Fasting for Depression: A New Study Needs Volunteers

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AS YOU MAY remember, I've written about fasting before on Moodraiser (Fasting Is Good For Your Health) and elsewhere because it's good for your health, and most things good for your physical health are also good for your mental health and moods.

If you'd like to try fasting, or if you've done it before and you're ready for another fast, I have a unique opportunity for you, courtesy of a message I received from a PhD candidate yesterday who is looking for volunteers for a study she is conducting:

Dear Adam Khan,

My name is Randi Fredricks and I am a PhD candidate at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California (www.itp.edu). I am conducting my doctoral dissertation research on the effects of water fasting on depression. I have done a great deal of investigation in this area and believe that my research will show that water fasting can relieve the symptoms of depression. I am aware of your work and your knowledge about the benefits of fasting, so I thought you would be interested in my research.

If you know anyone between 18 and 75 years of age who will be doing a water-only fast for a period of at least 5 days, I would like to invite them to participate in my research. All testing will be online so the testing can be done anywhere. The online testing should take about 15 minutes to complete.

At the end of the study, all participants who have completed the study will be entered into a drawing to give away three iPods.

If you have any questions, please contact me by phone at (408)315-0645 or (800)957-5655, or by email at research@transpersonalresearch.net.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to completion of my research and to reading the results in a number of peer-reviewed journals, thus further supporting the application of fasting.

Sincerely,

Randi Fredricks, MFT
1711 Hamilton Ave Suite A
San Jose, CA 95125
fasting@transpersonalresearch.net
www.FastingResearch.org
Office (800)957-5655
Cell (408)315-0645

If you're interested, I urge you to participate in this research to help scientists discover more about the effects of fasting. Or at least find out more about the experiment before you decide. Go to the web site and read more about it or email Randi Fredricks and get your questions answered.

If fasting is as good for physical and mental health as its reputation says it is (and the research so far supports it) fasting would be a great thing to practice and promote. It costs no money — in fact, you save money by not buying food, it gives you more time (it's amazing how much more time in a day you have when you're not eating), and you lose weight and look better too. And if you participate in the research, you may also win an iPod.

Editor's update, November 6th, 2010: The researcher has completed her study and needs no more volunteers.

4 comments:

repsych 1:51 PM  

Although, I really want to help fellow PhD candidates and take part in research studies, I'm not sure about this one. Fasting sounds dangerous, how can anyone be able to function without any sugars in the diet. Are there any hard evidence about the benefits of fasting? In my understanding it has only been tested on mice

Adam Khan 7:19 PM  

RePsych,

It is a fascinating subject. You would think it would be impossible to go without sugars, but it is completely possible. I've done it twice for three days in a row. Nothing but water.

I have a video documentary of these two guys who stayed at a fasting clinic and went THIRTY DAYS with nothing but water.

I've read an account of a man who lived with the Eskimos for awhile and ate no carbs at all. The Eskimos he lived with never ate any. When he came back to New York, doctors didn't believe him, so under doctor supervision at Bellevue Hospital, he went an entire year with no carbs at all, and was in great health at the end of it.

Another interesting book is The Great Starvation Experiment. This was a study done during World War 2 to find out how to re-introduce normal feeding once someone has wasted away to skin and bones. They knew there would be a lot of people in that condition when the war was over so they had volunteers starve (they were concientious objectors to killing but were in favor of defeating Nazism). Fascinating.

Randi Fredricks 7:44 PM  

I am the researcher and I would like to respond to the notion that my research and/or fasting is dangerous in any way. The school that I attend, The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, has rigorous academic standards for doctoral students and my research has been approved by a committee of three doctors and an Ethics Committee over a two year period. With regards to the notion that fasting is dangerous, I would refer you to my website www.fasting,cc which discusses and references hundreds of medical studies published in peer-reviewed journals using fasting as an intervention with human subjects. I am doing this research because I believe that fasting is a viable treatment for depression and I want to help people. I already have a Doctorate in Naturopathy and a Masters in Psychology so I am doing this strictly because I believe in it. Thank you for listening. Randi Fredricks

repsych 1:40 AM  

Thank you for your responses. I have associated fasting with danger and ill health but there is another side to it. Good luck with you study Randi, I'll be in touch to take part and I'm looking forward to the results.

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