Welcome to Season 5 of Living Well with MS, the Overcoming MS podcast where we explore all topics relating to living well with multiple sclerosis (MS). In this episode we are pleased to welcome Steve Hendricks, the author of The Oldest Cure in the World: Adventures in the Art and Science of Fasting as our guest!  

Keep reading for the key episode takeaways and Steve's bio. 

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Content Warning: This episode mentions a study involving data on attempted suicide. If you are having thoughts of self-harm, please reach out to someone. Find a list of hotlines here. Overcoming MS has a mental health hub with resources for managing anxiety, uncertainty and stress.  


Steve’s career:

Steve Hendricks is a freelance reporter and the author of the new book The Oldest Cure in the World: Adventures in the Art and Science of Fasting. He’s also the author of two previous books, one of which, The Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country, made several best-of-the-year lists. He has a website with information about his books and an extensive list of FAQs about fasting

Steve's personal life:

He lives in Boulder, Colorado (USA), with his wife – a  professor of family law – and  his dog, a border collie cross. 

Read the episode transcript

Key Takeaways:

A longer daily fasting period helps our body make repairs and reduce leaky gut syndrome 
“The longer we give our bodies each night to do all this work, the better it does them. If we narrow our fasting window too much, our body will not be able to make these repairs. Chronobiologists biologists, who study the timing of our bodies, think that it's highly likely that our long eating windows and narrow fasting windows each night are one of the contributors, in addition to our cr@ppy diet, to leaky gut syndrome.” 

Clinical observations have shown fasting can improve many conditions, including MS! 
24:36 “We have more than a century of clinical observations from fasting doctors, across multiple generations [and] multiple countries, (mostly in the US, Germany, Russia) who report very credibly many cases of reversals of cardiovascular disease through prolonged fasting. I'm talking fasting for a week, two weeks, sometimes up to 30-40 days, depending upon the condition. Cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema and acne, asthma, allergies. It's a very long list. Fasting doctors routinely report that prolonged fasting is good for autoimmune diseases.” 

Research into the benefits of fasting for people with MS is very promising 
50:00 “Valter Longo found that fast mimicking diet cycles not only prevented the demyelination and damage to the axons in mice – which  are the parts of the nerve that conduct impulses – but  also began to remyelinate some of the stripped off myelination on those same parts of the nerves. In consequence, the mice did better on motor tests, they did better on mental tests. And here's the sleeper headline: 20% of these mice appear to have been cured. All their symptoms were gone. So, a pretty moderate amount of fasting cures MS in mice.”

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