72-Hour Colostrum & Water Fast
– You Can Benefit –

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.[1] In addition, many of the detox products contain emulsifiers and additives which have been shown to damage the gut microbiome.[2] 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 …

  1. 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
  2. Drank SOLE hydrating water first thing in the morning
  3. Continued to drink natural spring water replete with trace minerals when thirsty for all 3 days
  4. At 9 AM, 2PM, and 7PM, I ate 2 tablespoons of Colostrum-6 Powder mixed in a little spring water daily
  5. 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:

 

 

Day 1:

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

 

Day 2:

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!

 

Day 3:

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.

 

My Takeaway

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. [3],[4],[5],[6],[7] Ketones also reduce excessive free radicals, increase glutathione production, and improve mitochondrial function.[8],[9] 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.

 

Your Takeaway

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!

 

[1] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/does-science-support-the-claims

[2] https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40168-020-00996-6

[3] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955286321000401?via%3Dihub

[4] https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(17)30490-4?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1550413117304904%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

[5] https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(17)30489-8?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1550413117304898%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

[6] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1568163718301478?via%3Dihub

[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31399389/

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981249/pdf/antioxidants-07-00063.pdf

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26661201/

 

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  Ketones & 72-Hour Fast
– My Cancer Journey –
 

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

April 11, 2021

BioSense Ketone Breath Monitor

I completed my first 48-hour, water-only fast on 3/8/21 and reported my results on my Website. In that Blog, I wrote about the benefits of fasting, cited several medical articles, suggested those who shouldn’t fast, and described my personal experience. Since I had great success, I’m making “fasting” a regular addition to my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. I want to emphasize that this is a “water-only fast” with no caloric intake.

But I am extending the fast to 72-hours. The reason: There is greater potential for autophagy to occur and for the repair of dysfunctional mitochondria and damaged immune system cells during the extended fast.

In this article, I’ll summarize:

  1. The benefits of extended fasting,
  2. My way of eating,
  3. 8 phases of a 72-hour water-only fast,
  4. My 72-hour water-only fast, and
  5. My overall experience

 

1) Summary of Benefits of Extended Fasting

  • Improved memory
  • Better concentration
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Decreased atherosclerosis
  • Cancer prevention
  • Enhanced insulin sensitivity
  • Increased fat-burning
  • Decreased hunger
  • Anti-aging effects
  • Activation of cellular cleanup (autophagy)
  • Regeneration of weakened mitochondria and immune system cells
  • Decreased nutrient supply to cancer cells, thereby inhibiting the cancer cells’ rapid growth

 

2) My Way of Eating

As you may know, I primarily eat an animal-based diet along with a few selected fruits and vegetables. This way of eating keeps me in ketosis for 6 days. Then I increase my healthy carbs and cycle out of ketosis for one day. The next day I start another 6 days of ketosis. This is my method to keep my body metabolically flexible.

The human species basically existed “in” and “out” of ketosis throughout evolution. Our Paleolithic ancestors most likely ate once or twice a day. However, they often skipped eating for days when food was scarce. Skipping meals and not eating for multiple days are also typical for most animals living in the wild. As a matter of fact, ketosis is prevalent throughout the entire animal kingdom.

In addition, when animals in the wild get sick, they stop eating, enter a state of ketosis, and focus on resting. This primal instinct reduces stress on their internal system and enhances their immune system to fight infection.

 

3) 8 Phases of a 72-Hour Water-Only Fast

Basically, there are 8 phases that occur as you progress through a 72-hour fast. Each one ushers in a biological change in the body. However, there are many factors that influence the timing of these phases. Here is an approximation of the timeline:

  1. Your body must be prepared for this extended fast. I am prepared because I eat in a way that keeps me metabolically flexible. If you tried to do a fast and still ate an unhealthy Standard American Diet, you would not do well.
  2. Around the 12-hour mark, your body begins breaking down fat cells, releasing 3 fatty acids and 1 glycerol molecule (which the liver converts to glucose).
  3. After approximately 18-hours, your liver glycogen stores become depleted, and your liver begins to create ketones.
  4. At the 24-hour mark, your individual cells begin recycling its old components and breaking down damaged proteins. This cellular cleansing is called autophagy.
  5. About 48-hours after the start of your fast, your growth hormone level increases up to five times higher than it was at the beginning of your fast.
  6. At the 54-hour mark, your insulin levels drop to its lowest level from the start of your fast. The result is that your body is becoming increasingly insulin sensitive.
  7. By the 72-hour mark, your body has been breaking down old immune cells and dysfunctional mitochondria and regenerating new ones.
  8. At the completion of the 72-hour water-only fast, you need to begin refeeding your body gently. Remember, your gut has not been digesting food for 3 days. Don’t stuff yourself!

 

4) My 72-Hour Water-Only Fast

Let me describe how I integrate my fasting with my overall eating style.

I start my 72-hour water-only fast after I end a carb cycle day. In that way, I totally switch my metabolism away from using ingested carbs as a fuel source. Once my ingested carbs and liver glycogen are becoming used up, my body begins actively breaking down fat cells. Finally, my liver starts producing significant levels of ketones.

All during the fast, I’ll drink mineral water or caffeine-free herbal teas steeped in mineral water. First thing each morning, I drink 8 ounces of SOLE water on an empty stomach. SOLE helps hydration and provides 84 trace minerals. Also, during each day of the fast, I eat a little Himalayan or Redmond salt to make sure I am getting enough minerals, especially sodium. During ketosis, the human body may need as much as 6-10 grams of healthy salt daily since insulin levels are so low. SOLE in the morning provides about 0.5 grams of sodium.

I’m very geeky, and it is important for me to know my ketone levels as I progress from burning carbs to producing ketones by my liver. I use the Ketone Breath Monitor from BioSense. It is quick, easy to use, and has been proven to be clinically reliable. The data from the Ketone Breath Monitor are uploaded and stored on the company’s App on my iPhone.

I took 4 screenshots of my fasting days from this App, which I will explain in detail shortly. The 4/1/21 screenshot shows that my ketone levels dropped to “0” ACEs after my last carb meal when I began the fast. “0” means that my body is not producing ketones and is burning only glucose as fuel.  Then, the 4/3/21 screenshot shows that my ketone level slowly rose to “28” ACEs by the end of the fast. “28” means that my liver primarily is producing large amounts of ketones for fuel. (ACEs are BioSense’s scoring system for breath ketones. Essentially, if you divide ACEs by 10, you will get an approximation of blood ketones, which are reported in mmol/L units. For example, a score of “28 ACES” is equal to a “ketone blood level of 2.8 mmol/L”.)

The following Table explains the interpretation of ketone levels measured in ACEs.

 

Below are the 4 Ketone Graphs from the BioSense App on my iPhone for each of the days of my fast. In total, these graphs tell the story of depleting my glycogen stores, entering ketosis, and maintaining a high level of ketosis for the duration of my 72-hour, water-only fast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started the fast on 3/31/21 at 5 PM. The Ketone reading was “6”. It is important for me to point out that the readings on the breath monitor (measured in ACEs) lag the actual blood ketone levels (measured in mmol/L) by approximately 1-2 hours.

Around 9 AM on 4/1/21, my ACEs were at “0”. I assume this is when my carbs and glycogen stores were becoming depleted. After 9 AM, my ketone levels began to rise slowly. I probably was in ketosis and my liver was producing ketones by 9 PM as my ACEs started to rise above “5”.

On 4/2/21, I saw a steady rise in ketosis as my ACEs continued to rise to a high of “18”.

On the last day of my 72-hour fast, 4/3/21, you can see that I was in full blown ketosis with my ACEs as high as “28” at 4:30 PM. I ended my fast at 5 PM.

 

5) My Overall Experience

In the evening on Wednesday, 3/31/21, I ate my last carb meal at 5 PM. As usual, I felt fine and went to bed around 9:30 PM.

As I began my first full day of fasting on Thursday, 4/1/21, I felt great with slight hunger. But by 4PM, I felt very hungry. Drinking some hot caffeine-free tea took the hunger away.

On Friday, 4/2/21, I had some stomach rumbling, but no real hunger any longer and no discomfort.

On Saturday, 4/3/21, there was no desire to eat. I felt tremendous energy and clarity. The slight physical discomfort I usually experience because of my past pathological fractures was not present. I probably could have continued fasting at least another day or more. But I didn’t.

All during the fast, I had no problem with bowel movements.

Compared to my 48-hour fast last month, this was far better because of the enhanced energy and clarity by the 3rd day of the fast. And I believe my body is able to repair better on the 72-hour fast. As I said, I will continue with a 72-hour water-only fast regularly and reap the medical benefits as they have been reported in many professional journals.

 

 

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