Misha Sakharoff
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How to fight metastatic breast cancer naturally

Fighting cancer naturally with water fast - Part 1. Metastatic breast cancer

One of my specialties as a health practitioner and inspirator is to integrate everything I teach my clients into my own life first. My stable daily routines include breathing optimisation, intermittent fasting, caloric restriction, moderate exercise, in-movement lymph drain workouts, training of mental resilience etc. I do it everyday. Because that’s what I want my clients to mimic in order to regain normal health. And when I do it myself I have much greater chance to inspire and ignite others – be it 1:1 clients or students of my 50-weeks video course.

Fighting metastatic breast cancer naturally

That’s why when one of my 1:1 clients asked me if she could come to Denmark for 2 week’s in-depth follow-up course with me, I said yes. And I knew what we are going to go through together. We are fighting her stage-4 metastatic breast cancer, so I  thought that taking an extended water fast and doing structured exercise will be the strongest possible way to give her value for money during these 2 weeks. I never tried an extended fast before, and I really wanted to be able to help my 1:1 clients with supervision on extended fasting. This was a perfect chance to experience how extended fasting works both on me and my client. I knew that she has read several books on both intermittent and prolonged fasting, just as myself. So two of us together would form a perfect team to experience and research the extended fasting regimen.

There is a vast body of evidence based on scientific research that approves fasting as one of the absolutely strongest ways of fighting metastatic breast cancer naturally. And it also applies to other cancers besides breast cancer.

Fasting as a Part of Integrative Approach to Health

Both me and my clients are already using Intermittent Fasting/IF with Caloric Restriction/CR as a part of Therapeutic Ketogenic Diet – TKD IF/CR. They all serve as an integral part of Sakharoff Protocol, my own integrative approach to natural healing of lifestyle diseases, inclusive cancer.

When used on top of TKD, Intermittent Fasting and Caloric Restriction are not connected with suffering as in they are in the other diets. Especially after passing through the 1st and the 2nd levels of adaptation, the levels of hunger and satiety hormones are normalised – Ghrelin ↓ (hunger) down-regulated and Leptin ↑ (hunger) up-regulated. Entering the fast from the ‘non-keto adapted’ state is much more hard and demanding. It is prone to be connected with suffering from fighting constant hunger and going through hypoglycemia, especially in the initial stages. It applies to all other diets besides Ketogenic and Zero-carb – both vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, low calorie, low fat and different crash-food and other diets.

Basically because all of them are based on carbohydrates as primary energy compound that converts into glucose. In this setup glucose serves as the main energy source, thus preventing all the body cells from using energy from fat as the main energy source. Entering the fasting regimen from glucose-dependent state is usually connected with suffering, as the person entering the fast must pass the initial stages of keto-adaptation, shifting from burning glucose to burning fat in form of ketones and fatty acids as a primary energy source.

My thought was that Extended Fasting could also serve as integral part of my Sakharoff Protocol. I would like to introduce my clients to it as a smooth transition from stable ketosis TKD IF/CR zone into the yet stronger healing zone of fasting. I’m especially thinking of it as a part of cancer treatment, but also for other lifestyle diseases as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, autoimmune, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and other conditions.

Fasting as a Trigger of Multiple Therapeutic Pathways

Extended Fasting is actively triggering several therapeutic pathways:

  1. Raised ketone levels and reduced glucose, maintaining optimal blood glucose to ketone ratios for cancer management – Multiple studies show that cancer is manageable through principles of metabolic control where plasma glucose levels are reduced and ketone body levels are elevated. Dietary energy restriction reduces tumour growth through effects on angiogenesis (growth of new capillary blood vessels), apoptosis (programmed cellular death), and inflammation.
    Studies suggest that dietary restriction could reduce tumour-derived levels of pro-cachexic factors by reducing tumour size. The idea is to limit tumour cell growth, to “starve” tumours by taking away the tumour cell’s favourite fuel, glucose, and replace it with something the cancer cell cannot use – ketones and fatty acids.
  2. Increased autophagy – intracellular cleaning/detoxification, inclusive CMA (Chaperone Mediated Autophagy) for mitochondrial biogenesis (renewal and restructuring). 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi that discovered and described the fysiological mechanisms of different types of autophagy. Strong tool for all lifestyle diseases with chronic inflammation.
  3. Normalised cellular respiration – Breathing and nutrition are strongly interdependent. Metabolic toxicity leads to inflamed and inefficient mitochondrial membranes – and dysfunctional mitochondria. It disrupts mitochondrial metabolism and leads to inefficient cellular respiration. This affects our breathing. To improve breathing we can detox our cells through fasting. It will normalise mitochondrial activity and optimise cellular respiration and breathing.
    Levels of carbon dioxide and nitric oxide regulated by breathing are known as potent vessel dilating hormones – vasodilators increasing CBF (cerebral blood flow). Ketone bodies are also able to increase global CBF by 39%.
  4. Reduced inflammation – through decreased reactive oxygen species, glutamate toxicity, oxidative stress. Multiple studies show the degree of oxidative stress and generation of ROS (reactive oxygen species) is proportional to sugar and insulin levels in blood. In one study scientists measured 14 different markers for inflammation for low fat and low carbohydrate diets. The blood concentrations of all 14 inflammatory markers was lower for low carb diet compared with low fat. Fasting takes it even further by increasing the amount of ketones and reducing glucose levels in the blood compared to average low carbohydrate diets.
  5. Increased immune function – Fasting activates the immune system and exposes the cancer cells to the immune system. Fasting raises the levels of bone marrow cells that generate immune system cells, such as T cells, B cells and “natural killer” cells that infiltrate tumors.
  6. Other pathways triggered by fasting that have strong influence on cancer proliferation:
    • Decreased insulin and increased insulin sensitivity
    • Decreased mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway, reduced IGF1 (insulin growth factor) levels
    • Reduced energy uptake, reduced cell proliferation
    • Increased para-sympathetic tone, increased stress resistance

fasting molecular mechanisms and clinical applications

Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications.
Picture source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3946160/

Synergetic effect – combining extended fasting with breathing optimisation

We can create a strong synergetic effect by combining extended fasting with increased cellular oxygenation through structured practice of breathing optimisation.

Cancer growth is triggered by cell hypoxia, lack of oxygen on the cellular level, that can be caused by different kinds of permanent chronic stress – both mental, nutritional, environmental and physical. Cell hypoxia immediately generates a cascade of abnormal effects causing cells to go into anaerobic respiration. Anaerobic respiration in cells elevates levels of lactic acid in blood, causing increased production of free radicals, promoting existing chronic inflammation, suppressing the immune system – and eventually leading to cancer through Warburg Effect. In the 1920s Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize in Physiology for his research concluding that cancer is caused by lack of oxygen in the cells. His “Warburg Effect” have been reaffirmed by more recent scientific research with links to studies you can find on this page.

Cancer therapies must target the key cause of cancer: low body oxygen O2. As a result, successful natural complementary therapies for cancer must be based on (gradual) removal of this cause and restoration of normal oxygen levels in body cells. To optimise body oxygenation on the deepest cellular level I use some of the most advanced cancer therapies for my clients:
Buteyko method, Frolov and Dr.Rakhimov DIY breathing devices, altitude training mask, structured movement and progressive active relaxation techniques, elliptical, rebounder and balance board workouts with diminished breathing and others.

Read more about interconnection of different areas of health working with Sakharoff Protocol.

 

Extended fasting in perspective
– view of client with Metastatic Breast Cancer

While I have been in ketosis for the majority of the last year, there is a reasonable chance I’ve been been more “out” than “in” over the past few months (although I was always low carb).  I was likely “out” when I arrived in Denmark.  For the weekend before we began the fast, I joined Misha in his zero carb diet, and was tired enough to make me think I was re-transitioning to a ketogenic state.

The reality – hunger levels

Since starting the fast, I haven’t been hungry (with one small exception, discussed next), and my energy levels have been steadily increasing.  I have a cup of coffee in the morning, and a couple of cups of green tea during the day.  I suspect that being ketogenic before starting the fast, together with the coffee and tea, are what has made this an essentially painless exercise.  Seriously.  I’d read “The Complete Guide to Fasting” (Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore) shortly before coming to Denmark (with no idea that Misha was planning a fast for me!), and was expecting day 2 of the fast to be difficult.  It wasn’t.

Supplementation

I’ve been taking electrolytes since the beginning of the fast (K, Mg, salt).  Today I’ve added back in my multivitamin (3 tablets).  I took all supplements at the same time and noticed a bit of hunger within the hour.  I’ll spread them out a bit more tomorrow.

 

Extended fasting in perspective
– view of Health Practitioner

My expectations – 7 Day’s water-only fast – Day 3

Now let’s get back to our fast. Today is Day 3 of my extended water-only fast. Extended means that I suppose it to last 7-days.
I can tell you that it fells feels surprisingly great.

How did I expect it to be? Well I expected hardship, restriction, withdrawal symptoms, headaches. I expected that it was hard to manage getting up in the morning at 4.30am as I used to. I expected that my daily routines would be really hard to endure during the day.

My normal daily schedule

4.30 – get-up, shower while making oil pulling with coconut oil
5.00 – 1 hr workout with 3D MPE multipurpose exercise and/or jogging in the woods
6.30 – 2-6 hrs solo work: writing articles, checking my 1:1 clients daily logs, social media updates
9.00 – 3 hrs group work: Shooting course videos with my partners (only 3 times a week)
13.00 – 1 hr break
14.00 – 3 hrs work with 1:1 clients – normally 2 client sessions 1.5 hr each
18.00 – leisure time
20.00 – 2 hrs Q&A sessions with my course clients or free lectures (only 3 times a week)
23/24 – sleep

The reality – energy levels

Well the reality is very much different. It’s really stunning, because I do not feel any loss of energy during the day. Energy levels are very even throughout the day. I feel very calm. Normally after 3 hrs of group work with my partners shooting the videos I feel the need to take 1 hr break before proceeding with my 1:1 clients. My brain works at full speed during this 3 hrs because we are working interconnecting the 5 areas of health on whiteboard that is then directly recorded on video – in 3 languages. It’s really demanding energy-wise. So the 1 hr breaks are a rule every day when we shoot the videos.

This week I had 3 days of full workload with both videos, lectures and online support without any traces of tiredness.
I feel a little bit more calm then normal (feels actually pretty  good) and energised.

The reality – hunger levels

This may sound crazy but I still feel no hunger.

Now I try to concentrate on how I actually feel on the 3rd day of the 7-day water-only fast. I can say that it feels completely the same as I felt each day while being on ketogenic regimen with intermittent fast. It’s 8pm in the evening right now. If I was on the intermittent fast, I would have eaten last time at 4pm in the afternoon and it would have been 4 hours since the last meal. At this time of day I would have had a completely neutral experience between hunger and satiety. This neutrality is very nice because for me it is associated with an easy and light way of being. I can both think clearly, work productively, be in a good mood and at the same time have a lot of energy resources for a long time to come.

But now it’s 8pm in the evening on the 3rd day of extended fast – where I only drink water. I must say that I feel exactly the same way as if it was 8pm in the evening at a normal working day where I have eaten my last meal for 4 hours ago.

The difference is that I have had my last meal for about 80 hours ago and not 4. It really amazes me, but my condition feels the same.

Where is my energy coming from?

During my extended fast I burn ketones which gives me the same energy resource for all my daily chores as while intermittent fasting. The difference is that during the extended fast I use ketones from my internal energy resources in form of abdominal and intra-muscular fat (while not wasting muscular protein), while being on intermittent fast I usually get ketones from food sources. It’s because my body fat is only about 12%. If I was overweight on TKD IF/CR regimen, I would be burning mostly my own fat – provided that I new the right nutritional balance of fat, protein and carb.


Links to scientific research used in this article:

Ressource archive about extended and intermittent fasting:
https://sakharoff.com/fasting-science/

 

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About the Author Misha Sakharoff

My burning interest in human physiology is rooted in far-different areas of expertise such as martial arts, music and long professional career. My core competency lies in the combination of physiological knowledge regarding stress mechanisms and their close relationship with respiration, muscular tension and body balance.

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