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Fasting: Why Is WebMD's Article On It Misleading & Erroneous?

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FCI's Founder/Director Dennis Paulson working on the Tibetan crisis with his friend since 1982, His Holiness the Dalai Lama--Fasting Center International, Inc., long blessed as the global leader in our field, has supervised the world's largest fasting clientele over the past 35 years, with clients juice-fasting on seven continents, representing 220 countries. Last month, for example, among the tens of thousands reading our Fasting.com website, 84% were new viewers from 135 countries/territories, using 52 languages (we offer "Google Translate" on all main pages).


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"The ideal technique for successful fasting is the use of fresh, raw fruit and vegetable juices. On such a program, the full spectrum of nutrients is supplied in an easily assimilated form, so the digestive tract is able to remain essentially at rest." --Rudolph Ballentine, M.D., who established holistic medical clinics in Chicago, New York, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and Honesdale, PA, and authored "Radical Healing: Integrating The World's Great Therapeutic Traditions To Create A New Transformative Medicine," hailed as "a masterpiece" by Caroline Myss, Ph.D., and "an instant classic" by Deepak Chopra, M.D.

"Fasting is the greatest remedy--the physician within!"--Philippus Paracelsus, M.D., nearly 500 years ago; famed Swiss physician and alchemical genius of the Middle Ages, considered one of three Fathers of Western Medicine, along with Greece's Hippocrates and Galen
"Fasting is a valid experience. It can benefit any otherwise healthy person whose calories now have the upper hand in his or her life."--The New England Journal of Medicine
"Don't criticize what you can't understand."--Bob Dylan, "The Times They Are A-Changin'"

Fasting: Why Is WebMD's Article On It Misleading & Erroneous?

By Dennis Paulson, Founder/Director, Fasting Center International, Inc.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, in Google's "Code of Conduct" for those creating websites is "Don't Be Evil," adding: "A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website that competes with you." In 1995, Fasting Center International (FCI) created the world's first website for a long-established, global fasting business--Fasting.com--and has been the worldwide leader in our field ever since, long supervising the world's largest fasting clientele, with clients on seven continents representing 220 countries. Three years later, WebMD.com arrived on the scene, labeling itself: "The leading source for trustworthy and timely health and medical news and information."

blank gifRecently, among the tens of thousands of prospective clients visiting Fasting.com's Virtual Office each month, one emailed FCI the following: "Hello: I am very interested in starting a Program, but I have some questions! My father is a doctor and is going to probably dismiss this attempt before he even thinks about it, so I need your help. I am 6 feet tall, 26 years old, weigh 270 lbs., and cannot take it anymore. I need something that is going to work fast and keep the weight off. I read on WebmMD that the body's metabolism will slow down and I will be very hungry when I get off the fast, and might gain all the weight back. I have attached the story below. I would like to be under 200 pounds, so what would you recommend I do? Thanks in advance! (Confidential)." 

blank gifFrom our email exchanges, FCI learned that this prospect's M.D. father is also clinically obese, carrying more than 300 lbs. on his own 6' 3" frame. Unfortunately, for anyone who's visited a hospital in America during the past decade, it's not unusual to see clinically-obese M.D.s and R.N.s, reflecting the sad fact that two-thirds of American adults are today overweight (one-third clinically obese). More importantly, however, this prospect brought to FCI's attention the unfortunate fact that WebMD.com has recently stepped out of its own field of expertise, and is offering advice on fasting. Interestingly, it's article begins with an oxymoronic title--"Fasting Diets." As defined in the online Medical Dictionary of FreeDictionary.com: "Fasting is voluntarily not eating food for varying lengths of time. Fasting is used as a medical therapy for many conditions. It is also a spiritual practice in many religions."

blank gifConversely, the same dictionary defines the verb 'diet' as "the customary amount and kind of food and drink taken by a person from day to day; more narrowly, a diet planned to meet specific requirements of the individual, including or excluding certain foods." Since WebMD errs in it's title about our global field of fasting, it's also instructive that no name can be found for the author of its article, nor are there any references for its negative claims. One would assume the author is an M.D., but since fasting has never been taught in any of America's 131 medical schools, whoever wrote this unfortunate misinformation would, one also assumes, have at least gained theoretical and experiential knowledge of fasting (to feel qualified writing about it) as an autodidact.

LET'S ANALYZE the WebMD article, to see what confused FCI's above-mentioned, clinically-obese prospect:

WebMD: "Most religions use periods of fasting as a means of demonstrating faith or penitence, and an opportunity for spiritual reflection. Fasting has also historically been a means to express political views and a form of protest."

FCI (Fasting Center International): No errors there, I think all would agree.


WebMD: "Though it may not be the most practical--or safest--diet, some people use fasting as a way to lose weight. . . .How fasting is used for weight loss varies by diet. Some fasting diets involve drinking nothing but water or eating only raw foods for a period of one or more days, while others restrict food on alternate days. Certain fasting diets only allow liquids like water, juice, or tea, while others dramatically cut calories but do not eliminate food altogether."

FCI: Beyond the oxymoronic error of confusing 'diets' with 'fasting,' this statement infers that 'fasting' may be unsafe, although providing no evidence to support this fear-inspiring claim. Also, since fasting has been practiced by countless millions of fellow humans over millennia--whereas the A.M.A. only celebrated it's 150th birthday in 1997--one might assume that if fasting were "unsafe," we'd certainly have learned that by now. . .if not from the fasting Buddha (who achieved the Awakened or Enlightened state while on a prolonged fast), then certainly from the 74 "Biblical" fasting references, as well as from the many great Christian teachers who all did prolonged fasting, including Christ at age 33, for 40 days in the Sinai desert, after which His first words were: "The Father and I are One."

blank gifFasting Center International's website--the Web's most comprehensive and educational on scientific fasting--addresses these historical truths about prolonged fasting among our species' greatest spiritual teachers at length on our SPIRITUAL BENEFITS page, including these facts: "From the beginning of Christianity, prolonged fasting was practiced by the 'Old Testament' saints, Ahab, Anna, Esther, Hannah, Ezra, John the Baptist, the Apostles, and the 'New Testament' church. Christ, Daniel, David, Elijah and Moses all did 40-day fasts. To repeat, Christ taught: 'Renew yourselves and fast, for I tell you truly, except you fast, you shall never be freed from the power of Satan, and from all diseases that come from Satan.'"

WebMD: "Does Fasting Help You Lose Weight? When you fast, your body is forced to dip into energy stores to get the fuel it needs to keep going, so you will lose weight. The big question is how long you will keep that weight off. Because food was often scarce for our ancestors, our bodies have been genetically programmed to combat the effects of fasting. When you eat less food, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy. Then, when you go back to your usual diet, your lowered metabolism may cause you to store more energy, meaning that you will probably gain back the weight you lost and possibly even put on more weight when eating the same calories you did before the fast. As you fast, your body will adjust by reducing your appetite, so you will initially feel less hungry. But once you have stopped fasting, your appetite hormones will kick back into gear and you may actually feel hungrier and be more likely to binge."

FCI: Again, WebMD provides no evidence, whatsoever, to support this claim regarding fasting. Granted, anyone can make any claim s/he wishes on a website today, but to add the supposed imprimatur of WebMD to a misinformed article on a field not taught in any of America's 131 med schools is, perhaps, another reason this article's author refused to sign her/his name, let alone list evidentiary references from known experts in the global field of fasting. [Long after WebMD posted its misleading and erroneous article, it had, on 8.9.12, a 55-year-old Atlanta, GA, internest, Kimball A. Johnson, whose M.D. included no training, whatsoever, in the Healing Art of Fasting, "review" their article, as though the imprimatur of her title would add sanction or approval, which is as erroneous as the article, itself. On that same date, it added 7 "article sources," beginning with Andrea Giancoli, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA), continuing this blind-leading-the-blind approach to criticizing a completely different and more effective field of the global Healing Arts, in which dietician members of the ADA, like physician members of the American Medical Association, unfortunately have no training.]


blank gifThe truth is that prolonged, scientific, therapeutic fasting actually improves metabolism, digestion and assimilation, so that your entire system works more efficiently, post-fast, obviating the need for overeating that attends the nutrient-starved S.A.D. (Standard American Diet. . .which is still painfully served in hospitals across America, designed by so-called 'nutritionists' from the same A.M.A.-supported schools as M.D.s).

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Adult bears, after fasting all Winter during hibernation, do not "put on more weight when eating the same calories [they] did before the fast." Instead, the male grizzly returns to its average weight of 550 lbs.; female, 350 lbs. The same is true with adult migrating whales, as well as much smaller beings such as caterpillars, hedgehogs, salamanders, salmon, snakes, spiders, tadpoles, turtles and woodchucks, all of which live for many months each year without eating, since their bodies, like ours, are brilliantly designed to live on their own stored substances. 'Dieting,' on the other hand, literally starves the body of many vitally important nutrients--although never entering true 'fasting,' as long as any solids are taken. Thus, it's understandable why 'DIETS' DON'T WORK (as most everyone has learned, many the hard way), and that post-diet, one "may actually feel hungrier and be more likely to binge."

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If WebMD's anonymous author is referring to standard 'diets,' or even ethically-misnomered, physician-sponsored 'diets' such as OptiFast and MediFast, the "Washington Post" agrees, concluding that of the 26,000+ popular diets which have come and gone in America over the past 70 years have failed people "99.5% of the time." Obviously, pulverizing solids into sugar- and dairy-based powders (as liquid-protein 'diets' such as OptiFast and MediFast do), and taking them in shakes 5 or 6 times daily, is just another 'diet.'

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In one school of thought, Joel Furhman, M.D., speaking from the less skillful and unnecessarily debilitating perspective of water-fasting (as opposed to juice-fasting which FCI and our world's best fasting clinics and centers--most all in Europe--have done over the past century), writes in "Fasting and Eating For Health," p. 221: "Since the metabolic rate is low for the first month after the fast, we emphasize raw food over cooked carbohydrates, as this will prevent possible weight gain during this post-fast period."

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Additionally, Doctor Fuhrman adds this warning, p. 191: "Liquid-protein diets, or protein-modified fasts, have caused the death of more than 60 people. Certainly, Americans soon will realize that you can't purchase health in a can or bottle." Sources for death figure: "Physician's Compendium Of Drug Therapy," 1993; 8:40, and Blocka K. Paulus: The clinical pharmacology of the gold compounds in Paulus, et. al. (eds.): "Drugs For Rheumatic Diseases," New York, Longman (Churchill Livingstone), l987, pp. 49-83.)

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On the coin's other side regarding intelligent, scientific fasting, one of the classic examples in the U.S. is the well-known story of comedian and social activist Dick Gregory, who carried 385 lbs. for over a decade! Through a series of skillful juice-fasts, plus an intelligent follow-on program, he reduced his weight to 145, where he's been ever since. I first met Dick in l968, and he's kept his unnecessary weight off now for over four decades! If the abovementioned low-metabolism theory were valid, Dick would have ballooned back up to 385, and then some, would he not?

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Thus, unlike Symptomatic Medicine's focus on managing disease--instead of more wisely educating people to prevent it in the first place--part of FCI's Scientific Fasting Program is its intelligent follow-on--our 60-page "Lifetime Optimum Health Plan"--which teaches clients how to keep unnecessary weight off for life! Obviously, the decision is entirely personal, and cannot be forced on any individual. But, as overeating + no exercise = overweight for most, the failure should not be placed on our species' oldest, fastest and safest (biochemically) weight-loss, detoxification and healing modality, which (as WebMD's anonymous author also appears to be ignorant of) all three Fathers of Western Medicine practiced and prescribed--Hippocrates, Galen and Paracelsus (who diagnosed fasting as "the greatest remedy, the physician within").

WebMD: "Research has shown that fasting on alternate days can help people lose weight, but not for long. In one study, people who followed an alternate-day fasting diet shed weight, even when they ate all they wanted on the non-fasting days. However, they could not maintain the weight loss over time."

FCI: Again, this author-in-hiding provides no "research" which can be fact-checked. However, as most understand, "an alternate-day fasting diet" is contraindicated, because it quickly throws the body completely out of balance from a nutritional biochemistry viewpoint. Thus, FCI would never recommend such a thing. In fact, the very shortest Program we offer is a 20-day Program, with 14 days of actual juice-fasting (up to our 120-day Program; all can be viewed on our HOW DO I START page, along with the amount of unnecessary weight our average client loses on each, understanding that our Programs are adjusted for nearly half of our global clientele not fasting to lose weight, in order to slow their weight loss).

WebMD: "Can Fasting Detoxify the Body?--Some fasting diets claim that they can cleanse the body of impurities. However, there is no evidence that fasting detoxifies your body, or that your body even needs to be detoxified. It is naturally designed to remove toxins through the skin (by sweating), liver, colon, and kidneys."

FCI: Again, WebMD's anonymous author cites no evidence, whatsoever; although this specious theory may sound good to the uninformed, it is totally fallacious, as anyone who's actually done prolonged fasting can testify. The truth is that during prolonged fasting, all night long, some of the toxins the body is mightily trying to rid itself of are worked up the esophagus and deposited on the tongue. Intelligent fasters scrape these off first thing each morning, just as most all of the world's best fasting clinics/centers require one-to-three enemas daily, to wisely help the body remove accumulated toxins from the other end.


blank gifIf WebMD were serious about its Hippocratic Oath to "never do harm to anyone," instead of presenting disinformation as fact on its website, it could easily engage true scientific inquiry to test its absurd inference that prolonged fasting does not remove toxins. Here, I'm talking about the 5-to-10-pound inner, toxic waste dump now polluting the average adult's cell, tissue and organ storage areas (chemical toxins, heavy metals, drugs, uneliminated metabolic wastes, excessive cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream, arterial plaque, excess mucus and mucoid plaque throughout the system, intestinal parasites, etc., all of which prolonged fasting can remove).

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Everyone knows how painfully expensive the management of disease has become, as practiced by the severely-limited branch of the Healing Arts which WebMD represents, a.k.a. known as Conventional Medicine. Therefore, it's not surprising that a complete toxicity test of an individual's blood and urine today costs about $15,000. No client of FCI's cares to pay for such outrageously-expensive before-and-after tests, but if WebMD were serious about getting its facts right, it's more than welcome to fund such a study.

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Leaving aside it's false claim that the human body is "perfectly equipped with organs that already do the job" of removing toxins, those interested in the actual truth need only read a U.S. writer's results, paid for by "National Geographic." Click here to read "Toxic People: The Pollution Within" (our body, home and environment), understanding it is a frightening picture, but that prolonged, scientific fasting does help remove our body's inner, toxic waste dump.

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In "Radical Healing: Integrating The World's Great Therapeutic Traditions To Create A New Transformative Medicine," hailed as "a masterpiece" by Caroline Myss, Ph.D., and "an instant classic" by Deepak Chopra, M.D., Rudolph Ballentine, M.D., who established holistic medical clinics in Chicago, New York, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and Honesdale, PA, and has acted as a consultant and advisor to many other centers, concludes, pp. 311-314: "Perhaps the most universal of the all-out cleansing techniques is fasting. Its efficacy is probably based on fundamental body rhythms. You are designed to alternate nourishing and cleansing. Like inhalation and exhalation, they work in tandem. When you are taking in and processing nutrients, you are not geared to pulling out and discarding wastes. . . .But, when the input of nutrition is stopped for awhile, then a flurry of cleansing starts up. The rugs are lifted and the dirty dishes are brought out of the cabinet where they were stashed. Cleaning begins in earnest."

WebMD: "Could Fasting Help You Live Longer?--Studies of fasting in both rodents and humans appear to indicate a connection between calorie restriction and longevity. In one study of overweight men and women, a calorie-restricted diet improved markers of aging, such as insulin level and body temperature. Fasting might also improve longevity by delaying the onset of age-related diseases including Alzheimer's, heart disease, and diabetes. One study showed that skipping meals once a month, as members of the Mormon religious group do, reduces the risk of clogged arteries (the build-up of plaque that can lead to heart attacks and strokes). However, it is not clear from this research whether fasting alone or the Mormons' generally healthier lifestyle (they also abstain from coffee, alcohol, and smoking) is responsible for the improved heart health. Researchers do not yet know whether the effects of fasting translate into an actual increase in lifespan, because they have not followed people for long enough periods of time."

FCI: None of us can know how long we'll live, since death is definite, but it's timing indefinite. To the degree prolonged, scientific fasting can improve the quality of one's lifespan, that, alone, is worth the courage and discipline necessary to do this marvelous, self-improvement technique. Personally, I've lived for more than four decades with optimum health, happiness and healing power. Periodic, prolonged scientific juice-fasting has definitely been part of what's enabled that, along with more intelligent dietary habits (including systematic under-eating) and lifestyle choices (including moderate exercise). Quite simply, if allopaths had to depend upon me for their income, they'd quickly seek another line of work.


blank gifOver the 35 years FCI has been blessed as the global leader in our field, our worldwide clientele includes sisters and brothers of all religious faiths, including both Mormons (Latter Day Saints) and Adventists (Seventh Day Adventists). No one who understands scientific fasting would claim that fasting one day a month would accomplish much of anything beyond cutting down one's weekly food intake by one-seventh. However, prolonged fasting is what removes the inner, toxic waste dump accumulated over one's lifetime which, in turn, helps prevent the onset of the devastating, degenerative diseases which cause the premature deaths of most Americans, for example.

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Had WebMD's anonymous author focused, instead, on America's longest-lived subculture, he'd have found them to be Adventists, not Mormons, and learned the full explanation of why their diet helps reward them with exceptional health, happiness, and enhanced longevity. . .in their own words--"The Seventh-day Adventist Position Statement on Vegetarian Diets": "Researchers believe this added length of life and quality of health is due, in particular, to our consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, as well as our avoidance of meat, alcohol, coffee and tobacco."

PART OF THE PROBLEM evidenced in this misinformed, oxymoronic WebMD article on "Fasting Diets," is that Symptomatic Medicine has, for far too long, taken a thin slice of medical reality and mistaken it for the whole. In a book heavily supported by the postmodern leadership among America's avant-garde physicians who are currently helping us evolve a less chauvinistic, less invasive, less expensive and more sensible Integrative Medicine for the 21st Century--"Reclaiming Our Health: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Source of True Healing"--author John Robbins concludes:

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"The medical paradigm that currently prevails in our U.S. society, and which the American Medical Association (A.M.A.) stalwartly represents, has become so deeply entrenched that we often do not realize that it is simply one option among many. But, there are other forms of medicine that represent different ways of understanding life and of promoting healing, and that, contrary to what the dominant medical establishment would have us believe, have long demonstrated outstanding records of success."

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Diagnosing the U.S. health crisis in "Alternative Health Digest," Samuel Benjamin, M.D., founder of the Arizona Center for Health and Medicine, concluded: "Many patients and, increasingly, physicians, are being turned off by Conventional Medicine, because it does not deliver the health it promises. It's taken away our power and control, it's costing us a fortune, it hasn't made us feel any better, and often it creates more diseases than it resolves. . . .The field of alternatives to drug- and scalpel-based medical care is rapidly growing. In the long run, we think the issue isn't whether somebody practices conventional or alternative therapies; it's about offering what is best of everything to our patients."

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Another in the vanguard of traditionally-trained M.D.s who are today embracing alternative therapies, James Gordon, M.D., a Harvard-educated psychiatrist, teaches at Georgetown University Medical School; is past chairman of the Program Advisory Council of the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM); founded the Center for Mind-Body Medicinein Washington, D.C., and authored his influential "Manifesto For A New Medicine: Your Guide to Healing Partnerships and the Wise Use of Alternative Therapies." Doctor Gordon, who also teaches his first-year medical students to meditate, as well as gives assignments such as "cooking a meal that's nutritious and healing," states: "The medicine that we're in the process of creating is a synthesis of what's best in modern science and what's best in the world's healing traditions."

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Julian Whitaker, M.D., founder of America's largest Alternative Medicine clinic--the Whitaker Wellness Institute--and author of "Dr. Whitaker's Guide to Natural Healing," emphasized Doctor Benjamin's conclusion in Whitaker's "Health & Healing" newsletter (over 2 million subscribers): "Conventional Medicine is locked into a dogma that believes that its way is the only way. Conventional doctors deny you have any alternatives to their drugs and surgeries, but you do have choices, and these enlightened treatments are far superior to the risky methods of Modern Medicine, which can be extremely dangerous to your well-being. . . . This enlightened new approach to health will lead Contemporary Medicine out of the Dark Ages of drugs and surgery, because it does work better. I know, because I use these alternative therapies every day in my medical practice. Many of the patients I see are 'medical refugees' who have been abused and abandoned by Conventional Medicine. The results we see are truly impressive, more so than with any drugs and conventional treatments they gave us in medical school. The 'drugs-or-surgery- only' approach that Modern Medicine uses to treat today's diseases is archaic."

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The late Allan Cott, M.D., made the same point in focusing on scientific, therapeutic fasting in his million-copy, international bestseller, "Fasting: The Ultimate Diet," which now incorporates his best-selling sequel, "Fasting As A Way of Life." Additionally, these editions contain 16- and 14-pg. bibliographies, respectively, each heavy with references to medical journal articles, globally, on scientific studies supporting intelligent fasting. . .for physicians, biochemists, nutritionists and interested laypersons who are still open-minded and cognitively energetic enough to finally educate themselves out of their unfortunate theoretical and experiential ignorance vis a vis this oldest, fastest, safest (biochemically), least expensive and most effective healing modality on Earth which, it bears repeating, all great spiritual teachers practiced; all three Fathers of Western Medicine practiced and prescribed, and more of our species greatest thinkers testimonialized than all other healing modalities combined!

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Quoting an unusually candid "New England Journal of Medicine" pronouncement on his book's cover (which also flies embarrassingly in the face of the WebMD anonymous author's specious theories): "Fasting is a valid experience. It can benefit any otherwise healthy person whose calories now have the upper hand in his or her life!"--Doctor Cott bemoaned the fact that in the U.S., many in "the medical orthodoxy continue to take a jaundiced view of fasting, particularly as a therapeutic tool. But, when the medical profession shifts gears from treating sickness to preventing sickness--and it must!--I have every confidence that fasting will be increasingly prescribed."

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In demonstrating how other Western nations are already doing so, Doctor Cott noted: "British doctors have long been using fasting for weight control. Dr. T. Lawlor, for example, has fasted patients for intractable obesity at Botley's Park Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey. The patients ranged in age from 21 to 45, and were fasted up to 40 days. All of them tolerated the experience very well; a few even experienced euphoria. At Glascow's Ruchill Hospital, researchers concluded that 'total fasting is the most efficient method of reducing weight in obese patients.' Dr. T. J. Thompson, a Scottish doctor who supervised a woman who lost 97 lbs. through 35 weeks of fasting, observes that not only is fasting the best way to lose weight, but that partial restriction of calories is ineffective."

PHYSICIANS, GLOBALLY, trained as symptomatic practitioners, have neither theoretical nor experiential knowledge of scientific, therapeutic, prolonged fasting, excepting the worldwide M.D.s, psychiatrists, D.O.s, D.D.S.s and Ph.D.s in most all fields who do FCI Programs year in and decade out in increasing numbers, plus those few who have learned autodidactically elsewhere. Therefore, please don't fault the former for not making recommendations, one way or the other, until they've further schooled themselves.

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Among those M.D.s who do have knowledge, Drs. J. Kellberg and P. Reizenstein of the world-renowned Karolinska Institute in Stockholm--which actually awards the Nobel Prize in Medicine each year--clinically monitored in-hospital patients (not well-beings such as you and me) in fasting studies lasting up to 55 days, demonstrating that scientific, prolonged fasting's not only perfectly safe for most, but also therapeutically beneficial, as well. There are countless hundreds of fasting clinics and fasting centers in nations throughout Europe, where therapeutic juice-fasting has long been used as the premier weight-loss, detoxification, and healing modality over the entire 20th Century, continuing here into the 21st.

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German and Swedish biological clinics, operated by medical doctors, routinely treat nearly every disease, from cardiovascular and digestive disorders to rheumatic and skin conditions, with scientific, therapeutic fasting. Germany's late Otto Buchinger, Sr., M.D., supervised over 100,000 successful "juice fasting cures." In Russia, fasting has been used for over a half-century as the most effective treatment for schizophrenia, with irrefragable studies showing that 70% of patients improved mentally after 20-to-30 days of controlled fasting. Similarly, one Japanese research clinic fasted 382 patients, all suffering psychosomatic disease, with a success rate of 87%.

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North America is still far behind the learning curve, nevertheless, as was clear to the late Dr. Charles Goodrich of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, who had fasted countless times: "People don't realize that the chief obstacle to fasting is overcoming the cultural, social and psychological fears of going without food. These fears are ingrained. . . .However, fasting is not starving, not even in a medical sense or the natural sense." Dr. George Cahill of Harvard Medical School emphasized the point: "Man's survival [of long abstentions from food] is predicated upon a remarkable ability to conserve the relatively limited body protein stores, while utilizing fat as the primary energy producing food."

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Nobel Prize-winnning Fr. biologist and surgeon Dr. Alexis Carrel, who spent 34 of his professional years in the United States, described in his magnum opus, "Man, The Unknown," the body's brilliant rejuvenative and regenerative capability, inherent in its own detoxification process vis a vis scientific fasting: "Privation of food at first brings a sensation of hunger, occasionally some nervous stimulation, but it also determines certain hidden phenomena which are more important. The sugar of the liver and the fat of the subcutaneous deposits are mobilized, and also the proteins of the muscles and the glands. . .in order to maintain blood, heart, and brain in a normal condition. Fasting purifies and profoundly modifies our tissues."

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In "Radical Healing," mentioned above, Rudolph Ballentine, M.D., concludes, pp. 311-314: "Perhaps the most universal of the all-out cleansing techniques is fasting. Dr. Ballentine does not recommend "water-fasting," which he says "is more correctly termed starvation," adding the following words of warning: "The destruction of starvation, and the cleansing and repair that happen in a well-managed fast, are polar opposites. Unfortunately today, when the average person is overburdened with wastes and environmental toxins, and when reserves of essential nutrients are low because of the ubiquity of 'empty-calorie' foods, what is intended as a fast may well end up as starvation. Your best insurance against such a catastrophe is to do a juice-fast. Juices can eliminate much of the trauma of fasting.

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"Freshly-squeezed and extracted fruit juices and vegetable juices contain a wealth of vitamins and organically-complexed minerals. They will also supply the 400 calories or so that is your minimal fuel requirement. Without that, your body begins to break down protein structures to get it. What's more, fresh juices have a cleansing effect of their own and, as an added bonus, if they are taken immediately after being made, they are energizing and exhilarating. A balanced regime of juices should be made from a spectrum of fruits and vegetables."

IN AMERICA, it bears repeating, where two-thirds of adults are overweight (one-third, clinically obese), Dr. Ballentine's warning against water-fasting is particularly relevant, as noted in his other classic, "Diet & Nutrition: A Holistic Approach," p. 380: "It takes only a moment's thought to realize that putting such a person on a total [water] fast is tantamount to courting disaster. If s/he takes nothing but water, s/he may very well begin to burn up the reserves of fat which have been accumulated. Unfortunately, however, fat stores, especially in such people as this, do not contain the necessary quotas of other important nutrients that are needed for the metabolic activities that will be fueled by the fat.

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"If, in defiance of common sense, such a person insists on doing a water fast, nutrients for vital metabolic processes must be pulled from other tissues. The result will be that strategic organs such as the heart, brain and liver, which were already suffering from a short supply of crucial nutrients [the average intake of refined oils, fats and sugars is about 65% of the 'empty calorie' diet in America today], will become even further depleted. Whether the ourcome is a mental and emotional breakdown, or the development of a grave physical illness will depend on the constitution of the person in question, and which organ systems are most susceptible."

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Keeping in mind the admonition among the few still promoting water-fasting, that clients spend most of their time in bed and do not exercise or go out in the sun, Dr. Ballentine explains this weakness of water-fasting: "What's more, fat cannot be converted into the glucose necessary to keep blood sugar up to fuel the nervous system. If a small amount of carbohydrate is not present in the diet, then protein will be broken down for conversion into the needed sugar. The result is not fasting--it is starvation. . . .The ideal technique for successful fasting is the use of fresh, raw fruit and vegetable juices. On such a fast, the full spectrum of nutrients is supplied in an easily assimilated form, so the digestive tract is able to remain essentially at rest."

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In his 1995 book, unfortunately recommending combining water-fasting and nutritional intervention for the reversal of myriad diseases (although wisely recommending the more intelligent plant-based diet which Fasting Center International has for 35 years), "Fasting and Eating For Health," Joel Fuhrman, M.D., did accurately diagnose the myopia still far too prevalent among many of his symptomatic colleagues throughout the United States, vis a vis any type of fasting, p. 174:

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"Fasting is based on unchanging biological laws that insist the cause of disease must be removed. After hearing about a natural-food diet and therapeutic fasting, individuals may enthusiastically give it a try and get well. It is also possible that they may become excited about the sensibleness of this approach and the prospect of finally recovering their health, but then go home to their friends and family and become discouraged, after being told that they would be crazy to attempt such an 'outrageous' treatment. They might even call a few doctors they know, only to be told that fasting is risky, dangerous, and stupid.

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"It continually amazes me how 'expert' opinions can be given on something with which someone has had no experience, knows nothing about, and has never researched. I once had occasion to speak to one such well-meaning physician who was furiously opposed to fasting. I told him I had read, and I was thoroughly familiar with, more than 500 medical journal articles on therapeutic fasting. I inquired as to which ones he was familiar with to help him reach his opinion. His answer was that he had not read any of them. He actually had zero knowledge about the subject, and began to ask me questions. He was consumed with the same vague fears and questions the typical layperson would have. Though still having doubts after our conversation, he admitted he had given his opinion too hastily, and had much more to learn.

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"The physicians who regularly utilize therapeutic fasting in their practice see so many remarkable recoveries that getting well is the expected, even the normal outcome. This is because nature heals, when given the opportunity. Still, despite these studies on fasting and plant-based diets, the world largely ignores this treatment, because it is contrary to the present system of medical practice. Doctors would have to remodel their entire approach to health and disease, and many physicians would have to admit that most of what they do is not needed or useful. This is not going to happen soon. We must expect powerful opposition to the method of care presented here."

AS THE GLARING WEAKNESSES in Conventional Medicine's short-sighted approach of addressing only symptoms of health problems (with either drugs or surgery), instead of more intelligently addressing their causes (as scientific fasting does), it's important to understand the true limitations of A.M.A.-style disease-management. One of America's best-known M.D.s, Andrew Weil, in his bestselling book, "Spontaneous Healing," clearly summarized what Allopathic Medicine can and cannot do for you, pp. 225-226:

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"CAN: "Manage trauma better than any other system of medicine; diagnose and treat many medical and surgical emergencies; treat acute bacterial infections with modern antibiotics; treat some parasitic and fungal infections; prevent many infectious diseases by immunization; diagnose complex medical problems; replace damaged hips and knees; get good results with cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, and it can diagnose and correct hormonal deficiencies.

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"CANNOT: Treat viral infections; cure most chronic degenerative diseases; effectively manage most kinds of mental illness; cure most forms of allergy or autoimmune disease; effectively manage psychosomatic illnesses, or cure most forms of cancer."

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Doctor Weil's candid, yet diplomatic, second opinion: "Do not seek help from a conventional doctor for a condition that conventional medicine cannot treat, and do not rely on an alternative provider for a condition that conventional medicine can manage well."

PERHAPS THE REASON why WebMD has, relatively recently, had an anonymous author bash fasting with specious theories while providing no evidence to support such disinformation, is that money has, among far too many M.D.s today, replaced the Hippocratic Oath as Allopathic Medicine's raison d'etre. If so, it would explain them bashing the world's greatest of all healing modalities--with more fasting testimonialists among our species' greatest thinkers and spiritual teachers than all other healing modalities combined.

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The undeniable truth, however, is that fasting works! Fasting cures! Scientific Fasting heals, as this Father of Western Medicine learned: "Fasting is the greatest remedy--the physician within!"--Philippus Paracelsus, famed Swiss physician, alchemical genius of the Middle Ages, and one of three fasting Fathers of Western Medicine, with Greece's Hippocrates and Galen who, like fellow fasting Greeks Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, practiced and prescribed prolonged fasting.

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Plato said he fasted "for greater physical and mental efficiency," just as Pythagoras, another veteran faster often described as the first pure mathematician, wouldn't even introduce his advanced students to his higher theorems and tenets until they'd done 40-day fasts. Plato, the classical philosopher, studied with students of Pythagoras before becoming a student of Socrates (who set the standard for all subsequent Western philosophy), and later a teacher of Aristotle who, although trained in both medicine and mathematics, more than any other thinker, determined the orientation and content of Western intellectual history, authoring a philosophical and scientific system that, through the centuries, became the support and vehicle for both medieval Christian and Islamic scholastic thought. The fact that all these great thinkers practiced prolonged fasting should be instructive.

TODAY, HOWEVER, you can read the post-fast testimonials of 10 open-minded, avant garde M.D.s who recently completed long Programs under FCI's skilled, veteran, professional supervision, entitled "Ten Fasting Physicians Praise FCI's Juice Fasting Program."

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Likewise, if you've not already done so, you might wish to read some of the other fine, post-fast testimonials from our "FASTING WISDOM ARCHIVE," which you can find near the top of all main pages on our extensive Fasting.com website. Just click on any topic you're inspired to, and you'll be hyperlinked to that article in a nanosecond. In fact, below is what's offered there presently, indicating just how effective a healing modality prolonged, scientific fasting truly is. . .all testimonials from highly-educated professionals with advanced degrees:

FASTING WISDOM ARCHIVE: Why Doctors Fast & Recommend It - Fasting Quotes - Who Should Not Fast - Ten Fasting Physicians Praise FCI's Juice Fasting Program - Why & How You Fast - How Long & What Type of Fast - Fasting Cancer Survivor Removes Chemo Toxins & Their Adverse Side-Effects - Is Supervision Necessary - Fasting Chief Surgeon Gains "Secret To Wellness & Wholeness" - Fasting CEO Removes 70 Lbs. & Improves "Every Aspect Of Life" - Fasting Ph.D. Learns Weight Control Lessons - Fasting Surgeon: "Your Program Saved My Life" - Fasting Businesswomen Lose Weight & Gain Health - CEO's Great Health Fast Success - Biblical Fasting - Fasting Eases Social Worker's Bipolar II Suffering - Fasting Cured Minister's Hernias - Fasting Cured M.D.'s Binge Eating - Fasting Cured Pilot's Arthritis & Allergies - Fasting Cured Ph.D.'s Bursitis & Hay Fever - Fasting Cured CEO's Hepatitis C & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Fasting Cured Ph.D.'s Jaw Tumor - Fasting Cured Columbia Senior's Binge Drinking & Food Addiction - Fasting Cured Teacher's Bulimia - Fasting Cured CEO's Diabetes 2 - Fasting Cured J.D.'s Obesity, High Blood Pressure & Depression - Fasting Cured Minister's Morbid Obesity, Heart Wall & Valve, High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol & Sleep Apnea - Fasting Cured J.D.'s Irregular Heart Rhythm, Palpitation, Hot Flashes & Night Sweats - CEO's Diary on FCI's 40-Day Fasting Program - Fasting Ed.D. Learns From Repeat Fast - Fasting Inspires Compassion - Fasting: Why Is WebMD's Article Misleading & Factless?

HERE AT FCI, our understanding of our raison d'etre is that by cultivating our own heart of compassion through our service to others, we've happily discovered that what inevitably results is a pure, wholesome joy, as well as a peace that passeth understanding. Hopefully, through our helping so many others, on the global stage we're blessed to work, their enhanced cultivation of their own hearts of compassion will, collectively, help lift humanity in its evolutionary journey toward Oneness with that creative force Christians, Muslims and Jews call God; Buddhists and Jains call Omniscient Mind; Hindus call Brahma; Native Americans call Great Spirit, etc.

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In other words, FCI exists to help others achieve far greater health, happiness and healing power, all of which bring more peace in life. In doing so, our hope is that all of our noble clients--on all continents and in all time zones--will forever more be filled with loving kindness toward all living beings, and that each of them will enjoy a stable, meritorious life with a good heart, likewise helping to end unnecessary suffering whenever they're able. That's what motivates us at FCI--our hope and dream, and what we've chosen to dedicate our own lives to help accomplish.

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Most FCI clients, globally, are carrying their own bag of suffering when their intuitive wisdom finally leads them here. Most are victimizing themselves with one addiction or another. Most are searching for ways to make their life more meaningful, and clearly, most have not yet found that peace which passeth all understanding which one of humanity's greatest spiritual teachers mentioned was possible.

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For as long as sentient beings remain in suffering, may I remain to help dispel misery through this greatest of all healing modalities, by which all with the courage and discipline to do it achieve far greater health, happiness and healing power. . .just as the Buddha, Christ, Mohammed and all great spiritual teachers taught, as did all three Fathers of Western Medicine. Respectfully, Dennis Paulson, Founder/Director, Fasting Center International, Inc.


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ANY FASTING PROGRAM QUESTIONS, kindly email or phone Fasting Center International. Email: FastMaster@fasting.com; phone: 818-590-2536 (know that the best time to catch Founder/Director Dennis Paulson, himself, with the least interruption, is between 10-4, California time).
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