Doctors say older people carry a greater risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 largely because our body's natural ability to fight disease weakens as we age. Similarly, even younger people with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of complications from coronavirus.
Neurologist and best-selling author Dr. David Perlmutter says since it looks like COVID-19 is going continue to threaten our health in the months, perhaps even years ahead, we should take steps now to boost our immune system and therefore improve our chance of survival if we become infected.
In his book Brain Maker, Perlmutter describes the benefits of eating a probiotic-rich diet to strengthen the gut microbiome because most of the immune system resides in the intestinal tract.
In addition to improving our gut health, he also recommends the immune-boosting practice of fasting. That's because going without food altogether for certain periods of time triggers autophagy, which is the body's way of repairing damaged cells that can cause sickness, making way for newer, healthier ones. This cellular rejuvenation aids in fighting infections like COVID-19 as well as preventing other life-threatening illnesses including Alzheimer's Disease and cancer.
Click on the box above to see Pat Robertson's interview with Dr. David Perlmutter about the health benefits of fasting on Wednesday's 700 Club.
Dr. Perlmutter recognizes many people are intimidated by the idea of fasting because they are afraid of being hungry or confused about how to go about fasting. In an interview on The 700 Club with Pat Robertson, Dr. Perlmutter said that in addition to the health benefits of going for periods of time without food, it's actually good to feel the sensation of hunger because it gives us a sense of gratitude.
"When was the last time people actually felt hungry? And when you break your fast and are able to eat food, you feel so good [and] that is so good for you," Dr. Perlmutter said. "Gratitude actually rewires your brain and this whole notion that fasting boosts your immune system is, I think, certainly very timely," he went on.
He says that's because we don't currently have any offensive weapons against COVID-19 in terms of pharmaceuticals that can prevent Coronavirus, so we have to play defense and do everything we can to boost our immune systems to make us more resistant to it.
Dr. Perlmutter also said fasting can actually help the brain produce new brain cells, which he says could help prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer's disease.
"We know that in Alzheimer's there's a big drop out of brain cells. So if we can populate the brain with brand new cells, that's actually very, very important. So the science of fasting as it relates to the brain I think is fascinating," he said.
That's why he recently kicked off a week-long Summer Fasting Challenge.
Perlmutter believes the psychological benefit of fasting alongside others, even virtually, improves the chances of success and the likelihood people will continue fasting on their own even after the challenge is over.
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