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How Fasting Affects the Immune System

The relationship between food and the immune system is well established, and it is clear than certain foods are good for boosting immune capacity. However, a new study shed light into how staying off food may also improve our immune system.

Professor Valter Longo, director of the USC Longevity Institute, investigated how fasting and diets that mimic fasting’s effects may improve our immune system and how the body responds to infectious agents. He discovered that fasting and fasting mimicking diets helped the body rid of damaged or dysfunctional cells, replacing them with younger and more effective immune cells.

His study found that cycles of fasting or fasting-mimicking diets, followed by refeeding on normal diet promote rejuvenation of the immune system in old mice. He describes it as a process of cleaning up older white blood cells during the fasting period, which are replaced with younger and more effective white blood cells when one refeeds.

This study provides useful information on the role of fasting for the human body.

Read original article at https://gero.usc.edu/2020/04/22/fasting-mimicking-diet-immune-system-function/