The side effects of chemotherapy are one of the major obstacles in the cancer fight.
However, there might be a solution for this obstacle as researchers found that fasting just two days prior to the beginning of chemotherapy might protect cancer patients against the toxic side effects of these powerful drugs.

Fasting was found to protect healthy cells while dooming malignant cells to destruction.
These finding came from test-tube work as well as experiments done with yeast and mice. The main goal was to wind ways to reduce the collateral damage that chemotherapy typically produces.

The preliminary animal research gives hope while the human trials are on the way. As little as 48 hours of starvation afforded mice injected with brain cancer cells the ability to endure and benefit from extremely high doses of chemotherapy that non-starved mice could not survive.
Genetic manipulation of yeast was supposed to show that mimicking starvation could confer a life-prolonging protection against stress. The researchers then induced glucose deprivation on rat and human cancerous and healthy cell. This action protected the healthy cells against exposure to toxic compounds and left cancer cells unprotected. The same effects were seen in mice when injected brain cancer cells.
While 43 % of the non-starved mice died within 10 days of treatment, only one of the 48-hour starved mice died in that time. As well, while starved mice had lost 20 percent of their weight before treatment, most regained it back within four days of chemo exposure while the non-starved mice actually lost 20 percent of their weight post-treatment. Non-starved mice also suffered toxic side effects, such as impaired movement, ruffled hair and poor posture. The 48-hour starved mice displayed no such problems. Those mice that starved for 60 hours were exposed to even higher chemo doses and all of them survived unlike the non-starved mice that started to die by the fifth day.

The researchers concluded that short-term starvation does appear to guard healthy cells and allow cancer treatment to attack only diseased cells.

A human trial is on the way.