The little town I live in will lose its last independent, and only remaining, bookstore this month. I bought a new hardcover, dictionary on Saturday at a greatly reduced price.
Magazines were discounted too so I got Harper’s. Steve Hendricks has an informative piece on fasting “Starving Your Way to Vigor”. He offers the following: “The researchers concluded that fasting every other day could dramatically slow the growth of breast cancer, at least in adolescent rats. Other research confirmed that fasting could slow and even prevent cancer in certain lower mammals, although a handful of contradictory studies found that some fasted rodents fared worse against cancer than did their non-fasting peers.” He writes on researcher Valter Longo’s http://www.usc.edu/programs/neuroscience/faculty/profile.php?fid=51 1997 work, “The researchers repeated the experiment, only this time injecting neuroblastomas, one of the most aggressive types of cancer, before the chemotherapy. In a week, half of the fed mice were dead of toxicity but more than 95 percent of the fasters were still alive. Longo theorized that the fasters thrived because when healthy cells are starved, they shift into survival mode- battening down, curbing their activities, repairing old wounds, and rejecting inputs they might otherwise accept, like chemotheraputic drugs.” Longo initiated a pilot trial on humans which produced encouraging results in patients who fasted prior to receiving chemotherapy. “None experienced weakness, fatigue, or gastrointestinal misery…”. Dr. Longo’s lab focuses on Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes research.
Hendricks cites The American Cancer Society “with assets topping $1 billion and executives earning up to $2 million annually” as being opposed to a free therapy (fasting) that may provide relief from side effects associated with chemotherapy. He goes further in quoting the Cancer Prevention Coalition website, “The American Cancer Society is fixated on damage control-diagnosis and treatment.” The piece is provocative in its suggestion of a conflict of interest involving the pharma and diagnostic imaging industries.
He offers more damning rigidity between traditional medicine and pharma in the story of the Abrahams family. Charlie Abrahams suffered seizures, at 20 months old he weighed an alarming 19 lbs. Charlie was seen by 5 pediatric neurologists until his parents unearthed information on the ketogenic diet, fasting against epilepsy. Charlie’s parents took him to Johns Hopkins for treatment, he experienced radical improvement in two days. His parents established The Charlie Foundation as a resource for other families. http://www.charliefoundation.org
We cannot afford to lose access to print media acquired through tactile browsing offered by independent booksellers. Reading fosters thought provoking questions.