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Immunity

Posted Nov 17 2008 9:11pm

I woke up Friday morning with a bit of a sore throat.  Maybe it was something I ate, maybe I overdid the exercise during the week, I don't know.  Regardless, the obvious question was what to do about it.

I skipped breakfast and lunch both Friday and Saturday, and ate dinner only.  The idea was that by restricting food intake for a bit (intermittent fasting), it would give the body a chance to repair itself.

The old saying, "feed a cold, starve a fever" probably isn't correct.  Intermittent fasting is most likely a good route to take whether one is suffering from a cold or fever.  I don't think this has been shown research-wise yet, but it's only a matter of time.

Speaking of fevers, an evolutionary perspective is useful for understanding fevers as well.  Fevers are the body's natural response to infection.  Taking a fever-reducing medicine (unless the fever is quite severe) will actually slow the healing process.  Fevers may be uncomfortable, but they are a means to end: the body is raising its temperature to fight the infection.

For a good read on this subject, check out the book, " Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine."

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