- I wish to counter my friend's assertion that benefits from fasting come partly from the availability of calories that would have otherwise been used for digestion. I know enough biology to know that this is too simplistic, but not enough to formulate a good argument.
A friend, whose knowledge of biology comes primarily from pseudoscientific works, considers occasional fasting beneficial -- on this I will not take a stand, because as far as I know, the jury is still out on this. However, his justifications are annoying, (To paraphrase a notorious quotation, when I hear the word "cleansing", I reach for my gun.) His reasoning is that, since one is not using the calories from either food or stored fat to execute all the processes connected to digestion, then these calories -- coming mainly from stored body fat during fasting -- would then allow the body to repair problems in the various mechanisms such as autophagy and the functions of organs (liver, kidney, lungs, skin, etc.). To my mind, the body's management of energy is not just a quantity that can be applied where ever it may be needed, but rather must be called up by specific pathways, and the absence of one does not imply the increase in another. However, I don't have sufficient grounding in the details to be able to formulate a cogent reply. Any input would be appreciated.