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.
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here.