Prolonged Fasting for Heart Disease

September 16, 2019

References: Fuhrman, Fasting ..., American Heart JournalThoraxNEJMJACMHelio,

Alright. You have terrible chest pressure and feel nauseated and sweaty. You call 911 and the paramedics rush you to the hospital. The ER does and EKG and calls the cardiologist, who whips in and does a catheterization and calls the surgeons because you are just too blocked. In rushes the team and you have bypass surgery of 4 blood vessels. Heros all around. Saved your life! Or did me. Remember, I did this for 25 years. I've got the routine down pat. You had your chest sawed open, were in the ICU for 4 days then in rehab for 6 months. 
Did we help you? Maybe, or maybe not. Between 3-4% of people die during open heart surgery. And between 15-44% of folks come out of bypass surgeryintellectually "impaired" or altered. Just a wee bit slower than when they went in. And finally, we know that blockages accelerate in the arteries that are bypassed if you don't change anything after the surgery. And remember, you didn't eat for those 5-7 days while you were being chopped up and put in the ICU. Did the surgery help you? Or was it the fasting? 
Let's talk about the fasting. First of all, it's cheaper by about a quarter million. Second of all, your brain comes out the same as it went in. Third, it really doesn't hurt near as much. In fact, it's pretty boring. So what is going on? 
Well, for starters, we have already reviewed how your high blood pressure goes awayand stays gone for up to 9 months. That's pretty impressive. High blood pressure is just about the number one risk for coronary artery disease, as it represents your arteries getting stiffer and tighter, mostly from inflammation of the lining of your arteries.

Dean Ornish has also shown that compared to the American Heart Association 30% fat diet, his 15% fat vegan diet reverses heart disease while the AHA diet doesn't. But that isn't fasting. It's just going vegan and very low fat. I'm fond of this idea as I've seen it in my own family. My Uncle Paul completely reversed his coronary artery disease after 5 vessel bypass surgery in 1975 (one of the first) by following a Pritikin/Ornish diet. So, we know that being a strict vegan, with low fat will reverse heart disease whereas the American Heart Association diet wont. 
But what about fasting? Well, we don't have straight up studies. What we have are "tangents". Close. For example, look at folks who don't eat for months because they have cancer, or any other wasting disease. They have markedly reduced artery disease. Where did it go? A clue might be with anorexia patients. They have very high cholesterolwhen they are avoiding food (we call that fasting). It is my belief, waiting for clinical studies, that 10 fasting results in your body first emptying your carb tank and turning on ketosis. That takes about 48 hours. Then you clean up the fat in your easy to get places like your liver. That takes another 72-96 hours. Now, you have to get serious and scavenge. The cholesterol pools in your liver are right there on the surface. So, sure enough, day 8-10 your cholesterol spikes. You are cleaning out your arteries. 
What we do have are many clinical anecdotes by doctors who have been treating people with symptoms. Joel Fuhrman is only the most recent prominent doctor to report his success with this. But I'm in there with him. I've already had three reports in just the last week of anecdotal improvement with 10 days fasts and vascular disease.

WWW: What will work for me. I think it's unethical to not teach someone a possible therapeutic alternative that has no side effects and is better than something that has risk and toxicity to it. I've now engaged about 20 people with the consideration of doing a 10 day fast to whom I have given lab tests including cholesterols to measure on day 8-10 of the fast. This is way too interesting to let go unreported. And just consider, you can spend $ 250,000 and lose 10% of your brainpower, or you can spend nothing and get completely better. Either way, you don't eat for about 10 days.

Pop Quiz

  1. Fasting for 10 days is worse for you than open-heart surgery? T or F. Answer: Aw, come on. You just read this. You have open heart surgery and you don't eat for at least 4-5 days. Have you considered that maybe it was the not eating if you still have enough brainpower to remember? Fasting is easier, cheaper, more effective. But don't do it and waste it by going back to eating a high animal fat and protein diet
  2. What happens with anorectics when they are not eating - to their cholesterol? Answer: It shoots up to super-high levels.
  3. What does that suggest? Answer: After about 7 days of poor eating, your body scavenges available cholesterol from wherever it can find it to use for fuel, and most of us have quite a bit stored up in our arteries.
  4. What happens to high blood pressure with a 10 day fast? Answer: Cured. No meds.
  5. How hungry are you on a 10 day fast. Answer: Not very. Hunger gone by day 2. You may feel some fatigue but may not. Remember, you have a fat tank with 150,000 calories in it if you are an average shaped woman. More in some. Once you are fasting, your fat cells open up and share their calories so you have fuel to work with. You might feel better if you drank a lot of water with some salt in it.