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  • Some people fast for religious reasons or medical reasons,

  • but isn't not eating for a long time kind of dangerous

  • Bom dia earthlings, thanks for stopping by DNews, I'm Trace.

  • The Holy Month of Ramadan is wrapping up this week,

  • and those Muslims who have been fasting for 15 hours a day or more will be able to enjoy food anytime once again.

  • It's not just Muslims who fast, Christians, Jews, Confucians, Hindus and other religions have followed the practice for thousands of years.

  • Non-religious folks fast too, usually for medical or dietary reasons.

  • For some people, the idea of abstaining from food while the sun is in the sky is unfathomable,

  • and they might feel that it's even unsafe! So science is here to demystify some fasting myths.

  • A person is considered to be "fasting" if they've abstained from a meal for 8-12 hours,

  • so if you think about it, most people fast every nightand then BREAK their fast in the morning.

  • That's where the term BREAK-FAST comes from.

  • Fasting is a completely normal part of being an animal on the planet of earth.

  • Many organisms eat only once a day or less,

  • especially those eating high-calorie foods like meats. Cold-blooded carnivores, like

  • snakes, can go DAYS between meals, whereas warm blooded carnivores, like wolves or coyotes, they hunt daily.

  • Like the coyote, humans are built to be able to fast for a short period. A day or so isn't

  • going to hurt you and some studies have shown short-term fasts can actually extend lifespan, they can boost

  • immunity and mental function, and so on and so forth. We did a whole video about that last Ramadan. So check it out.

  • A study published last month in Cell Stem Cell found that fasting two to four days at

  • a time can cause a reduction in white blood cells, which sounds bad, but it's actually a GOOD thing. See,

  • the cells that are killed off are the older or damaged immune cells, and when the body

  • rebounds, it uses stem cells to create brand new, healthy ones.

  • Long-term fasting, on the other hand, is a whole other beast. When humans fast, our bodies

  • go through a very predictable schedule. Our bodies are great at squirreling away energy

  • in the forms of fats and sugars. But, like coyotes, ideally, we'd eat every day or so

  • to replenish those reserves. After 24-48 hours of fasting, the glycogen reserves stored in

  • our liver and musclesbasically carbohydratesare empty. After two days, the body's figured

  • out that it needs to feed on itself, and is going to start breaking down muscle and fat tissues.

  • Obviously, water is important too. 72 hours without water is dangerous, so while straight

  • food fasting isn't so bad for you in a short burst, 72 hours is the beginning of

  • medical dehydration. So drink water, no matter what.

  • Some of you might already be Yahoo-ing to get the lowdown on a fasting diet,

  • but the problem is, humans don't REALLY work that way. When you fast, you lose a few pounds right

  • away, but that's mainly liquid weight, and it will be replaced as soon as you eat again.

  • Which is another thing, Researchers at Cornell asked college students to fast for 18 hours,

  • and then offered them a buffet-style meal (not unlike Iftar, or community meals after

  • sundown during Ramadan). The most popular foods were those that were high in calories,

  • carbs and starches, because our cells don't know if we're EVER GOING TO EAT AGAIN! Therefore,

  • they turn on the cravings for carbs and fats which might fend off long-term starvation.

  • But that's silly, you know you're going to eat again! Don't listen to your reptilian

  • brain! Ideally, a human coming off of a fast would eat vegetables and fruits. Lean meats

  • and a few carbs can be part of the meal, too, but not a big part.

  • Ultimately, fasting puts stress on the systems of your body, but low-level stress that isn't going

  • to hurt you, and it might build up the systems -- similar to how exercisebuilds muscles.

  • Fasting isn't dangerous or deadly, as long as it's done properly and in partnership with

  • a healthy diet and exercise.

  • If you decide to fast, let us know why and how you've done it! You know, cause we're curious.

  • You can fill us in on your journey in the comments, or send us a tweet at-DNews or me

  • at-TraceDominguez. Speaking of journeys, if you want to know how MSL Curiosity got to

  • Mars, and what the heck it's doing up there come to our SpaceOut on July 30th at 4pm Pacific

  • Time! We're getting experts from NASA JPL who actually work with the rover on Mars every

  • sol -- that's Martian for Day! See you're learning already! Get over there and RSVP.

  • Thanks for watching DNews! and please subscribe.

Some people fast for religious reasons or medical reasons,

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What Happens To Your Body When You Fast?

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    SylviaQQ posted on 2016/02/03
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