cancer Cell’ suggested that, along with chemotherapy, a fasting diet helps the immune system attack breast cancer and skin cancer cells.
Valter Longo, professor and director of the USC Longevity Institute at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology said:
“The mouse study on skin and breast cancers is the first study to show that a diet that mimics fasting may activate the immune system and expose the cancer cells to the immune system.”
So here we have a natural way that anyone can activate their inner repair system.
Even though these are early studies on mice, there’s a lot of positive research piling up that looks very encouraging.
The secret is to put aside a regular fasting period of maybe 12-16 hours each week.
There’s a suggestion that for more serious problems, 1-3 days could be the answer, but this is something you should discuss with a medical professional first.
You can find out more about specific fasting strategies on my blog post here.
But to recap, here are the options.
- ‘Leangains protocol’ –where you fast for 16 hours each day. Eat for a period of 8-10 hours then stop. For instance, a meal at 8am, anther at 12pm and another just before 4 pm. Then stop and don’t eat until 8am.
- The 5:2 Method –eat normally for five days but on two separate days eat only 600 calories (men) and 500 calories (women).
- The 24 hour fast. Choose one day a week in which you don’t eat. Drink coffee, tea, juices and water but that’s it. In other days, eat normally.
The side effect of all this is that you might lose some weight – certainly this kind of eating trains you to cope more easily with hunger pangs and cravings.
But if it goes well, you should notice a reduction in pain along with a generally healthier sense of wellbeing.
See how you get on!
Until next time,