Immune hematology

The researchers found that fasting reduces inflammation and improves chronic inflammatory diseases without affecting the immune system’s response to acute infections. While acute inflammation is a normal immune process that helps fight off infections, chronic inflammation can have serious consequences for health, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer; multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel diseases. Heart disease or cardiopathy is an umbrella term for a variety for different diseases affecting the heart.

A normal immune process

As of 2007, it is the leading cause of death in the United States, England, Canada and Wales, killing one person every 34 seconds in the United States alone. “Caloric restriction is know to improve inflammatory and autoimmune diseases; but the mechanisms by which reduce caloric intake controls inflammation have been poorly understood;” said senior author Miriam Merad, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Precision Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Working with human and mouse immune cells, Dr. Merad and colleagues showed that intermittent fasting reduced the release of pro-inflammatory cells called “monocytes” in blood circulation. Further investigations revealed that during periods of fasting; these cells go into “sleep mode” and are less inflammatory than monocytes find in those who are fed.  the immune system defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials.

Fasting reduces inflammation

Five different and diverse types of leukocytes exist, but they are all produced and derived from a multi potent cell in the bone marrow known as a hematopoietic stem cell. Leukocytes are found throughout the body; including the blood and lymphatic system. The number of leukocytes in the blood is often an indicator of disease. There are normally between 4×109 and 1.1×1010 white blood cells in a litre of blood; making up approximately 1% of blood in a healthy adult.

An increase in the number of leukocytes over the upper limits is call leukocytosis, and in leukopenia; this number is much lower than the lower limit. The physical properties of leukocytes, such as volume, conductivity; and granularity; may change due to activation, the presence of immature cells, or the presence of malignant leukocytes in leukemia.”Monocytes are highly inflammatory immune cells that can cause serious tissue damage, and the population has seen an increasing amount in their blood circulation as a result of eating habits that humans have acquired in recent centuries,” said Dr. Merad. Our immediate reaction to a swelling is to try and decrease it. However, it is important to remember that inflammation is an essential part of the healing process.