Intermittent fasting inhibits the most common type of childhood leukemia

Intermittent fasting is all the rage right now; it’s been credited with a host of health benefits and heralded as the next big thing in weight loss. The more intermittent fasting (IF) is studied, the more impressive it seems to become: Recent research has shown that fasting regularly, as one does with IF, can actually kill cancer cells — and may help prevent the onset and progression of the most common type of childhood leukemia. In fact, the research showed IF totally obliterated any trace of the cancer in just seven weeks.

Scientists from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern) say that in animal models, IF “completely inhibited” cancer development — and test subjects were virtually cancer-free by the study’s end.

Fasting to fight cancer

As Medical Xpress reports, researchers at UT Southwestern used mice to examine the effects of IF on the most common childhood blood cancer: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL. There are two types of ALL, B-cell ALL and T-cell ALL. The study found IF was effective at treating and preventing both cancers. ALL can occur at any age, but around 90 percent of cases are seen in children.

Dr. Chengcheng “Alec” Zhang, Associate Professor of Physiology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, commented on their findings, stating, “Strikingly, we found that in models of ALL, a regimen consisting of six cycles of one day of fasting followed by one day of feeding completely inhibited cancer development.”

After a  seven-week study period, the fasted mice had no traceable amounts of cancer cells — a striking contrast to the group of non-fasted mice used in the study. On average, about 68 percent of cells were found to be cancerous in the test areas of the non-fasted mice.

“In addition, following the fasting treatment, the spleens and lymph nodes in the fasted ALL model mice were similar in size to those in normal mice. Although initially cancerous, the few fluorescent cells that remained in the fasted mice after seven weeks appeared to behave like normal cells,” Dr. Zhang explained further.

“Mice in the ALL model group that ate normally died within 59 days, while 75 percent of the fasted mice survived more than 120 days without signs of leukemia,” he added.

Dr. Zhang notes that, based on their studies of leptin and leptin receptors in the mice, it seems that the leptin receptor pathway may be how IF exerts its effects against ALL.

“We found that fasting decreased the levels of leptin circulating in the bloodstream as well as decreased the leptin levels in the bone marrow. These effects became more pronounced with repeated cycles of fasting. After fasting, the rate at which the leptin levels recovered seemed to correspond to the rate at which the cancerous ALL cells were cleared from the blood,” he stated.

As if these results weren’t impressive enough, the team also notes that fasting was the only treatment modality applied to the mice — none of Big Pharma’s toxic “treatments” were used.

Intermittent fasting has been linked to a host of health benefits. Whether it’s boosting brain health or promoting system-wide healing, research continues to show that the way we eat, and what we eat, are integral keys to long-term health. Intermittent fasting has been shown to support the body’s natural healing process, alongside a slew of other benefits.

Learn more about natural health and wellness at

Sources for this article include:

comments powered by Disqus