Arizona Advanced Medicine Clinic

Fasting, Caloric Restriction for Treatment of Cancer

Fasting has been advocated for cleansing the mind and the spirit for thousands of years. Jesus of Nazareth is reputed to have fasted for 40 days in the desert. Muslims fast during daylight hours during the month of Ramadan, to commemorate Mohammed’s revelations. Buddhists fast to purify the body and the mind. Are there medical benefits, in addition to spiritual? Scientists are beginning to investigate that possibility.

As it turns out, fasting does have remarkable benefits in the treatment, not only of cancer, but also of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and a multitude of other chronic diseases which plague our modern society.

fasting1Fasting can theoretically inhibit several critical pathways in the development and progression of cancer, while simultaneously rendering malignancies more sensitive to treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.[1]

Fasting increases apoptosis.[2] Apoptosis is a form of cell suicide. Cells are given the signal to shut down their activity, and they do so without creating a lot of fuss or inflammation. It is a natural process, regulated by the body under normal circumstances, which cancer cells manage to evade.

Fasting increases, or potentiates the effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.[3] That means that a brief fast - even as little as one day - before chemotherapy, whether high dose or low dose, will help the chemo to work better. Intermittent fasting is more effective than prolonged calorie reduction, increasing glucose uptake rates and improving sugar metabolism.[4]

fasting3Fasting decreases the levels of IGF-1. IGF-1 is responsible for protecting cells from apoptosis, increasing cancer risk through activation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS) and PI3K.[5] So if IGF-1 levels decrease, there is more apoptosis, more cell death, and less cancer risk.

Fasting inhibits angiogenesis - the growth of new blood vessels.[6] Tumors can only grow to the size of a pinhead - about 0.5 mm - without acquiring a new blood supply. If the tumor cannot attract blood vessels, it stops growing and never causes a problem. Thus, fasting also slows tumor growth.[7]

fasting2

Fasting inactivates a stress-sensing protein called p53.[8] This protein helps to repair DNA when it has been damaged by chemicals or infection. If p53 is defective, or present in insufficient amounts, the organism is more prone to develop cancer. A mutated form of p53 is found in many different types of cancers, including lung, stomach, breast, colon, prostate. The mutant p53 is unable to stop damaged DNA from replicating, the cells continue to mutate, and voilà - cancer develops.

Fasting induces oxidative stress [9] which causes cancer cells to be more vulnerable to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cell death.

fasting4

How long should the fast last?

We know that calorie restriction (decreasing the usual diet by 20% or even 40%) leads to a longer life - at least in animals, who can increase their lifespan by as much as 40%. We are pretty sure that the increase in lifespan relates to decreased levels of a growth hormone called IGF-1 - insulin-like growth factor 1.

We know that high levels of IGF-1 - seen in diabetics, those with metabolic syndrome and obesity - are associated with increased risk of developing cancer. Triple negative breast cancer, among other cancers, is associated with high levels of IGF-1.[10]

Calorie restriction for as long as 6 years does not decrease the IGF-1 levels in humans. However, short term fasting (10 days) markedly reduces serum IGF-1 concentrations.

We know that brief fasting and a plant-based diet decrease the IGF-1 levels in humans.[11]

What does fasting mean? How do you do a fast?

fasting5Carbohydrates (like breads, pasta, potatoes, fruit, processed crackers, chips and sugary protein bars) are the most important nutrient to restrict[7,12,13] Carbohydrates (AKA glucose or sugar) activate the p53 protein. And if that protein is mutant (see above) then it functions poorly and allows the growth of cancer cells because it cannot force them to die.7 Starving cancer cells commit cellular suicide (apoptosis) more easily.[14]

How about animal protein? Is a vegan diet really better? Research has showed that tumor growth is stimulated (at least in rats) with a diet consisting of more than 10% animal protein[15] and repressed if the diet contains less than 5% animal protein or greater than 20% plant protein.[16]

So… one or two meals a week with animal protein should be fine - gives us the vitamin B12 which is also essential to our life – but more than that stimulates tumor growth.[17] To read more about this effect, and the extraordinary benefits of a plant-based diet, check out The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.[18]

Is fasting safe?

Safety is indeed an issue. When we have cancer, we may experience significant weight loss, as the cancer takes hold in our bodies. Even if we don’t have cancer, some of us have so many toxins stored in our fat reserves that we feel pretty gnarly in the first three or four days of a fast, as those toxins are released. Nevertheless, the literature is pretty clear that an insulin inhibiting diet is safe.[19] And there is no more insulin-inhibiting diet than a fast.

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine we recommend some specific vitamins and minerals to help the body detoxify more easily. We also recommend a medical food with complete protein from plant sources, so that we are sure that the body is getting sufficient protein during the juice fast. We monitor you during your fast, to ensure that your body can deal with the toxins which are liberated from your fat stores.

Can’t I reap the benefits of fasting without actually going without food?

Well… there are always drugs. Of course, drugs do not convey quite the same benefits. They do not have the readily absorbable vitamins and minerals present in vegetable juice. Nevertheless, metformin has been found to have some benefits besides regulating blood sugar.

Metformin activates the AMPK pathway - and thus mimics caloric restriction.[20,21] This AMPK pathway controls cell growth, cell metabolism and autophagy (the process whereby a cell digests itself, liberating its materials for the use of the rest of the body).[22] mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is an intracellular nutrient sensor which also controls protein synthesis, cell growth and metabolism. mTOR is inhibited by the AMPK pathway, resulting in increased apoptosis and decreased cell growth.[23]

Some people have travelled too far down the sugary slope to diabetes, and simply need to continue their pharmaceuticals, even if they change their diet. If this is you, then rest assured that metformin not only improves your sensitivity to insulin, but also has positive benefits in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

fasting6

Fast? It’s a great way to lose weight without losing muscle. It’s a great way to get rid of stored toxins without losing energy. But only if it is done sensibly. There is no good reason to feel weak and sick during a fast (except maybe in the first three or four days, if your body has a high toxic load).

Call us at 480-240-2600 to find out whether a medically supervised fast is right for you.


[1] De Lorenzo MS, Baljinnyam E, Vatner DE, Abarzúa P, Vatner SF, Rabson AB. Caloric restriction reduces growth of mammary tumors and metastases. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Sep;32(9):1381-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgr107. [2] Mendivil-Perez M, Jimenez-Del-Rio M, Velez-Pardo C. Glucose starvation induces apoptosis in a model of acute T leukemia dependent on caspase-3 and apoptosis-inducing factor: a therapeutic strategy. Nutr Cancer. 2013 Jan;65(1):99-109. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.741751 [3] Champa CE, Simonea NL et al. Nutrient Restriction and Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment: When Less Is More. Oncologist. 2013;18:97-103. [4] Halberg N, Henriksen M, Söderhamn N, Stallknecht B, Ploug T, Schjerling P, Dela F. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. J Appl Physiol. 2005 Dec;99(6):2128-36. [5] Nogueira LM, Lavigne JA, Chandramouli GV, Lui H, Barrett JC, Hursting SD. Dose-dependent effects of calorie restriction on gene expression, metabolism, and tumor progression are partially mediated by insulin-like growth factor-1. Cancer Med. 2012 Oct;1(2):275-88. doi: 10.1002/cam4.23. [6] Mukherjee P, El-Abbadi MM, Kasperzyk JL, Ranes MK, Seyfried TN. Dietary restriction reduces angiogenesis and growth in an orthotopic mouse brain tumour model. Br J Cancer. 2002 May 20;86(10):1615-21. [7] Caso J, Masko EM, Ii JA, Poulton SH, Dewhirst M, Pizzo SV, Freedland SJ. The effect of carbohydrate restriction on prostate cancer tumor growth in a castrate mouse xenograft model. Prostate. 2012 Oct 4. doi: 10.1002/pros.22586. [8] Rodriguez OC, Choudhury S, Kolukula V, Vietsch EE, Catania J, Preet A, Reynoso K, Bargonetti J, Wellstein A, Albanese C, Avantaggiati ML. Dietary downregulation of mutant p53 levels via glucose restriction: mechanisms and implications for tumor therapy. Cell Cycle. 2012 Dec 1;11(23):4436-46. doi: 10.4161/cc.22778. [9] Faris MA, Hussein RN, Al-Kurd RA, Al-Fararjeh MA, Bustanji YK, Mohammad MK. Impact of ramadan intermittent fasting on oxidative stress measured by urinary 15-f(2t)-isoprostane. J Nutr Metab. 2012;2012:802924. doi: 10.1155/2012/802924.

Fasting increases apoptosis.[2] Apoptosis is a form of cell suicide. Cells are given the signal to shut down their activity, and they do so without creating a lot of fuss or inflammation. It is a natural process, regulated by the body under normal circumstances, which cancer cells manage to evade.

Fasting increases, or potentiates the effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.[3] That means that a brief fast - even as little as one day - before chemotherapy, whether high dose or low dose, will help the chemo to work better. Intermittent fasting is more effective than prolonged calorie reduction, increasing glucose uptake rates and improving sugar metabolism.[4]

fasting3Fasting decreases the levels of IGF-1. IGF-1 is responsible for protecting cells from apoptosis, increasing cancer risk through activation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS) and PI3K.[5] So if IGF-1 levels decrease, there is more apoptosis, more cell death, and less cancer risk.

Fasting inhibits angiogenesis - the growth of new blood vessels.[6] Tumors can only grow to the size of a pinhead - about 0.5 mm - without acquiring a new blood supply. If the tumor cannot attract blood vessels, it stops growing and never causes a problem. Thus, fasting also slows tumor growth.[7]

fasting2

Fasting inactivates a stress-sensing protein called p53.[8] This protein helps to repair DNA when it has been damaged by chemicals or infection. If p53 is defective, or present in insufficient amounts, the organism is more prone to develop cancer. A mutated form of p53 is found in many different types of cancers, including lung, stomach, breast, colon, prostate. The mutant p53 is unable to stop damaged DNA from replicating, the cells continue to mutate, and voilà - cancer develops.

Fasting induces oxidative stress [9] which causes cancer cells to be more vulnerable to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cell death.

fasting4

How long should the fast last?

We know that calorie restriction (decreasing the usual diet by 20% or even 40%) leads to a longer life - at least in animals, who can increase their lifespan by as much as 40%. We are pretty sure that the increase in lifespan relates to decreased levels of a growth hormone called IGF-1 - insulin-like growth factor 1.

We know that high levels of IGF-1 - seen in diabetics, those with metabolic syndrome and obesity - are associated with increased risk of developing cancer. Triple negative breast cancer, among other cancers, is associated with high levels of IGF-1.[10]

Calorie restriction for as long as 6 years does not decrease the IGF-1 levels in humans. However, short term fasting (10 days) markedly reduces serum IGF-1 concentrations.

We know that brief fasting and a plant-based diet decrease the IGF-1 levels in humans.[11]

What does fasting mean? How do you do a fast?

fasting5Carbohydrates (like breads, pasta, potatoes, fruit, processed crackers, chips and sugary protein bars) are the most important nutrient to restrict[7,12,13] Carbohydrates (AKA glucose or sugar) activate the p53 protein. And if that protein is mutant (see above) then it functions poorly and allows the growth of cancer cells because it cannot force them to die.7 Starving cancer cells commit cellular suicide (apoptosis) more easily.[14]

How about animal protein? Is a vegan diet really better? Research has showed that tumor growth is stimulated (at least in rats) with a diet consisting of more than 10% animal protein[15] and repressed if the diet contains less than 5% animal protein or greater than 20% plant protein.[16]

So… one or two meals a week with animal protein should be fine - gives us the vitamin B12 which is also essential to our life – but more than that stimulates tumor growth.[17] To read more about this effect, and the extraordinary benefits of a plant-based diet, check out The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.[18]

Is fasting safe?

Safety is indeed an issue. When we have cancer, we may experience significant weight loss, as the cancer takes hold in our bodies. Even if we don’t have cancer, some of us have so many toxins stored in our fat reserves that we feel pretty gnarly in the first three or four days of a fast, as those toxins are released. Nevertheless, the literature is pretty clear that an insulin inhibiting diet is safe.[19] And there is no more insulin-inhibiting diet than a fast.

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine we recommend some specific vitamins and minerals to help the body detoxify more easily. We also recommend a medical food with complete protein from plant sources, so that we are sure that the body is getting sufficient protein during the juice fast. We monitor you during your fast, to ensure that your body can deal with the toxins which are liberated from your fat stores.

Can’t I reap the benefits of fasting without actually going without food?

Well… there are always drugs. Of course, drugs do not convey quite the same benefits. They do not have the readily absorbable vitamins and minerals present in vegetable juice. Nevertheless, metformin has been found to have some benefits besides regulating blood sugar.

Metformin activates the AMPK pathway - and thus mimics caloric restriction.[20,21] This AMPK pathway controls cell growth, cell metabolism and autophagy (the process whereby a cell digests itself, liberating its materials for the use of the rest of the body).[22] mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is an intracellular nutrient sensor which also controls protein synthesis, cell growth and metabolism. mTOR is inhibited by the AMPK pathway, resulting in increased apoptosis and decreased cell growth.[23]

Some people have travelled too far down the sugary slope to diabetes, and simply need to continue their pharmaceuticals, even if they change their diet. If this is you, then rest assured that metformin not only improves your sensitivity to insulin, but also has positive benefits in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

fasting6

Fast? It’s a great way to lose weight without losing muscle. It’s a great way to get rid of stored toxins without losing energy. But only if it is done sensibly. There is no good reason to feel weak and sick during a fast (except maybe in the first three or four days, if your body has a high toxic load).

Call us at 480-240-2600 to find out whether a medically supervised fast is right for you.


[1] De Lorenzo MS, Baljinnyam E, Vatner DE, Abarzúa P, Vatner SF, Rabson AB. Caloric restriction reduces growth of mammary tumors and metastases. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Sep;32(9):1381-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgr107. [2] Mendivil-Perez M, Jimenez-Del-Rio M, Velez-Pardo C. Glucose starvation induces apoptosis in a model of acute T leukemia dependent on caspase-3 and apoptosis-inducing factor: a therapeutic strategy. Nutr Cancer. 2013 Jan;65(1):99-109. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.741751 [3] Champa CE, Simonea NL et al. Nutrient Restriction and Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment: When Less Is More. Oncologist. 2013;18:97-103. [4] Halberg N, Henriksen M, Söderhamn N, Stallknecht B, Ploug T, Schjerling P, Dela F. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. J Appl Physiol. 2005 Dec;99(6):2128-36. [5] Nogueira LM, Lavigne JA, Chandramouli GV, Lui H, Barrett JC, Hursting SD. Dose-dependent effects of calorie restriction on gene expression, metabolism, and tumor progression are partially mediated by insulin-like growth factor-1. Cancer Med. 2012 Oct;1(2):275-88. doi: 10.1002/cam4.23. [6] Mukherjee P, El-Abbadi MM, Kasperzyk JL, Ranes MK, Seyfried TN. Dietary restriction reduces angiogenesis and growth in an orthotopic mouse brain tumour model. Br J Cancer. 2002 May 20;86(10):1615-21. [7] Caso J, Masko EM, Ii JA, Poulton SH, Dewhirst M, Pizzo SV, Freedland SJ. The effect of carbohydrate restriction on prostate cancer tumor growth in a castrate mouse xenograft model. Prostate. 2012 Oct 4. doi: 10.1002/pros.22586. [8] Rodriguez OC, Choudhury S, Kolukula V, Vietsch EE, Catania J, Preet A, Reynoso K, Bargonetti J, Wellstein A, Albanese C, Avantaggiati ML. Dietary downregulation of mutant p53 levels via glucose restriction: mechanisms and implications for tumor therapy. Cell Cycle. 2012 Dec 1;11(23):4436-46. doi: 10.4161/cc.22778.

fasting3Fasting decreases the levels of IGF-1. IGF-1 is responsible for protecting cells from apoptosis, increasing cancer risk through activation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS) and PI3K.[5] So if IGF-1 levels decrease, there is more apoptosis, more cell death, and less cancer risk.

Fasting inhibits angiogenesis - the growth of new blood vessels.[6] Tumors can only grow to the size of a pinhead - about 0.5 mm - without acquiring a new blood supply. If the tumor cannot attract blood vessels, it stops growing and never causes a problem. Thus, fasting also slows tumor growth.[7]

fasting2

Fasting inactivates a stress-sensing protein called p53.[8] This protein helps to repair DNA when it has been damaged by chemicals or infection. If p53 is defective, or present in insufficient amounts, the organism is more prone to develop cancer. A mutated form of p53 is found in many different types of cancers, including lung, stomach, breast, colon, prostate. The mutant p53 is unable to stop damaged DNA from replicating, the cells continue to mutate, and voilà - cancer develops.

Fasting induces oxidative stress [9] which causes cancer cells to be more vulnerable to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cell death.

fasting4

How long should the fast last?

We know that calorie restriction (decreasing the usual diet by 20% or even 40%) leads to a longer life - at least in animals, who can increase their lifespan by as much as 40%. We are pretty sure that the increase in lifespan relates to decreased levels of a growth hormone called IGF-1 - insulin-like growth factor 1.

We know that high levels of IGF-1 - seen in diabetics, those with metabolic syndrome and obesity - are associated with increased risk of developing cancer. Triple negative breast cancer, among other cancers, is associated with high levels of IGF-1.[10]

Calorie restriction for as long as 6 years does not decrease the IGF-1 levels in humans. However, short term fasting (10 days) markedly reduces serum IGF-1 concentrations.

We know that brief fasting and a plant-based diet decrease the IGF-1 levels in humans.[11]

What does fasting mean? How do you do a fast?

fasting5Carbohydrates (like breads, pasta, potatoes, fruit, processed crackers, chips and sugary protein bars) are the most important nutrient to restrict[7,12,13] Carbohydrates (AKA glucose or sugar) activate the p53 protein. And if that protein is mutant (see above) then it functions poorly and allows the growth of cancer cells because it cannot force them to die.7 Starving cancer cells commit cellular suicide (apoptosis) more easily.[14]

How about animal protein? Is a vegan diet really better? Research has showed that tumor growth is stimulated (at least in rats) with a diet consisting of more than 10% animal protein[15] and repressed if the diet contains less than 5% animal protein or greater than 20% plant protein.[16]

So… one or two meals a week with animal protein should be fine - gives us the vitamin B12 which is also essential to our life – but more than that stimulates tumor growth.[17] To read more about this effect, and the extraordinary benefits of a plant-based diet, check out The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.[18]

Is fasting safe?

Safety is indeed an issue. When we have cancer, we may experience significant weight loss, as the cancer takes hold in our bodies. Even if we don’t have cancer, some of us have so many toxins stored in our fat reserves that we feel pretty gnarly in the first three or four days of a fast, as those toxins are released. Nevertheless, the literature is pretty clear that an insulin inhibiting diet is safe.[19] And there is no more insulin-inhibiting diet than a fast.

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine we recommend some specific vitamins and minerals to help the body detoxify more easily. We also recommend a medical food with complete protein from plant sources, so that we are sure that the body is getting sufficient protein during the juice fast. We monitor you during your fast, to ensure that your body can deal with the toxins which are liberated from your fat stores.

Can’t I reap the benefits of fasting without actually going without food?

Well… there are always drugs. Of course, drugs do not convey quite the same benefits. They do not have the readily absorbable vitamins and minerals present in vegetable juice. Nevertheless, metformin has been found to have some benefits besides regulating blood sugar.

Metformin activates the AMPK pathway - and thus mimics caloric restriction.[20,21] This AMPK pathway controls cell growth, cell metabolism and autophagy (the process whereby a cell digests itself, liberating its materials for the use of the rest of the body).[22] mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is an intracellular nutrient sensor which also controls protein synthesis, cell growth and metabolism. mTOR is inhibited by the AMPK pathway, resulting in increased apoptosis and decreased cell growth.[23]

Some people have travelled too far down the sugary slope to diabetes, and simply need to continue their pharmaceuticals, even if they change their diet. If this is you, then rest assured that metformin not only improves your sensitivity to insulin, but also has positive benefits in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

fasting6

Fast? It’s a great way to lose weight without losing muscle. It’s a great way to get rid of stored toxins without losing energy. But only if it is done sensibly. There is no good reason to feel weak and sick during a fast (except maybe in the first three or four days, if your body has a high toxic load).

Call us at 480-240-2600 to find out whether a medically supervised fast is right for you.


[1] De Lorenzo MS, Baljinnyam E, Vatner DE, Abarzúa P, Vatner SF, Rabson AB. Caloric restriction reduces growth of mammary tumors and metastases. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Sep;32(9):1381-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgr107. [2] Mendivil-Perez M, Jimenez-Del-Rio M, Velez-Pardo C. Glucose starvation induces apoptosis in a model of acute T leukemia dependent on caspase-3 and apoptosis-inducing factor: a therapeutic strategy. Nutr Cancer. 2013 Jan;65(1):99-109. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.741751 [3] Champa CE, Simonea NL et al. Nutrient Restriction and Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment: When Less Is More. Oncologist. 2013;18:97-103. [4] Halberg N, Henriksen M, Söderhamn N, Stallknecht B, Ploug T, Schjerling P, Dela F. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. J Appl Physiol. 2005 Dec;99(6):2128-36. [5] Nogueira LM, Lavigne JA, Chandramouli GV, Lui H, Barrett JC, Hursting SD. Dose-dependent effects of calorie restriction on gene expression, metabolism, and tumor progression are partially mediated by insulin-like growth factor-1. Cancer Med. 2012 Oct;1(2):275-88. doi: 10.1002/cam4.23. [6] Mukherjee P, El-Abbadi MM, Kasperzyk JL, Ranes MK, Seyfried TN. Dietary restriction reduces angiogenesis and growth in an orthotopic mouse brain tumour model. Br J Cancer. 2002 May 20;86(10):1615-21. [7] Caso J, Masko EM, Ii JA, Poulton SH, Dewhirst M, Pizzo SV, Freedland SJ. The effect of carbohydrate restriction on prostate cancer tumor growth in a castrate mouse xenograft model. Prostate. 2012 Oct 4. doi: 10.1002/pros.22586.

fasting2

Fasting inactivates a stress-sensing protein called p53.[8] This protein helps to repair DNA when it has been damaged by chemicals or infection. If p53 is defective, or present in insufficient amounts, the organism is more prone to develop cancer. A mutated form of p53 is found in many different types of cancers, including lung, stomach, breast, colon, prostate. The mutant p53 is unable to stop damaged DNA from replicating, the cells continue to mutate, and voilà - cancer develops.

Fasting induces oxidative stress [9] which causes cancer cells to be more vulnerable to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cell death.

fasting4

We know that calorie restriction (decreasing the usual diet by 20% or even 40%) leads to a longer life - at least in animals, who can increase their lifespan by as much as 40%. We are pretty sure that the increase in lifespan relates to decreased levels of a growth hormone called IGF-1 - insulin-like growth factor 1.

We know that high levels of IGF-1 - seen in diabetics, those with metabolic syndrome and obesity - are associated with increased risk of developing cancer. Triple negative breast cancer, among other cancers, is associated with high levels of IGF-1.[10]

Calorie restriction for as long as 6 years does not decrease the IGF-1 levels in humans. However, short term fasting (10 days) markedly reduces serum IGF-1 concentrations.

We know that brief fasting and a plant-based diet decrease the IGF-1 levels in humans.[11]

What does fasting mean? How do you do a fast?

fasting5Carbohydrates (like breads, pasta, potatoes, fruit, processed crackers, chips and sugary protein bars) are the most important nutrient to restrict[7,12,13] Carbohydrates (AKA glucose or sugar) activate the p53 protein. And if that protein is mutant (see above) then it functions poorly and allows the growth of cancer cells because it cannot force them to die.7 Starving cancer cells commit cellular suicide (apoptosis) more easily.[14]

How about animal protein? Is a vegan diet really better? Research has showed that tumor growth is stimulated (at least in rats) with a diet consisting of more than 10% animal protein[15] and repressed if the diet contains less than 5% animal protein or greater than 20% plant protein.[16]

So… one or two meals a week with animal protein should be fine - gives us the vitamin B12 which is also essential to our life – but more than that stimulates tumor growth.[17] To read more about this effect, and the extraordinary benefits of a plant-based diet, check out The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.[18]

Is fasting safe?

Safety is indeed an issue. When we have cancer, we may experience significant weight loss, as the cancer takes hold in our bodies. Even if we don’t have cancer, some of us have so many toxins stored in our fat reserves that we feel pretty gnarly in the first three or four days of a fast, as those toxins are released. Nevertheless, the literature is pretty clear that an insulin inhibiting diet is safe.[19] And there is no more insulin-inhibiting diet than a fast.

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine we recommend some specific vitamins and minerals to help the body detoxify more easily. We also recommend a medical food with complete protein from plant sources, so that we are sure that the body is getting sufficient protein during the juice fast. We monitor you during your fast, to ensure that your body can deal with the toxins which are liberated from your fat stores.

Can’t I reap the benefits of fasting without actually going without food?

Well… there are always drugs. Of course, drugs do not convey quite the same benefits. They do not have the readily absorbable vitamins and minerals present in vegetable juice. Nevertheless, metformin has been found to have some benefits besides regulating blood sugar.

Metformin activates the AMPK pathway - and thus mimics caloric restriction.[20,21] This AMPK pathway controls cell growth, cell metabolism and autophagy (the process whereby a cell digests itself, liberating its materials for the use of the rest of the body).[22] mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is an intracellular nutrient sensor which also controls protein synthesis, cell growth and metabolism. mTOR is inhibited by the AMPK pathway, resulting in increased apoptosis and decreased cell growth.[23]

Some people have travelled too far down the sugary slope to diabetes, and simply need to continue their pharmaceuticals, even if they change their diet. If this is you, then rest assured that metformin not only improves your sensitivity to insulin, but also has positive benefits in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

fasting6

Fast? It’s a great way to lose weight without losing muscle. It’s a great way to get rid of stored toxins without losing energy. But only if it is done sensibly. There is no good reason to feel weak and sick during a fast (except maybe in the first three or four days, if your body has a high toxic load).

Call us at 480-240-2600 to find out whether a medically supervised fast is right for you.


[1] De Lorenzo MS, Baljinnyam E, Vatner DE, Abarzúa P, Vatner SF, Rabson AB. Caloric restriction reduces growth of mammary tumors and metastases. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Sep;32(9):1381-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgr107. [2] Mendivil-Perez M, Jimenez-Del-Rio M, Velez-Pardo C. Glucose starvation induces apoptosis in a model of acute T leukemia dependent on caspase-3 and apoptosis-inducing factor: a therapeutic strategy. Nutr Cancer. 2013 Jan;65(1):99-109. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.741751 [3] Champa CE, Simonea NL et al. Nutrient Restriction and Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment: When Less Is More. Oncologist. 2013;18:97-103. [4] Halberg N, Henriksen M, Söderhamn N, Stallknecht B, Ploug T, Schjerling P, Dela F. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. J Appl Physiol. 2005 Dec;99(6):2128-36. [5] Nogueira LM, Lavigne JA, Chandramouli GV, Lui H, Barrett JC, Hursting SD. Dose-dependent effects of calorie restriction on gene expression, metabolism, and tumor progression are partially mediated by insulin-like growth factor-1. Cancer Med. 2012 Oct;1(2):275-88. doi: 10.1002/cam4.23. [6] Mukherjee P, El-Abbadi MM, Kasperzyk JL, Ranes MK, Seyfried TN. Dietary restriction reduces angiogenesis and growth in an orthotopic mouse brain tumour model. Br J Cancer. 2002 May 20;86(10):1615-21.

Calorie restriction for as long as 6 years does not decrease the IGF-1 levels in humans. However, short term fasting (10 days) markedly reduces serum IGF-1 concentrations.

We know that brief fasting and a plant-based diet decrease the IGF-1 levels in humans.[11]

What does fasting mean? How do you do a fast?

fasting5Carbohydrates (like breads, pasta, potatoes, fruit, processed crackers, chips and sugary protein bars) are the most important nutrient to restrict[7,12,13] Carbohydrates (AKA glucose or sugar) activate the p53 protein. And if that protein is mutant (see above) then it functions poorly and allows the growth of cancer cells because it cannot force them to die.7 Starving cancer cells commit cellular suicide (apoptosis) more easily.[14]

How about animal protein? Is a vegan diet really better? Research has showed that tumor growth is stimulated (at least in rats) with a diet consisting of more than 10% animal protein[15] and repressed if the diet contains less than 5% animal protein or greater than 20% plant protein.[16]

So… one or two meals a week with animal protein should be fine - gives us the vitamin B12 which is also essential to our life – but more than that stimulates tumor growth.[17] To read more about this effect, and the extraordinary benefits of a plant-based diet, check out The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.[18]

Is fasting safe?

Safety is indeed an issue. When we have cancer, we may experience significant weight loss, as the cancer takes hold in our bodies. Even if we don’t have cancer, some of us have so many toxins stored in our fat reserves that we feel pretty gnarly in the first three or four days of a fast, as those toxins are released. Nevertheless, the literature is pretty clear that an insulin inhibiting diet is safe.[19] And there is no more insulin-inhibiting diet than a fast.

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine we recommend some specific vitamins and minerals to help the body detoxify more easily. We also recommend a medical food with complete protein from plant sources, so that we are sure that the body is getting sufficient protein during the juice fast. We monitor you during your fast, to ensure that your body can deal with the toxins which are liberated from your fat stores.

Can’t I reap the benefits of fasting without actually going without food?

Well… there are always drugs. Of course, drugs do not convey quite the same benefits. They do not have the readily absorbable vitamins and minerals present in vegetable juice. Nevertheless, metformin has been found to have some benefits besides regulating blood sugar.

Metformin activates the AMPK pathway - and thus mimics caloric restriction.[20,21] This AMPK pathway controls cell growth, cell metabolism and autophagy (the process whereby a cell digests itself, liberating its materials for the use of the rest of the body).[22] mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is an intracellular nutrient sensor which also controls protein synthesis, cell growth and metabolism. mTOR is inhibited by the AMPK pathway, resulting in increased apoptosis and decreased cell growth.[23]

Some people have travelled too far down the sugary slope to diabetes, and simply need to continue their pharmaceuticals, even if they change their diet. If this is you, then rest assured that metformin not only improves your sensitivity to insulin, but also has positive benefits in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

fasting6

Fast? It’s a great way to lose weight without losing muscle. It’s a great way to get rid of stored toxins without losing energy. But only if it is done sensibly. There is no good reason to feel weak and sick during a fast (except maybe in the first three or four days, if your body has a high toxic load).

Call us at 480-240-2600 to find out whether a medically supervised fast is right for you.


[1] De Lorenzo MS, Baljinnyam E, Vatner DE, Abarzúa P, Vatner SF, Rabson AB. Caloric restriction reduces growth of mammary tumors and metastases. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Sep;32(9):1381-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgr107. [2] Mendivil-Perez M, Jimenez-Del-Rio M, Velez-Pardo C. Glucose starvation induces apoptosis in a model of acute T leukemia dependent on caspase-3 and apoptosis-inducing factor: a therapeutic strategy. Nutr Cancer. 2013 Jan;65(1):99-109. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.741751 [3] Champa CE, Simonea NL et al. Nutrient Restriction and Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment: When Less Is More. Oncologist. 2013;18:97-103. [4] Halberg N, Henriksen M, Söderhamn N, Stallknecht B, Ploug T, Schjerling P, Dela F. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. J Appl Physiol. 2005 Dec;99(6):2128-36. [5] Nogueira LM, Lavigne JA, Chandramouli GV, Lui H, Barrett JC, Hursting SD. Dose-dependent effects of calorie restriction on gene expression, metabolism, and tumor progression are partially mediated by insulin-like growth factor-1. Cancer Med. 2012 Oct;1(2):275-88. doi: 10.1002/cam4.23.

fasting5Carbohydrates (like breads, pasta, potatoes, fruit, processed crackers, chips and sugary protein bars) are the most important nutrient to restrict[7,12,13] Carbohydrates (AKA glucose or sugar) activate the p53 protein. And if that protein is mutant (see above) then it functions poorly and allows the growth of cancer cells because it cannot force them to die.7 Starving cancer cells commit cellular suicide (apoptosis) more easily.[14]

How about animal protein? Is a vegan diet really better? Research has showed that tumor growth is stimulated (at least in rats) with a diet consisting of more than 10% animal protein[15] and repressed if the diet contains less than 5% animal protein or greater than 20% plant protein.[16]

So… one or two meals a week with animal protein should be fine - gives us the vitamin B12 which is also essential to our life – but more than that stimulates tumor growth.[17] To read more about this effect, and the extraordinary benefits of a plant-based diet, check out The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.[18]

Is fasting safe?

Safety is indeed an issue. When we have cancer, we may experience significant weight loss, as the cancer takes hold in our bodies. Even if we don’t have cancer, some of us have so many toxins stored in our fat reserves that we feel pretty gnarly in the first three or four days of a fast, as those toxins are released. Nevertheless, the literature is pretty clear that an insulin inhibiting diet is safe.[19] And there is no more insulin-inhibiting diet than a fast.

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine we recommend some specific vitamins and minerals to help the body detoxify more easily. We also recommend a medical food with complete protein from plant sources, so that we are sure that the body is getting sufficient protein during the juice fast. We monitor you during your fast, to ensure that your body can deal with the toxins which are liberated from your fat stores.

Can’t I reap the benefits of fasting without actually going without food?

Well… there are always drugs. Of course, drugs do not convey quite the same benefits. They do not have the readily absorbable vitamins and minerals present in vegetable juice. Nevertheless, metformin has been found to have some benefits besides regulating blood sugar.

Metformin activates the AMPK pathway - and thus mimics caloric restriction.[20,21] This AMPK pathway controls cell growth, cell metabolism and autophagy (the process whereby a cell digests itself, liberating its materials for the use of the rest of the body).[22] mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is an intracellular nutrient sensor which also controls protein synthesis, cell growth and metabolism. mTOR is inhibited by the AMPK pathway, resulting in increased apoptosis and decreased cell growth.[23]

Some people have travelled too far down the sugary slope to diabetes, and simply need to continue their pharmaceuticals, even if they change their diet. If this is you, then rest assured that metformin not only improves your sensitivity to insulin, but also has positive benefits in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

fasting6

Fast? It’s a great way to lose weight without losing muscle. It’s a great way to get rid of stored toxins without losing energy. But only if it is done sensibly. There is no good reason to feel weak and sick during a fast (except maybe in the first three or four days, if your body has a high toxic load).

Call us at 480-240-2600 to find out whether a medically supervised fast is right for you.


[1] De Lorenzo MS, Baljinnyam E, Vatner DE, Abarzúa P, Vatner SF, Rabson AB. Caloric restriction reduces growth of mammary tumors and metastases. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Sep;32(9):1381-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgr107. [2] Mendivil-Perez M, Jimenez-Del-Rio M, Velez-Pardo C. Glucose starvation induces apoptosis in a model of acute T leukemia dependent on caspase-3 and apoptosis-inducing factor: a therapeutic strategy. Nutr Cancer. 2013 Jan;65(1):99-109. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.741751 [3] Champa CE, Simonea NL et al. Nutrient Restriction and Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment: When Less Is More. Oncologist. 2013;18:97-103. [4] Halberg N, Henriksen M, Söderhamn N, Stallknecht B, Ploug T, Schjerling P, Dela F. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. J Appl Physiol. 2005 Dec;99(6):2128-36.

How about animal protein? Is a vegan diet really better? Research has showed that tumor growth is stimulated (at least in rats) with a diet consisting of more than 10% animal protein[15] and repressed if the diet contains less than 5% animal protein or greater than 20% plant protein.[16]

So… one or two meals a week with animal protein should be fine - gives us the vitamin B12 which is also essential to our life – but more than that stimulates tumor growth.[17] To read more about this effect, and the extraordinary benefits of a plant-based diet, check out The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.[18]

Is fasting safe?

Safety is indeed an issue. When we have cancer, we may experience significant weight loss, as the cancer takes hold in our bodies. Even if we don’t have cancer, some of us have so many toxins stored in our fat reserves that we feel pretty gnarly in the first three or four days of a fast, as those toxins are released. Nevertheless, the literature is pretty clear that an insulin inhibiting diet is safe.[19] And there is no more insulin-inhibiting diet than a fast.

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine we recommend some specific vitamins and minerals to help the body detoxify more easily. We also recommend a medical food with complete protein from plant sources, so that we are sure that the body is getting sufficient protein during the juice fast. We monitor you during your fast, to ensure that your body can deal with the toxins which are liberated from your fat stores.

Can’t I reap the benefits of fasting without actually going without food?

Well… there are always drugs. Of course, drugs do not convey quite the same benefits. They do not have the readily absorbable vitamins and minerals present in vegetable juice. Nevertheless, metformin has been found to have some benefits besides regulating blood sugar.

Metformin activates the AMPK pathway - and thus mimics caloric restriction.[20,21] This AMPK pathway controls cell growth, cell metabolism and autophagy (the process whereby a cell digests itself, liberating its materials for the use of the rest of the body).[22] mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is an intracellular nutrient sensor which also controls protein synthesis, cell growth and metabolism. mTOR is inhibited by the AMPK pathway, resulting in increased apoptosis and decreased cell growth.[23]

Some people have travelled too far down the sugary slope to diabetes, and simply need to continue their pharmaceuticals, even if they change their diet. If this is you, then rest assured that metformin not only improves your sensitivity to insulin, but also has positive benefits in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

fasting6

Fast? It’s a great way to lose weight without losing muscle. It’s a great way to get rid of stored toxins without losing energy. But only if it is done sensibly. There is no good reason to feel weak and sick during a fast (except maybe in the first three or four days, if your body has a high toxic load).

Call us at 480-240-2600 to find out whether a medically supervised fast is right for you.


[1] De Lorenzo MS, Baljinnyam E, Vatner DE, Abarzúa P, Vatner SF, Rabson AB. Caloric restriction reduces growth of mammary tumors and metastases. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Sep;32(9):1381-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgr107. [2] Mendivil-Perez M, Jimenez-Del-Rio M, Velez-Pardo C. Glucose starvation induces apoptosis in a model of acute T leukemia dependent on caspase-3 and apoptosis-inducing factor: a therapeutic strategy. Nutr Cancer. 2013 Jan;65(1):99-109. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.741751 [3] Champa CE, Simonea NL et al. Nutrient Restriction and Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment: When Less Is More. Oncologist. 2013;18:97-103.

So… one or two meals a week with animal protein should be fine - gives us the vitamin B12 which is also essential to our life – but more than that stimulates tumor growth.[17] To read more about this effect, and the extraordinary benefits of a plant-based diet, check out The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.[18]

Is fasting safe?

Safety is indeed an issue. When we have cancer, we may experience significant weight loss, as the cancer takes hold in our bodies. Even if we don’t have cancer, some of us have so many toxins stored in our fat reserves that we feel pretty gnarly in the first three or four days of a fast, as those toxins are released. Nevertheless, the literature is pretty clear that an insulin inhibiting diet is safe.[19] And there is no more insulin-inhibiting diet than a fast.

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine we recommend some specific vitamins and minerals to help the body detoxify more easily. We also recommend a medical food with complete protein from plant sources, so that we are sure that the body is getting sufficient protein during the juice fast. We monitor you during your fast, to ensure that your body can deal with the toxins which are liberated from your fat stores.

Can’t I reap the benefits of fasting without actually going without food?

Well… there are always drugs. Of course, drugs do not convey quite the same benefits. They do not have the readily absorbable vitamins and minerals present in vegetable juice. Nevertheless, metformin has been found to have some benefits besides regulating blood sugar.

Metformin activates the AMPK pathway - and thus mimics caloric restriction.[20,21] This AMPK pathway controls cell growth, cell metabolism and autophagy (the process whereby a cell digests itself, liberating its materials for the use of the rest of the body).[22] mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is an intracellular nutrient sensor which also controls protein synthesis, cell growth and metabolism. mTOR is inhibited by the AMPK pathway, resulting in increased apoptosis and decreased cell growth.[23]

Some people have travelled too far down the sugary slope to diabetes, and simply need to continue their pharmaceuticals, even if they change their diet. If this is you, then rest assured that metformin not only improves your sensitivity to insulin, but also has positive benefits in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

fasting6

Fast? It’s a great way to lose weight without losing muscle. It’s a great way to get rid of stored toxins without losing energy. But only if it is done sensibly. There is no good reason to feel weak and sick during a fast (except maybe in the first three or four days, if your body has a high toxic load).

Call us at 480-240-2600 to find out whether a medically supervised fast is right for you.


[1] De Lorenzo MS, Baljinnyam E, Vatner DE, Abarzúa P, Vatner SF, Rabson AB. Caloric restriction reduces growth of mammary tumors and metastases. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Sep;32(9):1381-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgr107. [2] Mendivil-Perez M, Jimenez-Del-Rio M, Velez-Pardo C. Glucose starvation induces apoptosis in a model of acute T leukemia dependent on caspase-3 and apoptosis-inducing factor: a therapeutic strategy. Nutr Cancer. 2013 Jan;65(1):99-109. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.741751

Safety is indeed an issue. When we have cancer, we may experience significant weight loss, as the cancer takes hold in our bodies. Even if we don’t have cancer, some of us have so many toxins stored in our fat reserves that we feel pretty gnarly in the first three or four days of a fast, as those toxins are released. Nevertheless, the literature is pretty clear that an insulin inhibiting diet is safe.[19] And there is no more insulin-inhibiting diet than a fast.

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine we recommend some specific vitamins and minerals to help the body detoxify more easily. We also recommend a medical food with complete protein from plant sources, so that we are sure that the body is getting sufficient protein during the juice fast. We monitor you during your fast, to ensure that your body can deal with the toxins which are liberated from your fat stores.

Well… there are always drugs. Of course, drugs do not convey quite the same benefits. They do not have the readily absorbable vitamins and minerals present in vegetable juice. Nevertheless, metformin has been found to have some benefits besides regulating blood sugar.

Metformin activates the AMPK pathway - and thus mimics caloric restriction.[20,21] This AMPK pathway controls cell growth, cell metabolism and autophagy (the process whereby a cell digests itself, liberating its materials for the use of the rest of the body).[22] mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) is an intracellular nutrient sensor which also controls protein synthesis, cell growth and metabolism. mTOR is inhibited by the AMPK pathway, resulting in increased apoptosis and decreased cell growth.[23]

Some people have travelled too far down the sugary slope to diabetes, and simply need to continue their pharmaceuticals, even if they change their diet. If this is you, then rest assured that metformin not only improves your sensitivity to insulin, but also has positive benefits in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

fasting6

Fast? It’s a great way to lose weight without losing muscle. It’s a great way to get rid of stored toxins without losing energy. But only if it is done sensibly. There is no good reason to feel weak and sick during a fast (except maybe in the first three or four days, if your body has a high toxic load).

Call us at 480-240-2600 to find out whether a medically supervised fast is right for you.


[1] De Lorenzo MS, Baljinnyam E, Vatner DE, Abarzúa P, Vatner SF, Rabson AB. Caloric restriction reduces growth of mammary tumors and metastases. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Sep;32(9):1381-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgr107.

Some people have travelled too far down the sugary slope to diabetes, and simply need to continue their pharmaceuticals, even if they change their diet. If this is you, then rest assured that metformin not only improves your sensitivity to insulin, but also has positive benefits in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

fasting6

Fast? It’s a great way to lose weight without losing muscle. It’s a great way to get rid of stored toxins without losing energy. But only if it is done sensibly. There is no good reason to feel weak and sick during a fast (except maybe in the first three or four days, if your body has a high toxic load).

Call us at 480-240-2600 to find out whether a medically supervised fast is right for you.

Categories: