Fasting is said to be a multidimensional experience in which total body transformation occurs. Many religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Eastern religions used and still use fasting as a healing process for spiritual purification and communion with God. Philosophers, scientists, and physicians have used it as a healing process to cure illnesses.

Nowadays, besides its religious and healing connotations, fasting has become very popular amongst women through those super-restrictive eating plans that are linked to Angelina Jolie or Gwyneth Paltrow. For instance, Beyonce Knowles attributed her 20-pound weight loss for the movie “Dreamgirls” to the Master Cleanse - a starvation diet whose adherents swallow nothing but a concoction of lemon juice mixed with maple syrup, water and cayenne pepper, as well as salt water and a laxative tea for 10 days.

It’s true, fasting has its benefits, such as a heightened spiritual awareness and relaxation of the body, mind, and emotions. Many people feel no pain and develop a positive attitude towards present. During fasting, the body is able to clean out its system because it is not expending energy towards the digestive organs. The blood and lymph are detoxified. When fasting, the release of toxins from the colon, kidneys, bladder, lungs, sinuses, and skin clears out complications that have arisen from a bad diet and unhealthy lifestyle.

dangers of fasting

However, fasting has fewer advantages than disadvantages and most people don’t know how dangerous fasting is. It affects not only our physical being, but our mental, emotional, and spiritual self as well. But why and how it endangers our health whilst some scientists say it will do us good? Well, let’s see… Because of the lack of glucose consumed, the liver converts glycogen stores into glucose and energy. The brain and the central nervous system need direct glucose, so they must get it either from the breakdown of proteins or fatty acids. The body resists breaking down the proteins, so fatty acids, after being converted into ketones, become the primary source of energy. Ketosis is subdued by drinking plenty of fruit juices, which provide simple carbohydrates for energy and cellular functioning.

Some diets restrict all solid foods and instruct dieters to survive on only low-calorie beverages for days at a time. The Joshi holistic diet involves an elaborate list of so-called acid-forming foods to avoid for three weeks, including seemingly healthy vegetables and cereals.
If you decide to follow such a diet or to fast for detox your body or for any other reasons, you should think twice and consider the side-effects: headaches, nausea, and muscle aches. Everyone responds to detoxification differently, depending on the level of toxicity in the body. While one person’s body becomes sick immediately after beginning a fast, another person may feel energized and renewed. These side effects include a drop in blood pressure, a persistent cold, and acute emotional distress. Still, depriving the body of the vitamins and minerals you get from food weak the body’s ability to fight infections and inflammation.

A prolonged fast/diet can lead to anemia, impairment of liver function, kidney stones, mineral imbalances, and other undesirable side effects. Deaths due to prolonged fasting have occurred, usually in people who believe this would “purify” their body or cure them of some disease.
Moreover, for people with diabetes taking certain tablets and/or insulin to manage their condition, the dangers are much higher. If you are a diabetic and you are intending to fast, you should attend your diabetes clinic for an assessment of your current level of diabetes control because the greatest danger is that of hypoglycemia. There is also the danger of the blood glucose level becoming too high when normal levels of medication are not taken. This can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a condition requiring hospital admission.
Therefore, you should pay attention to what you eat and how you eat and try to avoid fasting as much as you can. Always remember that health is more important than silhouette, sicknesses have medical cures and you don’t have to starve yourself to death for that. And if you are a religious person in search for divine communion or Nirvana, well… maybe your faith is stronger than your health.


  1. 1
    April 27th, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Why Fasting works, mainly it deprives the body of protein. Viruses and Bacteria live on protein, when there is no protein the viruses and bacteria die. All virus have a outer and inner shell of protein, which breaks down, and the white corpuscles take over. That is why it is not good to eat any food, while you have the Flu or a Cold, because all you will do is feed it!

  2. 2
    July 20th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Its is mainly a spiritual thing. you can look at it as a detoxification, but fasting in my opinion is meant to teach self discipline. you eat every day and don’t take into account how lucky we are to eat every day. maybe seeing things from a different perspective every once in a while is good. but always take care of yourself and be healthy.

  3. 3
    john k
    March 16th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Would love to know where the person who wrote this article recieved thier facts from? Fast has from the very begining been used to deny onself of the physical and unite oneself with our Lord and creator. Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes form GOD!

  4. 4
    June 13th, 2011 at 4:46 am

    Yes, fasting is unhealthy and arose from stone-age people who believe in talking snakes. Because everything that is physical affects the brain, starving yourself is no different and affects mental health and a negative impact on the bodily health.
    Try eating lower amounts of food and try to keep your stomach’s blood supply going with small snacks like crackers. And also, if you do decide to harm your body this way, eat vitamins, and a glass of skim milk at least

  5. 5
    August 16th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I’m teaching fasting in our Christian school this year. As far as the health issues (pros and cons), I don’t have a real knowledge. But as far as answered prayer, I have seen miracles! Recently, a boy from our church, Dale Ostrander, drowned, but was miraculously brought back to life! When the doctors came into the room with no hope, some teenagers and I decided to fast and pray. Now instead of having a message of despair, the doctors are saying that Dale can make a full recovery! Say what you like…but fasting and prayer works! See Matthew 17:20-21.

  6. 6
    Kat Foster
    September 7th, 2011 at 4:14 am

    Fasting worked for my dad (72 years old) to cure the prostate cancer!
    He fasted for 42 days with juices, onion broths, and herbal teas. He followed some old book that was written by German doctor. Cancer cells are needed protein for growth. It takes 42 days (not less) to kill the process. Blood results confirmed that on 40th day of fast he still had cancer, but after 42 days blood results were good. It wasn’t easy for him. His wife was joking that he looked like a prisoner from a concentration camp. I wouldn’t recommended to anyone who has to work everyday. We were all concerned about him to be able to survive the fast. His possitive attitude and determination made a difference at the end. Is chemo therapy or x-rays are better?

  7. 7
    September 11th, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Fasting is healthy for most people. Those who say it is not do not know science. Humans were not meant to eat 3 meals a day. We are hunters. This is why we have the ability to build up fat. People who say fasting is not healthy are simply stupid. Do as you want, and a few days with no food will not kill you.

  8. 8
    October 4th, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    There is plenty of good data to support serious health benefits of fasting. Research the connection between Coronary Artery Disease and intermittent 24-hour food and water fasts. Very compelling data. Fasting is both best for the body and the spirit when done 24 hours at a time once every other month or so. Depriving your body of food for any sort of aesthetic enhancement is dumb.

  9. 9
    October 4th, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I also agree with Dennis above about fasting and prayer.

  10. 10
    October 17th, 2011 at 2:47 am

    I can’t believe people are so brainwashed that they believe fasting is good for you. -______-;


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