A recent review in Oncogene discusses how fasting may help patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. This is interesting, because at the moment most people are advised to eat extra calories and proteins while undergoing cancer treatments. It turns out that in animals fasting changes the physiology of the body and this can help protect normal cells from the damaging effects of anti-cancer agents. The amazing thing is that cancer cells are abnormal and don’t get the same protection, so fasting seems to be a way to help normal cells and not help the targets of the treatment. It is still early days yet, but there are now studies showing that fasting can help patients. So, it may end up being pretty rough- not eating and taking an anti-cancer agent does not sound like fun at all- but the prospect that short periods of fasting might help make you better makes it sound like it would be worth the growling stomach. That is if it works, and I guess time will only tell whether these preliminary results will turn out to be right!

Check this paper out here: