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Fasting – Effects On The Immune System

Fasting Boosts the Immune System
Fasting has various effects on the immune system. Juice fasting maximizes the ability of your immune system. This immune enhancement is due to three factors.

  1. The absense of the burden of digestion that demands all the resouces of the immune system.
  2. Lowered plasma viscosity due to less traffic in the bloodstream (less fat, sugar, and protein).
  3. Increased  nutrients assist in immune performance.

The result of fasting on the immune system is amazing, you can detoxify years of toxic built up, in the immune system due to alcohol, drug and tobacco addiction in weeks. Juice fasting can reestablish normal homeostatic balance and reduce the suffering from cravings.

Fasting Increases Immune System Processes

Elevated Macrophage Activity: Macrophages engulf and destroy bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances. They can ingest worn-out or abnormal body cells. Macrophages form an important first line of defense against harmful particles that have reached the body’s interior. The body cannot function well with an overabundance of dead cells, so macrophages take on the mission of breaking down the excess.  A macrophage cell can literally detect dead cells through smell, much like a scavenger bird detects dead animals. Whenever dead cells reach the part of the bloodstream patrolled by a macrophage, the macrophages surround them and convert them into easily removed components. At the same time, the macrophage covers the dead cells with a substance known as an antigen. This action tags the cells for further attack from other types of cells in the body’s immune system. Ideally, the macrophages and killer T-cells should render both dead cells and foreign invaders harmless enough to re-enter the bloodstream for elimination. When macrophages become overwhelmed, however, they may allow some dead cells to pass through unprocessed. The DNA from those cells may trigger an inflammatory reaction as the dead cells combine with other substances. This process is the basis for many autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease or lupus. Bolstering the body’s macrophages is often a course of treatment recommended for autoimmune diseases and even some forms of cancer.  Once the macrophages and other immune system components have essentially digested the body’s dead cells, the cells make their way through the bloodstream and eventually into the digestive system for final disposition. This means that the solid waste we call fecal matter is largely composed of dead cells sloughed off by the various organs and processed for elimination by macrophages. This process is dramatically increase during fasting as catabolism increases cellular breakdown to be utilized for fuel.

  • Increased Cell-Mediated Immunity: Lymphocytes are the white blood cells responsible for the body’s ability to distinguish and react to foreign substances, including those of which microbes are composed. Lymphocytes have about 100,000 identical receptors on their cellular membrane that enables them to recognize specific antigens. Each receptor has proteins containing grooves that fit into patterns formed by the atoms of the antigen molecule so the lymphocyte can bind to the antigen. This works somewhat like a key fitting into a lock. There are more than 10 million different types of grooves in the lymphocytes of the human immune system. The T lymphocytes are responsible for continuous surveillance of cell surfaces for the presence of foreign antigens. Lymphocyte production is regulated by growth factors, known as lymphokines.
  • Increased Immunoglobulin Levels: Immunoglobulin is used to provide passive immunity to a variety of diseases such as measles, hepatitis A and hypogammaglobulinemia.
  • Increased Neutrophil Bactericidal Activity: Fifty-to-eighty percent of the white cells are neutrophils. Neutrophils move with amoeboid motion. They extend long projections followed by contraction of filaments drawing the nucleus and rear of the cell forward. In this way, neutrophils rapidly advance along a surface. Neutrophils are actively phagocytic engulfing bacteria and other microorganisms and microscopic particles. When they arrive at the target, neutrophils have microscopic packets of potent enzymes capable of digesting many types of cellular materials. The bone marrow of a normal adult produces about 100,000,000,000 neutrophils daily. When a bacterium is engulfed by a neutrophil, a metabolic process within the granules produces hydrogen peroxide and a highly active form of oxygen called “superoxide”, which destroy the ingested bacteria.
  • Heightened Monocyte Killing and Bacterial Function: Monocytes are the largest cells of the blood, averaging 15-18 micrometers. They make up about 7 percent of the leukocytes. Monocytes are actively mobile and phagocytic. They are capable of ingesting infectious agents and other large particles. Monocytes usually enter areas of inflamed tissue or at sites of chronic infections.engineered vaccinia virus
  • Enhanced Natural Killer Cell Activity: Natural killer cells were first recognized in 1975. Researchers observed cells in the blood and lymphoid tissues that could kill tumor cells and cells infected with viruses. Most immunologists feel that natural killer cells play an important part in checking the growth of tumor cells and cells infected with some viruses.
  • Simple Summary: Basically, you get to laze around while your immune system and cleansing organs do all the work. Billions of tiny employees working 24 hours per day, cleaning up your mess and working for free without any appreciation. You should feel guilty.

    Written by: Tom Coghill of
    Research volunteers for St. Theodore’s  Hospital, Sagada, Philippines working with Tom Coghill. Just contact me for details.

    By Tom Coghill of Articles  may be copied or reproduced as long as the back links to are intact and the author’s name is included.

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    31 Responses to Fasting – Effects On The Immune System

    1. JBerg says:

      What kind of juice should be used in fasting? certainly not the high fructose corn syrup kind! I drink Mona Vie but it is considered a whole food and not just juice. So what kind?

    2. Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Finally the day has come. We are starting a fasting research center in a clinic in Manila and a hospital in Sagada and hopefully creating a university course on fasting and detoxification.

      This will involve several doctors and labs with terminal cancer and incurable disease being offer long term treatment on a donation basis.

      I will be doing the research with a team and living at the clinic in Manila. We are now looking for people who want to study and research on a volunteer basis.

      We will be posting the research in about 2 weeks, or the first releases. We are also looking for people who are willing to help with the cost of care.

      Even a few dollars a month will go far here.
      For me these are exciting days.

    3. suliman says:

      HI Tom .
      I’m interested in joining your group to do a research work about "the beneficial effects of long intermittent fasting(Ramadan model)on body weight management and general body health.Please, send to me an acceptance letter for local administrative purposes.

      Dr.Yasir Suliman Ali Kaloda
      Department of Physiology
      Faculty of Medicine
      University of Gezira – Medani – Sudan

    4. Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi JBerg,
      I depends on the reason you are fasting. Cancer and parasites cleansing needs minimum glucose levels in the blood. If you are healthy and working,, beet a juice fast using carrots beats, apples or cantaloupes and sweet juices from an extractor will supply lots of energy. The enzymes in fresh juice accelerate healing and the body is more energetic. For weight loss, the less sugars the better so as with cancer, green juices are the best as they are low in calories and high in nutrition.

    5. Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi Dr. Suliman,
      It would be an honor to have a person of your credentials on board as we will be addressing, addiction, compulsive obsessive behavior, anorexia, compulsive eating. It is hard to cure the body by ignoring the mind.
      This is the start up stage with the research starting in a few days and being published immediately. The data is being published to a network of sites that promote fasting such as and
      and the press.
      If we can document the research with credibility the director of the Sagada hospital has stated that the sister hospital in Manilla will be interested.
      The research will be online and ongoing with many groups participating.
      You are always welcome here in the Philippines if you want to roll up your sleeves and conduct some research. I will be adding you to the email list as soon as we build the database.

    6. MR J says:

      Hello, I just read here about fasting and the immune system. I want to start a fast in order to help my immune system, but I am confused as to what to do. Is juice fasting better or is water fasting better for this? And what juices specifically?

    7. MR J says:

      i am hiv positive, and i wanted to know what fruits/vegetables i should use for a juice fast? i am going on this for spiritual reasons, and want to know the best juices to give my body what it needs during the fast.

    8. Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi MR J,
      Your fast could help many others that are HIV positive to regain health. If you can reach the 42 day mark with success your treatment will be replicated in a clinical setting through out Asia.
      Green juices are the best. Then veggie and fruits. Try a veggie mix with beets apples, cucumber, celery, carrots, lemon, garlic, ginger, and pineapple if you can get some.

      For your condition start with juice for three days, then you can try 2 days on water and back to juice, then alternate. Juice fasting is superior for healing. Alternating is even better but you should always come back to the juice after no more than 5 days of water fasting. You would need 42 day of juice fasting or alternating fast, with about 1 liter of juice per day. Take a multi-vitamin, E and some essential oils 1-2 tbs daily. Longer periods of water fast should be done at the end of the fast rather than the beginning. You may even try dry fasting for 3 to 4 days to maximize the cleansing.

      It is not the juices that heal but catabolism.

      I am very interested in your treatment. We are working on an parasitic, viral protocol here at the St. Theodore’s Hospital. Stay in touch and document the fast.

      Are you on any medications?
      How long have you been HIV positive?
      Are you seeing any signs of physical deterioration?

    9. MR J says:

      what did you mean by, “if i can reach the 42 day mark with success my treatment will be replicated in a clinical setting through out Asia?”

      So do I get those items, and mix to taste? there’s no certain amount of anything I need?

      I am not yet on medications, I am scheduled to get information about that in two weeks. Is it okay to take medication while on the juice fast?

      I am not seeing any signs of physical deterioration. I was diagnosed a little over a month ago. But i know I will be healed! In Jesus Name!

    10. Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      MR J
      I am the integrative program director at the Sagada hospital. We are meeting with St Luke’s and the Philippine Medical Association. We have the the first documented cures of cancer and several chronic disease. Presently we are preparing to advance to a phase one clinical trial. The treatment is juice fasting 30 or 42 days. A protocol for HIV and AIDS would be of great value. Please document your fast.
      Mix to taste. Use lots of carrots, beets and apples then mix in some of the other juices.

    11. MR J says:

      thanks for your response. I will leave a comment when I start my fast. Is there a book or guide or something I can get? Because I still feel like I am lacking information. Specifically on the juice mix, how much per day, etc. I will probably start this in the next couple of weeks. I just need information. What information will be beneficial to you? What would you like me to document? Do I take medicine while on it, or do I hold off on them?


    12. Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi MR J
      I did write the fasting book that this site is based on. At the present it is being overhauled with then new research results.
      Info: height, starting weight Kilos, blood pressure, stomach, hip and upper thigh measure in centimeters, juice amount per day. Then every 5 days or week for a retake of the data. You can drink any juice and any amount. Just follow your body. Do include some greens, and lemons, garlic and ginger. Clove tea could help. Use an enema 2 the first day 1 the second day and every 3 days after that. We will be designing the research protocols with the Biotech Department at St. Luke’s Hospital but that will take a trip to manila.

    13. MR J says:

      Okay, thanks a lot. I will let you know when I start the fast. Is there any ingredient I can include to kind of maintain weight? I know there will be weight loss, but I am not fasting specifically to lose weight.

    14. Kay says:

      Hi Tom,

      I’m hoping you have some advice for me before I start my fast. In recent months I have tried a few short water fasts, but usually had to stop on day 3 due to extreme weakness, dizziness, and vertigo. My last attempt incorporated small amounts of juice and green tea but I still only made it to day 4. (When not fasting, I normally I only drink water and a cup of coffee since I don’t particularly like juice, tea, soda, milk, etc). Is there anything else I can do or try to prevent the weakness and dizziness?

      I’m 25, female, thin (but not “skinny”). I have hormonal issues (PCOS), and this past year I’ve had a myriad of issues that are as-of-yet undiagnosed (unrelenting fatigue, loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing, joint stiffness/arthritis, loss of sensation in fingertips, white clubbed fingernails, dry thickened skin, enlarged lymph nodes, night sweats, fevers). Saw a rheumatologist who suspects I have an early autoimmune disorder (lupus or scleroderma), but early testing has all been negative and I’m still waiting for a biopsy to rule out lymphoma. I’m just sick of always feeling run down. I can stand to lose 10-15lbs, especially if it’ll make it easier on my joints. I’ve tried my doctor’s meds, vitamins, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, etc, and nothing helped, so I keep coming back to fasting… if only I could make it past those first few days! I’m ready to give it another try, so if you have any advice for me I’d be grateful!

    15. Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi Kay,
      I must repeat this again. Buy a juicer and juice fast. You will need 30 days. Do not drink anything but juice and herbal teas. Use the enema as instructed. Please document your fast. Anything less will not heal.

    16. Kay says:

      Thanks Tom, I knew that’s what you’d say, but I still needed to hear it :) Mainly because I’ve never liked juice – kind of ironic since I’m vegetarian and eat mostly raw – but I’m going to give it a try. All week my body has been telling me to fast, I had minor dental surgery a few days ago and haven’t had any desire to eat since. So today was Day One of my 30-day juice fast. I bought a few juices to get started with, and tomorrow I’m going shopping for a juicer. Today went fairly well, no hunger whatsoever, but the fatigue set in by mid-afternoon, so I’m definitely going to have to make an effort to drink more earlier in the day. Thank you for that extra push to get started, I’ll let you know how it goes!

    17. Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Now you are on the right track. Drink as much juice as you want if you need energy and cut back if you feel good.

    18. Gia says:

      I am 5’8, 112 pounds, and 20 years old. I used to fast and used to feel much better about myself and health wise. I haven’t fasted in about 2 years and would like to get back on track. I want to get rid of toxins that have accumulated in my body and just feel better physically. I don’t smoke and drink wine on occasion. I eat organic, very healthy foods so I don’t believe I have as many toxins as an average American. I have also recently given up gluten. I started a 48 hour fast (water and herbal tea only) because it is the weekend and I’ll be home. I usually get extremely weak after the first 24 hours and can barely walk to the bathroom so I prefer to stay home during the fast since I work during the week and need a lot of energy. Do you think a 48 hour fast will have any effect on my health or should I try to lengthen it? Or should I stick to a 48 hour fast once a month?

    19. Gina says:

      Hi Tom!

      Am doing intense research now on fasting, as I have a big lump on my right breast and I think it may be cancer. I have asked help from Philippine Breast Cancer Network and in fact have advised me to go through fasting and enema. I am committed to reverse this “cancer” thing and I am keeping records of what I do on a daily basis.

      I sincerely believe that I am going to be able to survive this. I do not wish to go for surgery or chemo and all that stuff. MY parents died of cancer and at that time, none of us really did a research on what cancer is and how it can be prevented.

      I would like to take part in any of your research activities as a volunteer patient.

      Just let me know.

      • Tom Coghill says:
        Tom Coghill

        Hi Gina
        Find out right away what the lump is. Even if it is beneign a juice fast is recommended. I am amazed that the Philippine Breast Cancer Network recommended fasting. I would love to talk to that person. Where are you located?

      • sim says:

        Gina your story is so similar ti mine its scary, i do have breast cancer, it was diagnosed, am on day 25 of my fast today and i am doing well except for my period not wanting to go away and my knees getting a little weak i would suggest you try the Breuss Fast which i am on here is the link get the bok read it thoroughly its very well written and start the 42 day fast i hope you havent gotten some bad news , hence why you havent replied yet. please have hope and keep us posted. Tom i am also interested in being a volunteer patient like Gina if my tumor doesnt go away. please let me know how much approx this would cost i will do anything to stay out of the incompetent hands of “modern medicine” or conventional treatments as they call them, i am only for the 100% alternative. Thank you


    20. kat08232 says:

      Hello Tom,

      I am on the 7th day of a juice fast. My main reason for the fast was spiritual. I felt like my life was going nowhere and I just needed to feel closer to GOD. I had been praying that HE would speak to my heart and let me know what it is that I needed to do to feel whole. It’s quite ironic that 2 days ago I had what appears to be an outbreak of Herpes. I’m not as depressed as I initially thought I would be because I know in my heart that it can be cured and it is too much of a coincidence that it would happen at this point, during a spiritual cleansing fast. But I have 3 important questions that I hope you can help me with:

      1) Have you heard of any instances where Herpes was cured through fasting? If so, what juices and supplements should I be taking?

      2) I am currently experiencing an outbreak which makes it very difficult to use the enema is there anything else I can do to flush out the toxins? As i’m sure that the fast will not benefit me if i’m not releasing the toxins?

      3) Lastly, I wanted to know if you had heard of a company named biogetica. They specialize in ayeurvedic treatments for illnesses and they have a treatment for this virus using indian herbs and have many rave reviews. Do you think it is wise to take these supplements along with the juice fast?

      Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. I’m trying to stay strong, and I do fine when I’m around others but when I’m alone, my thoughts sometimes get the best of me and i don’t want to think negative as I’m fully aware that your thoughts are a direct connection to your health. Please help.

      • Tom Coghill says:
        Tom Coghill

        Herpes viruses are known for their ability to establish lifelong, incurable infections. Fasting will reduce the symptoms but will it cure herpes, not sure. Worth a try. You would be looking at 40 days of alternating juice and water fasting. Never here of Biogenica. Any natural treatment would work better during a juice fast. You can do the enema after a few days of fasting.

        • sim says:

          Gina please keep strong, i have breast cancer and am on day 25 of the fast today, i am on the Breuss cancer cure fast here is the link you may want to to do it as well

          and Tom i would also like to come to your clinic in manila if the fast fails on me which i hope it wont cause i am keeping very strictly on it. How much would it cost to get treated? i am only into alternatives and shun the conventional.



    21. Racheal says:

      Hi to all,

      I believe in starting a fast at sundown (beginning of a new Scriptural day), and would like to start water fasting in a few minutes. I have been consuming lots of alcohol over the past 18 months trying to drown my problems. Not only are my problems superswimmers and still with me, I have also ended up gaining 25 pounds and I am not at all glad about myself.

      I would like to fast for 21 days. It is my goal. I have attempted this several times and failed miserably, so I tried having 2 fasting buddies but they both bailed on day 2. I found this site today and I am seeking support and guidance and some kind words.

      There are things occurring in my life that’s I don’t like but I cannot change but I could change the way I look and the way I feel physically. I need to detoxify my body from all the alcohol abuse and bad eating. I need to feel clean on the inside.

    22. jungly says:

      Does this refer to WaterFasting only? Or can you gain the same benefits by doing JuiceFasting.

      The reason it confuses me is that WaterFasting makes sense since there is no digestion going on. While JuiceFasting requires some form of digestion (although minimal compared to eating regular food).

    23. sim says:

      Gina please keep strong, i have breast cancer and am on day 25 of the fast today, i am on the Breuss cancer cure fast here is the link you may want to to do it as well

      and Tom i would also like to come to your clinic in manila if the fast fails on me which i hope it wont cause i am keeping very strictly on it. How much would it cost to get treated? i am only into alternatives and shun the conventional.


    24. Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi Sim,
      It is a St Theodore’s Hospital Of Sagada. Which is 12 hour north of Manila. We have seen effective results with tumorx check out but if you used it contact me first. It is also very painful.

      • drhoo says:

        Hi Tom,

        My uncle has stage 4 pancreatic cancer and we’re seriously thinking about TumorX as our last hope.

        I’d appreciate any information about your experience.


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