Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
January 9, 2022
I just completed another experiment on myself. I’m starting to feel like a lab rat. But my results can benefit you as well as me. I’ll summarize your benefits in the last section, Your Takeaway.
On 11/21/21, I wrote about my Bovine Colostrum Experiment and the many health benefits of this whole food when eaten daily. In that blog, I cited 10 recent medical articles about Bovine Colostrum’s effects on the human body.
And on 4/11/21, I wrote about my 72-hour water-only fast. This was one way to put me into a high level of optimum ketosis.
But this time, my goal is different. I wanted to continue to gain potentially reparative benefits by eating bovine colostrum daily, AND at the same time I wanted to maintain optimal dietary ketosis for my metabolic flexibility. This experiment allowed me to focus only on colostrum’s unique nutrients while still metabolizing fat as my primary fuel source and benefiting from my liver’s creation of ketones.
But I shouldn’t call this a “fast”. This is not a true “fast”. Colostrum has fat, carbs, and protein. So, the body is not really “fasting”. Some people might call this a “detox protocol”. But I’m not fond of the term “detox protocol”. Here’s why …
I’m Not a Fan of the Term “Detox Protocol”
“Detox protocol” mostly refers to short-duration processes that are touted to be a way of removing toxic substances from the body. But short-term programs might not really work. In addition, many of the detox products contain emulsifiers and additives which have been shown to damage the gut microbiome. The fact is that the body naturally detoxifies daily through the kidneys, liver, and skin. Remember, your body has evolved for thousands and thousands of years learning what it needs to do to function at peak performance. Why do you think we need to put processed concoctions into the body to make it work better? Instead, we should be concentrating on giving our body what it requires and avoiding anything that is potentially toxic to our body – 24/7. And I already eat a healthy diet based on my Better Belly Blueprint.
So, I don’t like the concept of “detox protocols”.
My 72-hour Colostrum & Water Fast
I’m not doing this fast to detoxify my body during this 72-hour period.
This fast is relevant for me on two specific fronts:
- Bovine colostrum has the potential to assist many of the body’s pathways to heal. I wrote about it on 11/21/21. This fast only includes Bovine Colostrum as a nutrient source, and it may benefit my current cancer therapy. I receive a monthly injection of a human-based monoclonal antibody (Darzalex) to assist my immune system in killing malignant plasma cells. The Darzalex effects may be enhanced with a colostrum and water fast starting the morning of and ending two days after the immunotherapy. Some of my future monthly blood work might show improvement with this protocol. I’m looking forward to evaluating future monthly lab results as is my oncologist.
- I want to be metabolically flexible, which I wrote about HERE and HERE. It is important for me to be in ketosis and cycle out of ketosis regularly. This helps enhance my immune system. So, this 72-hour colostrum & water fast will show me how my metabolism can enter and stay in ketosis even though I eat colostrum. If I were unable to be in ketosis while eating colostrum daily, I would need to either reduce my daily intake of colostrum or eliminate it entirely. As you will see, I was able to enter a significant level of dietary ketosis during this fast.
Colostrum is a whole food, and my choice in a commercially produced product must have nothing added or removed from this whole-food source except the water. I have tried several colostrum products, but I’ve settled on Colostrum-6 powder as the best. It is obtained within 6 hours of calving but only after calves have consumed their fill. Here is an independent analysis of the components of Colostrum-6.
Below is a chart summarizing the percentage of macronutrients contained in my daily dose of 6 tablespoons of Colostrum-6:
I needed to understand how a 72-hour fast including only water and colostrum would affect my ketones levels. To do this, I began monitoring my ketones frequently each day of the fast using the BioSense Breath Ketone Monitor.
I started the fast on Monday, 12/27/21 upon waking and ended it when I went to bed on Wednesday, 12/30/21. I’m an old guy who is almost 75. So, I go to bed early. You’ll see that I ended my fast at 9 PM and said, “Goodnight!”
Here is a summary of what I did for my 3-day fast …
- Recorded my ketone levels at the start of the fast on Monday morning, 12/27/21 and continued every several hours until bedtime for the entire fast
- Drank SOLE hydrating water first thing in the morning
- Continued to drink natural spring water replete with trace minerals when thirsty for all 3 days
- At 9 AM, 2PM, and 7PM, I ate 2 tablespoons of Colostrum-6 Powder mixed in a little spring water daily
- On Tuesday, 1/4/22, I had my monthly CBC (complete blood count) and CMP (comprehensive metabolic panel) blood tests performed during my regular oncologist appointment. I also had serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP) and immunofixation blood work performed that day, which is repeated every 2-3 months.
Details of the Fast
As I said, I measure my ketone levels with the BioSense Monitor. These levels are reported in ACEs.
“ACEs” are BioSense’s scoring system for breath acetones. Essentially, if you divide ACEs by 10, you will get an accurate interpretation of blood ketones. Blood ketones are reported in mmol/L units. For example, a score of “28 ACES” is equal to a “blood ketone level of 2.8 mmol/L”.)
The following Table explains the interpretation of breath acetone levels measured in ACEs.
Below is a graph showing the optimal blood ketone levels that the body can use as clean-burning fuel:
My morning ketone level at 8:20 AM was “0 ACEs” measured on the BioSense Breath Ketone Monitor. I had no appreciable ketones in my blood.
The first day of the fast was the most difficult for me because I felt hungry and wanted to eat. But I didn’t give into the hunger, which most likely was psychological. I also felt that my energy level was not as good as it was before the fast.
In the graph below, you can see most of my liver glycogen was depleted by 4PM when my ketones began to rise above 5 ACEs
Hunger was not a problem on the second day of the fast. I still felt my energy level was not as high as I expected it would be, but it was improving.
In the graph below, my ketone levels rose rapidly after the liver glycogen stores essentially were depleted. For the entire day, these levels rose from 15 ACEs to 24 ACEs. Obviously, the colostrum never kept me from easily moving into optimal dietary ketosis. That was my goal. I was pleasantly surprised!
My energy level was excellent, and I had no hunger whatsoever. I felt terrific, and I knew I could continue the fast for additional days if I wanted. However, I ended the fast that evening.
The graph also showed my ketone levels were at the upper end of optimal. All day I was well above 25 ACEs.
I recorded my body weight and percentage of body fat using the Eat Smart Precision GetFit Bathroom Scale. At the start of this fast, I weighted 151 pounds and my body fat was 15.0%. At the end of the fast, my weight dropped to 148 pounds and body fat dropped to 14.3%. I took these measurements at the same times – 7 AM on the first day of the fast and 7 AM on the morning after the third day of the fast.
Metabolically, as insulin levels drop from the start of a fast and you enter dietary ketosis, the body is becoming increasingly insulin sensitive. In addition, ketosis has been shown to upregulate autophagy, extend longevity, improve memory, and create a poor environment for cancer cells to grow. ,,,, Ketones also reduce excessive free radicals, increase glutathione production, and improve mitochondrial function., All these benefits are vitally important to me.
So, this 72-hour colostrum and water fast has confirmed to me that while I’m assisting my body with the unique nutritional benefits from eating 6 tablespoons of Colostrum-6 daily, I am able to maintain optimal dietary ketosis.
You might benefit from a 72-hour colostrum and water fast as I have.
You can benefit from the nutritional benefits of eating bovine colostrum daily. I cited many articles in previous blogs about the peer-reviewed research, but here is an excellent summary published in 2021.
Also, your immune system will benefit by becoming metabolically flexible.
Metabolic flexibility is where your body can efficiently burn carbohydrates for fuel but can switch to burning fat for fuel seamlessly when appropriate. The facts that you can be in ketosis where your liver is creating ketones to improve many aspects of your biological system and at the same time benefit from the nutrients in colostrum are impressive.
Obtaining unique nutritional support from colostrum, eating a healthy diet as I detail in my Better Belly Blueprint, and cycling in and out of ketosis will help you to create a robust immune system.
And a robust immune system is your ticket to overall wellness.
That’s your takeaway!
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