New Research Showing the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting in Health and Disease

 In Naturopathic News

New research is beginning to question whether the benefits of fasting may be had by simply altering the times in which we are eating during the day. There is growing public interest in various methods of intermittent fasting, as well as more research supporting their therapeutic use. A recent research article concludes that fasting-type diets, may be beneficial in treating cancer patients; showing that fasting diets combined with chemotherapy can enhance T cell-dependent targeted killing of cancer cells by stimulating the hematopoietic system as well as enhancing CD8(+) tumor cytotoxicity.1

Another article supports up to 72 hours of fasting prior to chemotherapy as safe, and a realistic conventional approach to enhancing chemotherapy outcomes.2

For patient athletes, who may be weary of altering eating patterns out of fear of losing performance, an October 2016 article concludes that intermittent fasting does not alter muscle mass or strength, and also improves cardiovascular risk factors in resistance training athletes.3

And be on the lookout for the 2017 conclusion to the HELENA trial, a 12 week mechanistic study on the metabolic effects of Intermittent fasting versus total calorie restriction.4

A past article from NDNR speaks to whether it is beneficial to take supplements while fasting: Breaking News from the University of Florida about Diets

email-photoNode Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine amongst the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend campout where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision. 


  1. Di Biase S, Longo VD, et al. Fasting-Mimicking Diet Reduces HO-1 to Promote T Cell-Mediated Tumor Cytotoxicity. BMC Cancer. 2016 Jun 10;16:360. doi: 10.1186/s12885-016-2370-6.
  2. Dorff TB. Quinn DI. et al. Safety and feasibility of fasting in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy. BMC Cancer. 2016 Jun 10;16:360. doi: 10.1186/s12885-016-2370-6.
  3. Moro T, Paoli A, et al. Effects of eight weeks of time-restricted feeding (16/8) on basal metabolism, maximal strength, body composition, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk factors in resistance-trained males. J Transl Med. 2016 Oct 13;14(1):290.
  4. Schubel R, Kuhn T, et al. The effects of intermittent calorie restriction on metabolic health: Rationale and study design of the HELENA Trial. J Transl Med. 2016 Oct 13;14(1):290.
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