Want an easy way to lower your risk of cancer and chronic disease? Eat an early dinner and see if you can comfortably go 13 hours until you eat breakfast. Research shows extended fasting during the night may improve a breast cancer prognosis and lower cancer risk in general. Fasting has also been shown to decrease the risk for other types of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Researchers analyzed more than ten years of data from breast cancer patients. It was the first study of its kind and showed some surprising correlations. For instance, women who fasted less than 13 hours per night showed a 36 percent increase in breast cancer recurrence compared to those who fasted for 13 or more hours per night. In other words, if you can comfortably last about 13 hours between between dinner and breakfast, it may lower your risk of cancer. The research examined sleep habits and diets of its subjects, blood sugar and inflammation markers (serum hemoglobin A1c and C-reactive protein), and the recurrence of cancer and breast tumors.
Fast longer to sleep better and lower disease risk
The study showed that longer fasting times also increased the amount of time people slept at night. This is important to lowering disease risk because better sleep makes for a healthier sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm. A circadian rhythm that is out of balance increases the risk of cancer risk and many chronic diseases. Increased fasting time also lowered blood sugar and reduced inflammation. These are key factors in lowering the risk of diabetes and chronic diseases. Diabetes and chronic inflammation lead to heart disease, some forms of cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and other health disorders.
When long night time fasts are a bad idea
While research shows the benefits of extended nighttime fasting, these long fasts are not for everyone. For those with low blood sugar or adrenal fatigue they can be detrimental and do more harm than good. If your blood sugar drops too low fasting can cause insomnia, mood issues, fatigue, and poor brain function…not to mention extreme hunger! If fasting that long makes you feel anything but good, then it may be something you have to work toward by balancing your blood sugar. A primary symptom of low blood sugar is waking up anxious at 3 or 4 a.m. Eating a little protein to fall back asleep or before bed can help prevent waking up too early in the morning. You also need to follow a blood-sugar stabilizing diet during the day, which includes monitoring the amounts and kinds of carbs you eat, eating plenty of fiber, protein, and fat, and eating frequently enough to keep blood sugar stable. Stabilizing your blood sugar diet may help you some day get to the point where you can comfortably fast for 13 or more hours during the night. If you have questions about fasting, sleep, blood sugar, or disease prevention, please contact my office.
One of the main goals at RedRiver Health and Wellness Center is to work with patients to improve their health, wellbeing, and quality of life. The RedRiver Health and Wellness Center team is passionate about helping ailing patients achieve optimal health, and we truly care about the success of each and every patient.
RedRiver chiropractic physicians are great advocates for prescribing physicians and endocrinologists. In fact, many of our patients see their prescribing physician(s) more frequently while under our care than they would otherwise. Our goal is not to replace our patients’ primary care physicians and specialists, but to complement their care by providing patients with nutrition, diet, lifestyle and educational support and strategies. This way, patients can learn to manage their symptoms more efficiently. We have developed rewarding relationships with many prescribing physicians across the country, and we strive to continue to building relationships with MDs, DOs, NPs, and NMDs. When health professionals can work together for the benefit of the patient’s health, it becomes a win/win situation for the one who matters most—the patient.