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Does fasting cause low blood sugar? No, notes Jason Fung, MD
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 11:21 am Email this article
Does fasting to lose weight cause low blood sugar?
No, it does not according to a new book called The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting by Jason Fung, MD and Jimmie Moore.
“Sometimes people worry that blood sugar will fall very low during fasting and they will become shaky and sweaty. Luckily, this does not actually happen,” Dr. Fung writes.
“Blood sugar level is tightly monitored by the body, and there are multiple mechanisms to keep it in the proper range.
“During fasting, our body begins by breaking down glycogen (remember, that’s the glucose in short-term storage) in the liver to provide glucose.
“This happens every night as you sleep to keep blood sugars normal as you fast overnight.”
“People who engage in fasting for religious or spiritual purposes often report feelings of extreme clear-headedness and physical and emotional well-being. Some even feel a sense of euphoria.
“They usually attribute this to achieving some kind of spiritual enlightenment, but the truth is much more down-to-earth and scientific than that: it’s the ketones!
“Ketones are a “superfood” for the brain.
“When the body and brain are fueled primarily by fatty acids and ketones, respectively, the “brain fog,” mood swings, and emotional instability that are caused by wild fluctuations in blood sugar become a thing of the past and clear thinking is the new normal.”
“A related myth is that brain cells can only use glucose for energy.
“This is incorrect.
“Human brains, unique amongst animals, can also use ketone bodies—particles that are produced when fat is metabolized—as a fuel source.
“This allows us to function optimally even when food is not readily available. Ketones provide the majority of the energy we need.”
“Consider the consequences if glucose were absolutely necessary for brain function.
“After twenty-four hours without food, glucose stored in our bodies in the form of glycogen is depleted.
“At that point, we’d become blubbering idiots as our brains shut down. In the Paleolithic era, our intellect was our only advantage against wild animals with their sharp claws, sharp fangs, and bulging muscles.
“Without it, humans would have become extinct, long ago.”
Interview with Dr. Fung About Fasting
Watch the very interesting interview of Dr. Jason Fung in which he talks about the health benefits and weight loss benefits of fasting.
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