The fast took place under medical supervision, few negative side effects were reported and 5 years on the man gained back only 11 pounds.
The study published by the University Department of Medicine, Dundee reports on a 456 pound unnamed 27 year old male who took up the extreme task of not eating for over a year.
During this period he drank water, supplemented with potassium tablets and multi-vitamins every day. During the 382 day fast he lost 275.5 pounds.
The study summary read:
A 27-year-old male patient fasted under supervision for 382 days and has subsequently maintained his normal weight. Blood glucose concentrations around 30 mg/100 ml were recorded consistently during the last 8 months, although the patient was ambulant and attending as an out-patient. Responses to glucose and tolbutamide tolerance tests remained normal. The hyperglycaemic response to glucagon was reduced and latterly absent, but promptly returned to normal during carbohydrate refeeding.
After an initial decrease was corrected, plasma potassium levels remained normal without supplementation. A temporary period of hypercalcaemia occurred towards the end of the fast. Decreased plasma magnesium concentrations were a consistent feature from the first month onwards. After 100 days of fasting there was a marked and persistent increase in the excretion of urinary cations and inorganic phosphate, which until then had been minimal. These increases may be due to dissolution of excessive soft tissue and skeletal mass. Prolonged fasting in this patient had no ill-effects.
ABC.au reported the man was able to fast for this amount of time due to the following factors:
Once you stop eating, your body gets its energy from the glucose in your bloodstream and liver, thanks to your last meal. You carry a semipermanent 0.5 to 1 kilogram of solids in your gut. The glucose from this runs out after about eight hours.
Then you start burning up a chemical called glycogen. Glycogen is simply a whole bunch of glucose molecules loosely stuck together. It’s stored in your liver and muscles. Glycogen is really easy to break down into the individual glucose molecules from which it was made. You can burn glycogen to get the glucose you need for about another 36 to 48 hours.
After two or three days of fasting, you get your energy from two different sources simultaneously. A very small part of your energy comes from breaking down your muscles — but you can avoid this by doing some resistance training, otherwise known as pumping iron. The majority of your energy comes from breaking down fat.
But very soon, you move into getting all your energy from the breakdown of fat. The fat molecules break down into two separate chemicals — glycerol (which can be converted into glucose) and free fatty acids (which can be converted into other chemicals called ketones). Your body, including your brain, can run on this glucose and ketones until you finally run out of fat.
In this case it has shown that extreme fasting can be used as an effective way to regain your health. However, many others have been far less successful in extended fasts and to do so without medical supervision could be a huge risk. Always research the subject before taking on anything of this magnitude.
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I am Luke Miller the author of this article, and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here