01 Dec Fasting: Powerful Medicine for Your Brain
Fasting is powerful medicine well beyond anything even remotely considered by modern pharmaceutical science.
One of the most important dietary considerations related to optimizing your brain, enhancing neurogenesis (development of nerve tissue), and providing a fertile environment for the process of neuroplasticity (for building new neural networks), is calorie reduction.
The biological benefits of fasting and overall calorie reduction are explained by:
- Reduction in free radical production
- Enhancement of mitochondrial ability to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy
- Increase in the number of mitochondria through mitochondrial biogenesis
- Increase in the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor
- Reduction of apoptosis, or brain cell suicide
- Activation of the Nrf2 pathway, which leads to reduced brain inflammation, enhanced detoxification, and increased antioxidant protection
Clearly, fasting and calorie reduction have vast and profound implications for brain health. Just look at the list of benefits! It is so encompassing that it’s hard to imagine that modern pharmaceutical intervention could even begin to address these issues. Yet, the effectiveness of these simple dietary modifications for enhancing brain function and paving the way for clarity of thought have been recognized for thousands of years.
Our Power Up Your Brain Program includes total food restriction for one complete day (24 hours) every four weeks. During this fast, you should drink adequate amounts of water in order to remain very well hydrated. Fast only after consultation with, and approval from, your physician. Ask also for his or her direction regarding whether or not to take medications during your fast.
For more information on fasting you may read the chapter “Priming Your Brain for Enlightenment” in our book, Power Up Your Brain, which I co-wrote with Dr. David Perlmutter.