3 Reasons Why Fasting Is Good For The Liver

Fasting is a recovery regimen for the entire body, especially the liver. Obesity, an unhealthy diet, and excessive alcohol consumption can severely affect it and increase the risk of chronic diseases. Intermittent fasting and therapeutic fasting can help the liver to regenerate – after a short time!

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It quickly becomes clear that fasting must be good for the liver when you consider its function in the body: the liver is the most important organ for metabolism. It not only breaks down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins but also harmful and toxic substances that we ingest daily through food. At the same time, substances that the body does not need directly, including fat, are stored in the liver cells. So if you eat too much fat, larger deposits form that cause the liver to swell. This greatly increases the risk of chronic diseases such as fatty liver or liver cirrhosis.

Depending on the type of fasting, either the time between meals is greatly increased and the number of meals reduced, or the number of calories is drastically reduced. This can naturally restore liver health – three studies have investigated exactly how.

Intermittent fasting relieves the liver

To prevent fatty liver, experts recommend a maximum of three meals a day and no snacks in between. Because the liver needs time to break down fat and other substances. If it doesn’t get because the breaks between individual meals and snacks are too short, fat deposits will inevitably occur.

Intermittent fasting, which in the classic version requires a gap of 16 hours between the two permitted meals, gives the liver plenty of time to do its work. In an experiment with mice, researchers at the University of Sydney were able to show that intermittent fasting, carried out every other day, has a positive effect on the fat metabolism in the liver and thus breaks down deposits. Because the liver is relieved by intermittent fasting, it is often used in therapeutic practice as a treatment method for latent fatty liver.

Therapeutic fasting reduces the risk of liver diseases

Being overweight causes excess fat to accumulate in the liver, which can lead to chronic liver disease. In the worst case, cirrhosis of the liver threatens. A fasting period of just eight to nine days can greatly reduce the risk of liver disease, as German researchers found out. In a study with 697 test persons who had slightly or strongly increased liver fat values, therapeutic fasting showed a significant effect on the liver.

Therapeutic fasting is a form of fasting developed by German doctor Otto Buchinger around 100 years ago. It is used in the therapy of a wide variety of diseases and is one of the toughest fasting cures. Because the daily energy intake is limited to just 300 to 400 calories. The daily menu includes vegetable broth (0.25 l), fruit or vegetable juice (0.25 l), at least 2.5 liters of water, and honey (30 grams). The cure is usually carried out over seven to 10 days.

The study participants were only allowed to consume a maximum of 250 kilocalories per day via fruit juices and broths. At the end of the therapeutic fasting cure, the test persons could not only look forward to weight loss and a reduced waist circumference. Fasting also normalized the liver values.

Effect of Fasting on the Liver: One protein is crucial

Researchers from the German Cancer Research Center, together with scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum München and the German Center for Diabetes Research, have found out exactly what happens in the liver when fasting.

To do this, the researchers examined liver cells in test subjects who had previously been put on a diet. They observed that the fewer nutrients the cells received, the more frequently they produced a protein. The so-called ‘Growth Arrest and DNA Damage-inducible’ – GADD45β for short. The molecule was previously known more in connection with the repair of damage to the genome and the cell cycle.

The scientists’ experiments show: that GADD45β controls fatty acid uptake in the liver. If the protein is missing, a fatty liver develops more easily and the blood sugar level rises. Increasing the GADD45β level normalizes the fat content of the liver. Sugar metabolism also improves. “So the stress on the cells of the liver caused by fasting seems to boost the production of GADD45β, which then adjusts the metabolism to the low food intake,” summarizes study leader Adam J. Rose.

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