July 23, 2015 – Fasting and Cancer


Anchor lead:  Can periodic fasting reduce your risk of cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports

People who fasted for five days out of each month reduced markers of inflammation and other risk factors for common diseases, including cancer, a recent study reports. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says so far, he is more persuaded by the evidence relative to obesity and cancer risk, but is willing to consider fasting as a potential method.

Nelson: I think the better evidence for calories I think at this point affecting cancer it may increase the risk for some cancers, I think it definitely has a stronger impact that we can measure on the virulence among people who’ve been diagnosed with them. People who are overweight often have worse outcomes when diagnosed for many common cancers.  I think there would be a net benefit for weight control, and if this would be something that many people could do to realize health benefits from dietary modulation I think it’s a great idea.  :30

Nelson says periodic fasting may be easier for most that overall calorie restriction permanently.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.