Top Benefits of SAFE Water Fasting with Medical Doctors

Alright! This is John Kohler with
Today we have another exciting episode for you. We’re all the way here in Santa Rosa,
California. Beautiful Santa Rosa, California about 1 hour north of San Fransisco. and we’re
here for a very special reason. We’re here at the True North health center. What they’ve
been doing for over 30 years is water fasting patients to you know create balance in the
body so that they can heal and get better and get off their medications. And I can definitely
say that in my opinion it works. I sent both my parents here to not only water fast but
get and thrive the benefits from the education that also is a very important and large component
of what they do here at the True North health center. So what we’re gonna do now is we’re
gonna go inside and we’re gonna interview Dr. Goldhamer and talk to him about the benefits
of water fasting. Now we’re here with Dr. Alan Goldhamer and
we’re gonna share with you guys the benefits of fasting but before we get into the benefits
of fasting we’re gonna define what fasting is according to Dr. Goldhamer and what it
should be defined as because the you know term fasting is being used in many different
you know definitions these days. So Dr. Goldhamer and your definition what is the true definition
of fasting? Dr. Goldhamer: Well yeah there’s lots of
different things people describe as fasting but when we talk about fasting it’s the
complete absence of all substances except pure water in an environment of complete rest.
So this idea of therapeutic fasting is a very specific situation and in fact the body goes
through a it’s actually an adaptive response. Fasting itself is a biological adaptation.
It was something our species had to be able to do in order for us to survive. If it weren’t
for the ability to fast, the first time spring came late all the humans would’ve died.
Because we have this huge bulbous normal net at the end of our spinal cord called a brain.
It’s our main burner of glucose. And the key to fasting is the brains ability to shit
from burning it’s primary fuel glucose into brain ketones which are a byproduct of fat
metabolism. And because of the body’s ability to do that we can shift our fuel from burning
glucose or proteins into burning fat and so by the end of the second week of fasting,
the majority of calories are actually derived from fat. It’s a wonderful unique situation.
Not all animals can do that. So that’s why for example chimpanzees you can’t fast very
long cause they would die but humans because of this unique depth and ability we’re able
to do that. What we found is by applying this very natural ancient practice you can apply
that in situations that are a result of dietary excess and give the body a chance to rapidly
heal itself. John: Wow. So just wanted to put it out there
cause one of the big popular things these days is just fasting so Dr. Goldhamer Dr. Goldhamer: Well juice fasting isn’t
really fasting. It’s actually a modified feeding and may be very useful to people.
People go on juice diets or juice cleanses or how ever they wanna term it, can direct
benefit because you’re not eating greasy slimy fatty flesh. So the point is it’s
not that those things don’t have a role but they’re not technically fasting and
they don’t induce the unique physiological adaptation that we see in water when we fast.
So there are advantages but also disadvantages you know to each different form.
John: So let’s get into the advantages or benefits of true water fasting. Dr. Goldhamer
what would you say the first benefit of the water fasting is? Dr. Goldhamer: Well there’s a lot of things
that happen in in water fasting that happen either more intensely or more quickly than
they do in pretty much any other state that we see. You know when it comes down to it
health results in healthful living. People live healthy the body does what it can to
get well. In fasting that process is sped up. So for example weight loss. You know you
can lose weight really well with a healthy diet and an exercise program. We know on average
men lose about 2 to 3 pounds a week. On a healthy diet women lose 1 and a half to 2
pounds a week. In fasting weight loss averages a pound a day. Obviously if you don’t eat
at all quantum physics and aerodynamics tell us that there’s gonna be you know a result
in weight loss. There’s a natural resist that happens in fasting where the body will
rapidly mobilize and eliminate accumulated salts. Well that’s a very powerful effect
even more so than maybe diuretics or other things that may be used and as a result people’s
blood volume drops. Which tends to drop blood pressure. Swelling and adema tend to drop.
So people will rapidly get improvements in respiratory function, in the ability to move,
joint pain reduces, and that makes it possible for them to eliminate the need for medications
and other things that go along with it. So those changes will also happen feeding but
they’ll happen more slowly. With fasting they happen very rapidly. The traditional
justification for fasting really involved a concept of detoxification. The idea that
people had accumulated toxins in their body whether they be endogenous toxins or exogenous
toxins. Exogenous toxins are the kind that people usually think about. Things like PCB
and dioxins, pesticide residues, heavy metals, contaminants from the environment, most of
which shouldn’t even ever have existed but we put them in our environment and they’ve
managed to get themselves back into our systems. In fact probably the most common way those
toxins get into our body, besides directly through smoking and drinking is, through animal
consumption. Biologically concentrating in the animal foods are a faster source of these
materials getting into our body. Endogenous toxins are actually not toxins technically.
They’re normal intermediary products of metabolism. They may be things like uric acid
or cholesterol or cellular pigments or other things that in and of themselves aren’t
necessarily a problem but when they accumulate excessively within the tissues of the body.
They can even fill on a saline level function so whether we’re talking about endogenous
or exogenous in fasting, these materials are rapidly mobilized and eliminated. Much more
so, much more rapidly so, than feeding and that’s actually one of the criticisms by
some people. They say well maybe the body will detoxify so quickly it would be a problem.
Your body wouldn’t know what it’s doing. It wouldn’t be able to handle it properly.
But in our experience thats actually not the case. The body’s very good at mobilizing
and eliminating these materials and regulating that process. Most of these toxins are actually
show up in the urine. Because when you think about the urine it’s basically the blood
that’s been purified by the kidneys. Most of these metabolic products are eliminated
in the urine. There’s a little bit through the skin and the breath and the bowel function
but mostly this is a product of elimination and with what’s important in fasting is
that we maintain adequate water intake. So there is a solute for materials that are mobilized
to be able to be processed and eliminated. So we definitely know that there’s weight
loss and sodium naturesis and detoxification. There’s also other processes in fasting
that are rather interesting like enzymatic induction. Enzymes are used by the body for
a lot of different purposes. One is mobilizing nutrients like fat. In order to burn fat,
you have to go through lipolysis which is enzymatically driven. To mobilize glycogen
stores through glycogenolysis requires enzymes. And breaking down protein through glycogenolysis.
These are all enzyme driven functions. When you go on a fast, those processes, you’re
inducing those enzymes systems. You must be mobilizing fat protein and glycogen and also
detoxification. Detoxification itself is driven by enzyme systems. So the detoxifying enzyme
passways are induced by fasting and what’s interesting is all of these passways tend
to persist after you’re dead fasting. So it’s not just while you’re fasting that
you are becoming more efficient detoxifying or mobilizing nutrient stores but after your
dead fast those systems are canalized. And it’s interesting to see as people do more
fasts over time they tend to get more and more efficient and effective at the process.
And of course hopefully they’re also dropping their total body load of toxins as time goes
on. So detoxification is another method that’s dramatically facilitated by fasting. Now the
down side to that is it’s not always a pleasant experience. Because when you’re mobilizing
these materials, you can get very specific symptoms from terrible taste, to body odor,
to discharges, to rashes, to nausea, and vomiting, headaches and irritability, and you know there’s
lots of things that can come with fasting. John: Yeah my dad said that his breath smelled
like a garbage truck or tasted like a garbage truck. Dr. Goldhamer: Yeah. It tastes like something
crawls in and it dies you know. It’s not always a pleasant John: It’s good to get out of you though. Dr. Goldhamer: Other changes in fasting for
example, there’s insulin, which is a product that is necessarily to drive sugar from your
bloodstream into your cells where it can be used as your primary source of fuel. Insulin
itself, you can develop a resistance to the effectiveness of insulin. Insulin resistance
is actually essentially what’s going on in diabetes. It’s that people make insulin
but the insulin is not doing it’s job properly because of this resistance at the receptor
sites and as a consequence blood sugar levels rise. In fasting, insulin resistance is profoundly
affected and so a significant percentage of our type 2 diabetics are able to achieve normal
blood sugar levels and with persistence of a healthy diet and an exercise program can
sustain those normal levels eliminating the need for medications and optimizing function
in that regard. Other changes in fasting that are different than feeding alone involve the
effect of the digestive system as a whole. You have a tunnel that goes through your body.
It starts with your mouth, it goes down your esophagus, into your stomach, through the
small intestines and the large intestines, eventually reaches the rectum, and then there’s
the anus. So you’re essentially pushing stuff in one end and trying to push it out
the other end and all the while it’s going through the digestive system it’s not actually
technically in your body. It’s just passing through your body. But if materials can pass
through the very fine mucosal membrane and actually enter the body, that membrane is
designed to filter materials. So then only very small particles, things like glucose
and amino acids can be absorbed, and filter out the larger molecules. And that system
works really well, however if something damages that intestinal mucosa, something like gut
leakage, where you actually get an inflammatory process whether it’s from free radicals
or other reactive molecules, that mesh becomes damaged. Much like a screen might be torn,
that can allow material through. Initially your immune system would react to those materials
those proteins and neutralize them. You have phagocytes and all kinds of different mechanisms
to kind of neutralize and eliminate invading materials. But in genetically vulnerable people,
that reaction becomes dysfunctional and when your immune system begins to react to your
own tissues now we describe this as auto-immune disease. And you know if it’s reacting to
your colon then we might use the term ulcerative colitis or crohns disease. If it’s reacting
to your lungs you might talk about patients with asthma or patients that are having skin
involvement might be diagnosed as having vasculitis or arthritis or you know many of these itis
conditions. One of the things that they have in common is they’re aggravated by gut leakage.
From the introduction into the system of materials that really shouldn’t be there and for reasons
that are still being debated, when that immune system becomes dysfunctional and begins to
react to your own tissues, it’s actually your immune system that’s causing the inflammation
and arthritis or vasculitis or asthma. That’s your cells and one of the things you can do
to get those cells to start working properly is number 1, eliminate the gut leakage and
one of the things that you the ways you can do that is to fast. In turn in fasting of
course you’re not digesting these materials. You’re eliminating. The body gets a chance
to heal and then after your fasting of course sort of eating a low and hygienic health promoting
diet when you don’t have the food radicals or other materials that are causing the inflammation,
and now those systems can become healed and these conditions can come under control. And
that’s why we see people with these conditions like arthritis and colitis and asthma psoriasis,
that can actually get well. Now it’s interesting because under medical care, if you go to a
medical doctor and say I’d like you to use conventional medical methodology what they’ll
say well that’s fine we’ll give you drugs and you’ll take these drugs and we’ll
try to regulate your symptoms and the one promise they’ll make is that if you follow
their advice exactly, you may never get well. You’ll be sick the rest of your life and
you’ll have to take the drugs the rest of your life. Why do you have to take the drugs
for the rest of your life? Because they’re guaranteeing you you’re not going to recover.
And I think there’s a better way to do that which is to try to allow the gut to heal,
eliminate the sources of the inflammation to being with, and provide a health promoting
environment so the body can try to do what it does best which is heal itself. We also
see impacts of fasting on the autonomic nervous system. Now that’s part of the nervous system
that controls the things you don’t have to think about. For example when you start
running you don’t have to tell your heart to beat faster. It does it automatically.
The way it does that is through direction from the autonomic nervous system which has
two parts, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system. And they work in concert with
each other and in counterbalance to each other. So if one part of the nervous system gets
set too high, you can develop symptoms. If your sympathetic nervous system or your parasympathetic
nervous system is out of balance you may have symptoms like diarrhea or constipation. You
may have tightness in the chest, you may have various symptoms of distress and in fact if
you think about all the natural healing methods, one of the things that all of these different
methods have in common is that they impact the autonomic nervous system balance. Some
work better than others but many of them from massage and feedback to manipulation affect
the autonomics and to that degree that they’re able to rebalance that may affect some of
the symptoms that people experience. One of the most profound impacts on the autonomic
nervous system that I’ve seen is fasting. Fasting is like rebooting a hard drive in
a computer. You know you shut the system down you turn it back on. A lot of times corruption
kind of sorts itself out. You don’t exactly know where it came from but it now things
tend to work better and fasting kind of does that to the body. It’s like turning everything
off and then letting it kind of naturally reboot. Fasting also has a large tradition
in people from a psycho spiritual kind of point, there’s probably no major religion
that doesn’t have a tradition of fasting. And I think the reason for that is that fasting
has a profound effect on how people think and feel about themselves and the world around
them. And so many people traditionally have used fasting as a chance of kind of going
within themselves a bit and certainly you know we see those changes in people that are
fasting. The immune system itself, sometimes people think well if you fast you’re starving
cause they equate fasting with starving. Really not accurate because fasting is when you’re
using and relying on bodily reserves. Starvation is what happens if you fast beyond you’re
bodily reserves and then of course that’ll not be good because if you go from fasting
into starvation and continue then you would die and that would be from our viewpoint.
It would really mess up our outcome data but fasting is when there are reserves. Part of
our job in medically supervised fasting is ensuring that people have adequate reserves
and monitoring and we make sure that the crisis that we see are actually part of the body’s
ability to heal itself and not the result of a deficiency or depletion that could be
present. I think one of the most profound methods of fasting involves the concept of
neural adaptation. The nervous system adapts to our environment around us. For example
if you’re going from a very brightly lit outside into a dark theater, first you know
you can’t see very well. You’re stepping on people but eventually the rods and cones
in your eyes adapt to the light and you can actually start making be able to see a bit.
The same processes occur as the neuroadaption occurs with taste. If people are used to eating
greasy slimy fatty death decaying flesh diet, it can’t really discern the more subtle
flavors, the fruits the vegetables. If people go on a let’s say low sodium low fat diet,
over a long enough period of time eventually they begin to start adapting to where they
can start to taste the natural flavors of whole foods. The problem is if you’re on
a high salt diet and you go on a low salt diet it can take a month on average for people
to adapt. If you’re on a high fat diet it can take up to 3 months before people feel
satiated on a lower fat or complex carbohydrate based diet and as consequence it’s hard
to get compliance with people if they just don’t feel good. Or if they feel hungry
or they feel weak or they feel they have all these symptoms that they’re attributing
to deficiency syndromes in their diet when in reality, they’re addicts and they’re
adapting to the withdrawal effect. It’s like why it’s very difficult for people
to go through withdrawal on any medications or recreational drugs because they don’t
feel good. They’re using these drugs not just to feel good, they’re using them to
avoid feeling bad from withdrawal and people are addicted to the artificial stimulation
of dopamine in their brain from the chemicals that are added to food including oil salt
and sugar as well as all these processed foods. And so when they withdraw from the foods they
don’t like it. When you fast you don’t like it either but that time happens over a much
shorter period of time and most people by the time they’re done fasting even relatively
pre-fast, good foods start to taste good. And now we can encourage people to adapt a
whole food plant based diet without the sugar oil and salt. And they can enjoy the food
and like the food instead of it being tasteless swill that they can’t chuck down and I think
that’s one of the reasons you find fasting can be very helpful. If you could get people
to eat very healthy over a long enough period of time many of those beneficial changes would
occur naturally but it’s very difficult to do that in people that are on medications
that have significant symptoms or that are just so addicted to the pleasure trap that
it’s difficult for them to break free. When you do fasting it’s a useful tool in helping
people adapt to a health promoting diet and lifestyle and we found it to be very useful. John: So would you say Dr. Goldhamer, fasting
is probably the best way if somebody is out there you know watching this right now and
maybe you’re on a standard American diet and they wanna make changes. They’ve tried
to eat healthy before but it just doesn’t work. If they came here to True North and
you got them fasting and on your program, and to reset them, and then send them out
in the world to eat right, I mean is this one of the best solutions out there? Dr. Goldhamer: Well you see some people are
here because they’re very sick. And they’re in enough pain that they’ll do anything,
even eat well or exercise or whatever. They’re willing to you know pay the ultimate price
in terms of adopting a healthy diet. Some people come here cause they’re very smart.
They’ve done this intellectually and they’ve figured it out and they use us because they’re
using us, they do periodic fasting as a health promotion health maintenance. So they’re
very healthy and they wanna stay that way. Some people use us because it’s difficult
if you’re already on a healthy diet to get away from your regular environment and get
into an enriching environment that’s focused on health education and support and this kind
of thing and be able to just get your basic needs met for health food and water and all
that kind of stuff. So we see people from the very healthiest people to the very sickest
people. People come for different reasons. About 80% of the people we see come on referral
specifically for medically supervised water only fasting cause we’re one of the few
places that you can actually do water fasting in a safe and supportive environment. So for
people that have a predilection to do water fasting we do a really good job of that. Some
people don’t wanna do water fasting. It’s more vigorous or maybe it’s not even appropriate
for them. And they may come in and do juice cleansing or just a healthy eating program
in conjunction with appropriate care and support. We have a unique situation here. We have 3
full time medical doctors that aren’t idiots. For a lot of people the opportunity to work
with a experienced physician that’s not an idiot is a really refreshing and useful
thing and a lot of people use our physicians as an opportunity to do their medical assessments,
get good advice, or at least get a second opinion about whether or not a medical procedure
is necessary or advisable or not. We also have chiropractors, we have naturopathic physicians,
we have psychologists. We have a lot of different people working in an integrated fashion so
not any doctor can have a background on every issue and so when you get a group of doctors
that think in a similar way but have different backgrounds and skill sets, it can be very
powerful in terms of improving the likelihood that we kind of figure out what’s going
on and come up with a strategy that works for a person. And it also helps because not
everybody is gonna resonant with every you know any given person. And so we have, like
we have a lot of these doctors that work with me here and they’re these loving and considerate
people. I’m not being critical alright. I can’t help it it’s their personality
but you know they really genuinely care and that’s kind of novel nowadays. It’s very
frustrating for people cause they’re having trouble finding people that they have confidence
with but they can connect with. And for people that are serious about adopting a health promoting
diet and lifestyle, nowadays people are being diagnosed as having psychopathology because
they’re overly concerned about health or diet issues. The fact that they’re concerned
about it is being diagnosed as a psychological pathology which is certainly not always the
case. John; Yeah. I mean, somebody would consider
me orthorexic. Dr. Goldhamer: And you know and there are
people that have psychiatric issues that happen to manifest around food issues but because
you’re desiring to develop a health promoting diet and lifestyle, doesn’t mean you have
psychopathology. It just means you’re outside the norm cause normal people in our society
are fat, and sick and miserable. And then they die prematurely as a consequence of poor
decision making. So if you wanna be normal, adopt a standard American diet. Become fat
and sick. If you wanna be healthy though, you have to step outside of the door. John: I totally agree. Dr. Goldhamer: Yeah. John: I mean I totally agree. I’ve been
doing the health healthy diet for the last 19 years you know the biggest challenge I’ve
had with my healthy diet is actually getting my parents, I bet they’re watching this
right now, to also you know do this diet. I’ve been doing it for a long time and it
took me, I mean I could tell them all I do and tell them hey you guys need to do this
and they just would never do it. Until my dad had a minimal condition and I said, dad
I’ll pay for you to go to True North. So I paid for him to go here, he water fasted
for 30 days, drank nothing but distilled water, and that’s the only thing that actually
ever gave him benefits. He was actually on a program, experimental program took some
experimental drugs to help him with a situation that did not help him. But the only thing
that helped him was actually water fasting but more importantly than the water fasting
that helped him in my opinion, is that the education you got while he was here at True
North, that was that was more critical to me and more meant more to me than just the
water fasting because after he got out of here, he continued the healthy practices that
I’ve been wanting him to do all the time. Dr. Goldhamer: Well that’s the goal, is
to give people the kind of support and education so they are able to go home and be able to
apply these principles. I know my own mother 30 years ago came in and went through our
program and adopted it and she got nothing but grief from her friends. And she had a
big social circle and now I was talking to her recently, it’s 30 years later. She’s
88 years old and she said the last of her friends has died. 52 different people over
the lat 30 years has past away and she said the worst part of the whole thing is there’s
nobody left to say I told you so to. John: Wow. Well I don’t want anybody to
say I told you so to you guys either. But yeah I mean same case. My dad’s been doing
this for a number of years now and then just last year my mother you know who’s been
resisting the change because she needs her chicken soup or her chicken cause chicken
and rice is what she ate when she was a kid and she needed that, until last year when
she was diagnosed with a pre-cancerous condition actually. And then you know I talked to my
mom and said mom you need to do this. We would butt heads man. We’d get in so many arguments
about diets it’s not even funny cause she’s strong willed and I’m more strong willed.
But so I just said mom I’m only gonna tell you one thing cause I don’t wanna argue
about anything with you cause you’re in a tough situation. I said one thing I said
to you to her is call Dr. Goldhamer. So I’m so glad she did. The next day she was actually
in the center and she got here and she got on the program and now she’s on the road to
recovery because you can’t put a value on you guys life. So Dr. Goldhamer if any of
you wanted to learn more information about you and your center can you give them your
contact information and your websites. Dr. Goldhamer: Sure. You can go to our website
at And our website has lots of information. We have video clips and
articles, a lot of content up on the website. You can actually fill out registration forms
on the website that gets me your medical history and you can call for a free consultation.
We provide you with free phone consultation to determine whether there’s something that
we have that might be of use to you. And you can call us at 707-586-5555. John: Alright great. Thank you Dr. Goldhamer.
I hope you guys enjoyed this episode learning about the benefits of fasting and also how
the True North Health Center has helped impact my family’s heath and I believe they could
also help yours. I wanna encourage you guys to reach out, contact Dr. Goldhamer for the
free consult, and come here cause I definitely think it’ll help change your life. Hopefully
you guys enjoyed this episode. Once again my name is John Kohler with We’ll
see you next time and remember keep eating your fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re
always the best.

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