Water-only Fasting Literature
A database of research publications dating back to 1881!
Impact of supervised beego, a traditional Chinese water-only fasting, on thrombosis and haemostasis
Publication:
BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health
Publication Year:
2021
DOI:
10.1136/bmjnph-2020-000183
Abstract

Beego is a traditional Chinese complete water-only fasting practice initially developed for spiritual purposes, later extending to physical fitness purposes. Beego notably includes a psychological induction component that includes meditation and abdominal breathing, light body exercise and ends with a specific gradual refeeding program before returning to a normal diet. Beego has regained its popularity in recent decades in China as a strategy for helping people in subhealthy conditions or with metabolic syndrome, but we are unaware of any studies examining the biological effects of this practice. To address this, we here performed a longitudinal study of beego comprising fasting (7 and 14 day cohorts) and a 7-day programmed refeeding phase. In addition to detecting improvements in cardiovascular physiology and selective reduction of blood pressure in hypertensive subjects, we observed that beego decreased blood triacylglycerol (TG) selectively in TG-high subjects and increased cholesterol in all subjects during fasting; however, the cholesterol levels were normalised after completion of the refeeding program. Strikingly, beego reduced platelet formation, activation, aggregation and degranulation, resulting in an alleviated thrombosis risk, yet maintained haemostasis by sustaining levels of coagulation factors and other haemostatic proteins. Mechanistically, we speculate that downregulation of G6B and MYL9 may influence the observed beego-mediated reduction in platelets. Fundamentally, our study supports that supervised beego reduces thrombosis risk without compromising haemostasis capacity. Moreover, our results support that beego under medical supervision can be implemented as non-invasive intervention for reducing thrombosis risk, and suggest several lines of intriguing inquiry for future studies about this fasting practice (http://www.chictr.org.cn/index.aspx, number, ChiCTR1900027451).

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