Ep. 11 - Fasting Immunity Boost, Autophagy, Vitamin D | Meal Timing and Mindframe during a Pandemic | Control, Simplicity, Fasting Psychology, Free Fasting Plan

Immunity | Fasting Against Fear | Pandemic?

In this episode, Dr. Scott and Tommy discuss the benefits of fasting and a caloric deficit in supporting your immune function. They discuss the benefits of other modalities that can help support the immune system and slow the spread of infectious diseases. These are simple things you can do at home to help regain some control and decrease stressors, which can be especially helpful during times like these. The tone of this episode is slightly different than usual but they felt it was important considering the fear and uncertainty of our day to day lives. *Disclaimer - we are not immunologists (just hoping to spread some encouragement and simple action steps to help)


1. Prolonged Fasting reduces IGF-1/PKA to promote hematopoietic stem cell-based regeneration and reverse immunosuppression

2. Intermittent fasting during Ramadan attenuates proinflammatory cytokines and immune cells in healthy subjects.

3. Intermittent fasting attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammation and memory impairment.

4. Interleukin-6, C-reactive protein and biochemical parameters during prolonged intermittent fasting.

5. The possible roles of solar ultraviolet-B radiation and vitamin D in reducing case-fatality rates from the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic in the United States

6. Vitamin D and Immune Function

7. Humidity and Health: Respiratory Infections as a Result of the "Dry Building Syndrome"

8. Effects of Air Temperature and Relative Humidity on Coronavirus Survival on Surfaces

9. 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak: A Review of the Current Literature and Built Environment Considerations to Reduce Transmission

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Hello. I'm Dr. Scott Watier. And I'm Tommy Welling, and you're listening to the Fasting for Life podcast.

This podcast is about using fasting as a tool to regain your health. Achieve ultimate wellness and live the life you truly deserve.

Each episode is a short conversation on a single topic with immediate, actionable steps. We cover everything from fat loss and health and wellness to the science of lifestyle design.

We started fasting for life because of how fasting has transformed our lives and we hope to share the tools that we have learned along the way.

Everyone, and welcome. My name is Dr. Scott Watier, I'm here, as always, with my good friend and colleague, Tommy Welling. Good evening, sir. Hey, how are you, Scott? Well, Tommy, you know, I'm doing all right. Yeah. Got a few things going on, though, as you probably do also. Yes. It has been a little bit a little bit crazy lately. Got a few things going on out there. Yeah. And that's really why we wanted to do a little different episode today with everything else that's going on around us. You and I very similar in the mindset that we can control. We can control. So we're gonna talk about what we can do today by using fasting and some other things we'll go over in just a minute to to give us some calmness and bring some calmness about, you know, what what's going around going on around us with, you know, the closures and the Corona virus and everything else that goes along with that.

Yeah, we have some scarcity, some fear.

We're we're we're feeling it even when we are trying to stay, you know, kind of out of it. You can't really avoid hearing the message. It's kind of everywhere. And yeah, things are just now starting to shut down. They're talking about quarantines and they're talking about, you know, things not being available. Restaurants and bars here in Houston are shutting down at this point. So it's it's kind of unavoidable to to get the message. And when we wanted to see what we could do to optimize the situation, take back a little bit of control, simplify things, and really kind of tie it in. I mean, this is this is really at the core of why we started this fasting for life thing.

Yeah. It comes down to the control and the simplicity, too. So, you know, I'm not one to. We don't have cable. We had drug TV for the football season, but we don't have cable TV is not on. I don't listen to the radio or the news. I go and find news when I'm interested to find news. But I'm not typically one of these people that's constantly, you know, having I protect my input, so to speak. So, you know, in this situation, though, there's definite a definite need to be aware of what's going on and also make sure that you have a plan in place. You know, with the way things are moving, you know, for instance, San Francisco, three weeks, they're going to be only allowed to you're only supposed to go out for food and for medical visits. So, you know, obviously, San Francisco, California, a lot more exposure. Then where we are here, you know, in our county. You know, tens or hundreds more cases. But, you know, I want to throw a disclaimer in here, too, is. We are not immunologist right now, a government agency. We're not. Yeah, we're not the CDC. You have, you know, your degree in physiology and psychology. I have my degrees in biological sciences, anatomy and physiology.

And we have gone through some.

You know, a deep dive on some information that's backed by research and that we feel will give you the listener. Everybody out there what it's given us, which is some of that control. And you never want to be operating out of an area of fear when you make decisions based on fear, you run out of toilet paper. Yeah, right. Like when you make financial decisions based on fear. Typically those decisions don't work out right. So right now, money. Yeah, exactly. The mass hysteria. And there is cause for concern, of course. But. What can you do on a daily basis that can boost your own ability to increase your safety, increase the safety of your loved ones, and also control what you can control? And that's something that, you know, we live by, so.

Just leaving it gone. I was going to say feeling prepared goes a long way. So even just a little bit that you can take control over it. You can feel like you, you know, it's going to have a positive impact. And, you know, you'll be you'll be setup better if things continue to go on the current team direction or, you know, if it's if it's a little tougher than then it was last week to pick up, you know, your favorite item for the grocery store, whatever the case may be, a little preparation goes a long way to, you know, how to clear the mind and keep you focused on on whatever else you have going on during the rest of the time.

Yeah. So we are going to talk, we're going to start talking about fasting, because that's this is really where the jumping off point was for us and. Looking at the benefits of fasting and what it can do for the immune system is really where we want to begin, because the immune system is what we're seeing with this that's allowing so many people to be infected but not become a fatality.

It's the people that are in the immune depressed situations and diabetes type 2 diabetics specifically have much higher incidences of heart disease and much higher incidences of respiratory infections, which this is turning into, which is causing the majority of the fatalities. In the more metabolically imbalanced, the less healthy, the more immunocompromised. So their immune system is suppressed. That's not functioning at a higher rate, which is the older population. So how can we prepare ourselves? Well, one of the easiest things we can do. Tommy and you were talking about this.

Is fasting study and how it has the effects on the reversing, the aging effects on stem cells.

Yeah, there's there's some fantastic basic research studies done on fasting, specifically prolonged fasting. We're talking 48 hours plus specifically studies on a couple of studies were 48 hours to 120 hours. But anything greater than 48 hours has a huge protective benefit and regenerative benefit of bone marrow stem cells, which are the key to to a healthy, functioning body with healthy blood. And that's that's the main negative effect of aging and chemotherapy. As far as, you know, prevention of diseases, being prone to diseases and decreased immune function as well. So if we can keep the bone marrow healthy and keep the blood stem cells pumping out and regenerating at the appropriate rate, then we've done a huge, huge service towards increased immune function and keeping the overall body healthy.

It was really cool because the the news article that referenced the research article in the U.S., your article said that fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged old immune system. So it was like, oh, OK. So I'm getting immune system that's been through a couple rounds. Let's say it's a boxing match. You're in round twelve. Well, the cool thing is this allows you to kind of go back a few rounds and maybe make a couple of different changes. So I know it's a bad analogy, but it's you know, you got an immune system that's been through some stuff and now you're going to be able to increase the function of the immune system and increase the regenerative properties. So right there. Huge win. And now that is specifically the 48 hour mark. So looking at it from an intermittent fasting perspective, intermittent fasting has just a litany of benefits in in terms of shutting down the inflammatory pathways which eat which decrease your immune function. So when we're looking at fasting, you know, I know you and I from a practical perspective are thinking, okay, well, that's going to allow us to keep more food in our fridge, right? Yeah, from a immune perspective. I mean, you know, the next three studies we're gonna go over. I mean, it's just intermittent fasting alone just has so many benefits for boosting your own immune system.

Yeah. I mean, we're we're talking about improved immune regulation. So actually regulating all the immune factors, you know, various cells have to be produced. There have to be hormonal triggers happening throughout the body that get set off especially well when insulin like growth factor IGF 1 that we talked about last time on the show, when that goes down from fasting, that allows these processes to ramp up. And then so we're also talking about stimulating what we call cellular autophagy, which is basically recycling the cells that have any sort of damage which happens in an immune load like we have basically a viral load like what we're seeing right now.

Or any immune compromised position in the body as well as in an overfed state. So we can negate all these things by fasting as well as genetic repair. And then it's insulin sensitivity as well. So we're we're ramping up the body, getting it ready to go back to the boxing analogy, to really put it on its feet and, you know, put up its dukes, get ready for a fight.

Right. I love that growing up as a Notre Dame Fighting Irish fan, a little a little guy. That's why I ordered that. And that's what I think of. Yeah. Other go. The cool thing about Solara Autophagy is it's been proven over and over again that a caloric deficit, so less calories in causes the autophagy to go up.

Now, if we're talking about bodybuilders and muscle mass, well, yeah, there's probably situations where you get to know your body type and what your output is. But if we're talking about strictly immune system and survival and boosting our immune system the best possible way we can, caloric deficit. So if you don't eat your body like you just said, all those beneficial things are going up, the immune system going off, autophagy genetic repair, insulin sensitivity is improving, which means your body is processing the blood sugar better. So there's nothing in any of that. That doesn't bode well for the current situation.

Right. And further on on that point, in a modern Western diet, we're typically, as you know, many of us are typically in the overfed state. We may not be thinking about it that way, but the fact that we're we need fasting to reverse those trends means that we are overfed. That means that the body is actually being taxed by the amount of food that we're in taking all the time, and that's that's a different perspective than than if you would have asked me that question a few years ago before I kind of saw the light and found found a solution. But that's what's happening in the body. So every bit of resource and energy that it's putting towards taking in overfeeding means that something else has to suffer. And unfortunately, it it tends to be the immune system as just one of the systems that suffers.

Right. And we'll talk in a minute about the innate versus adaptive immune system when it comes in regards to vitamin D. Vitamin D. To switch gears a little bit, and I just wanted to say this one more time. We're not immunologists, but we do have experience in physiology and biologic biology, et cetera. So this stuff, you know, makes sense to us when we are putting the pieces together, especially when it comes from a fasting perspective, because we as we just went over all of the benefits that come with intermittent to extended fasts. So, you know, switching gears just a little bit. Couple of other things that we found really interesting in regards to you. If you look back at the flu pandemic of 1918, 1919, there was a really cool study about UVB rays of sunlight and the vitamin D production in the body. Now, if you look at today's studies with vitamin D, there's definitely but he has a vast effect.

It's actually being called a hormone in certain situations. It has a vast effect on the innate and adaptive immune system. So what does your body innately have and then what does your body do under stress or or how does it adapt? It has beneficial effects. Vitamin D does on both of those. So the cool thing was the flu pandemic of 18 19. The difference between where you were located and the fatality rates.

Yeah. So what what they did find was the higher up you were lattitude was the the worse off you were. As far as your fatality rates. So going from Connecticut all the way down to San Antonio, Texas, there was a fourfold difference being that it was four times less fatal to be in the southern areas where you were ex-spy exposed to the highest levels of UVB radiation, because it turns out that the transmission of the flu was was that much less likely in those those higher UVB areas.

And there is a flaw in that study. Vitamin D had not yet been discovered then, but they did correlate it to the UVB exposure. So why we're bringing this up is, yes, you can fast. Right. It's going to relieve some of the stress of having to worry about food. You're going to get the immune boosting effects of it. I notice when we had this challenge, we did our seven day challenge back in February. And, you know, we had one person that was in the challenge and she ended up getting sick and she reached down. So what do you think we should do? And I said, well, personally, I would continue to fast. But she had a chat, an infection. And then she was like, you know, I responded very conservatively and said, well, you know, you know, if you follow what your doctor says, you have medication. Go and do it, mate. You might want to think about waiting. And she's like, well, I read I was reading some articles about how fasting boosts the immune system and helps to be sensible. So I'm just gonna push through. And she pushed through and crushed it. Yeah. Yeah. She felt great about it. She was happy. She was so happy. And I was I guess that's what I should have said. So I joked next time I saw her in person, we had a meeting and I was I had a coaching session. I was like, yeah, I know. I should've just said that because that's what you end up doing anyway, because that's what I would have done. So boost your immune system. Fasting vitamin D. Why are we talking about this one? Well, get outside in today's world. Everyone's like talking about.

All right. What shows can I binge? I'm quarantine. And by the way, quarantine where we are. I don't like the word quarantine. Yes. Keep your distance. Don't be high fiving and hugging and kissing. Everybody you see on the street like that makes sense to me. But don't just sit inside, get outside, go out. Take the dogs for a walk, walk around your neighborhood. Go to the park. All right. You know, if if you're in an area, for instance, that you can't you're not allowed to leave the house, you're allowed to go outside. You know, like it's OK. So get some sunlight, get some exposure. It's gonna be good for everyone to get out of the house anyway. And then, you know, with the flu pandemic study of 1918, 19, 1918 and 1919, that fourfold decrease in fatality rates was just amazing. From New London, Connecticut to San Antonio. So get outside, get some vitamin D. And I supplement with vitamin D every day. Our kids supplement. Indeed. In the winter, I take ten thousand units, in the summer, I take five thousand units. If you know what your vitamin D levels are, great. If you don't, that amount is not going to hurt you. And we did vitamin D testing at one of the clinics I worked in in Naples, Florida. Right. Naples, Florida. Sunny, Naples, Florida. Right. Everybody's outside all the time. Right. Seventy five percent of the people that walked in were still vitamin D deficient. Now, well, there's a whole nother level of stuff there. But the bottom line is the vitamin D effect on the innate and adaptive immune system is enormous. The higher the vitamin D levels, the better immune system functions.

Well, I like this next one because the next one was something else that's actionable. This was so-called, you know, and so this was a Mayo Clinic study. They looked at preschoolers and they gave half the school humidifiers in the winter and then half they did not give them humidifiers. Then they tracked flu rates. And what they found was in the humidified group that half of the school there, absenteeism rate dropped by 66 percent through the flu season through the wintertime. Two thirds, two thirds just for having that humidifier that they were using at home. Basically, put this in the bedroom. Sleep with it on. That's it. A very simple step because it turns out that a 50 percent relative humidity rate is is your optimal way to keep the flu transmission to a minimum. That is the best way to cut down on flu transmission. As far as relative humidity goes, 50 percent.

So we realize this. We we have humidifiers. We live in Houston. So it's very humid in the summertime. But in the winter it does get dry. And I did not know there was such a strong correlation between drier climates and the flu transmission. I didn't know. We just you just Google it. And it was like research article after article after article after article that came up. And this was the Mayo Clinic study, like you mentioned. But we we found some others that are specifically related to the 2090 novel coronavirus outbreak. And then there was one from 10 years ago. That was the Carone at the SA's Corona family of viruses. Yes. And again, the same numbers came up 40 to 60 percent humidity relative 40 to 60 percent moisture in the air based on relative humidity. And it I mean, there was article after article after article, research article proving age, fact studies and all these other things that the viruses can't live on surfaces nearly as long in the in the rooms that had this 40 to 60 percent or 50 percent rate of moisture. So that just reaffirmed what we had read about the humidifiers study that was done in the classrooms. But there's also ones out there that have been done in hospitals. So some samples of something simple that you can absolutely do is, you know, get a humidifier. Right.

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And if you are really wanting to take it to the next level, get a little hydrometer, you know, 10, 20 bucks and you can see what the humidity level is. Some of the newer like the nest and the eco bees and things like that, some of those will give you humidity levels as well. So you can definitely attract that look to look to kick it up a notch and get a hit for that.

Try to try to aim for that 50 percent range in a real life, you know, because in today's world, I feel like the term science and knowledge in the whole world of research is kind of lost its way a little bit in that science is not just research articles. Right. Scientific method involves observational studies, deductive and inductive reasoning, you know, reproducibility, so on and so forth. But I know a real life example for me. So more of a case study. Observational thing is this year we ran dehumidifiers in both our kids rooms. Every night we just it was just part of our routine where last year we didn't do that. We only went on the nights that we felt where the little one might not have been 100 percent. No. And. We've had zero infections as year zero. No breathing, no coughing, no sniffling, nothing, and we have a 10 month old and a three year old that goes to daycare for it week. So observational study there to reaffirm what we're you know, what we saw here. I didn't know what a hydrometer was. You know, and I know some of the new age VAC systems actually have humidifiers in in the H back, you know, installation of the home. So it's much more expensive than just your standard. But yeah, so if you don't have one of the Néstor smart ones, go and get a micrometers $10. You know, so this was something that obviously is not directly relate to fasting, but it's something actionable that you can do to help, you know, if we are at home to help the environment and the environment you're living in the air you're breathing to be optimal for staying healthy and keeping that immune system that you're gonna be improving with fasting and vitamin D and getting outside, you're going to just improve even more with it with another another source of stability there and control.

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, to to further that point a little bit, when when you feel like you're you're a little bit more in control and you've done something actionable that, you know, is going to is going to be a little bit more optimal than whatever the circumstances were before, like doing the humidifier, doing a hydrometer, you know, getting more sunlight, all these things that relieve some stress when you relieve that stress. It's easier to say, OK, what are my fasting goals? What do I want to do? Do I want to do a 48 hour fast right now or do I want to go for a four or five day fast, whatever it may be, whereas the the opposite of that situation is sitting around hearing, hearing the news, getting worried, being stressed, and then most likely maybe doing some stress eating, going into kind of a quarantine rabbit hole where you're sitting on the couch, you're eating net, you're watching Netflix, eating some snacks. That's the exact opposite of control and regaining your health and your life back with fasting. So so that's where it all kind of ties in and why I wanted to address all these things. Yeah.

And it's you know, we're going to ask for, you know, if this isn't landing for you. Like if you came here for some more fasting tips and tricks and we're all talking about the Corona virus and you know, they're with us. We appreciate your your patients. But we really felt it was important to talk about it in light of what it is that we're doing in our in our main goal, like you said. So less worry, less money spent, the better benefits. Your immune system will be functioning better. Your food in your freezer will last longer. Now, I'm not saying get your kids fasting, feed them. Oh, yeah. But you know, for us and I've still got I know I made a mention to a friend the other day. I said, yeah. He was asking. He's like, hey, how you guys doing? I'm like, we're great. He's like, yeah, you know, we're up here, you know, we're in Massachusetts.

And he was telling me about things that are going on the attacks. And I said, I'm not worried. I got at least 60 days of food right around my midsection. Haha, you just laughed. These guys still got a six pack. I was I yeah, but you're not a 4 percent. You still have some. You could, you could give me a week without. No. And not to be doomsday. But you know, the other thing is, you know, everything always recovers. The markets recover, society recovers, people recover. We've got this.

Hopefully this brought you, you know, us going down this path, know some clarity, some things you can do. Again, regain that control and we are gonna get through it. And just watching the trends, which I do, you know, we're not out of the woods yet, but but we're making progress.

So. Yeah, absolutely. And we'll keep we'll keep taking it every day looking for those ways to, you know, empower you guys and bring you guys some good actionable steps. So so let us know if if there's anything in particular on your mind. Send us a note. Check out the the website, drop us a line info at the fasting for Life.com and tell us what's on your mind and or drop us a Facebook line and we can address it here, too.

Yeah, absolutely. I'm going to. I think I'm gonna go on my my professional page to tell me just thinking this in the moment. Then just do a kind of an overview of immune boosting. You know, immunes. I shouldn't say boosting because technically that's not what we're doing. We're so immune function or immune support thing you can do to help it. That's I may give a couple more tips on what we do on a day to day basis, not specifically around kind of the situation that we're in now, but, you know, in terms of like vitamin C and, you know, foods in those types of things. But everything that we want to go over today, man, I feel really good about it. Hoping that it's going to empower some people out there, so drop us a line like Tommy said, and you guys be safe and be blessed. Yeah, thanks God. You.

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