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Independents' Day

Red tape denies thousands their liberty and three-day fasting resets immune system

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Friday 6 June.

The Independent reports that thousands of disabled people could lose their liberty because of red tape involved in making care assessments after a recent ruling forced councils to assess tens of thousands of cases.

The Supreme Court ruling, in March, changed the definition of what constitutes a deprivation of an individual’s liberty and councils are facing a £45m shortfall in fees to independent assesors.

The paper reports that 112,533 cases are predicted to need reassessment in the current tax year, a ten fold increase on 2013/14 when just 10,184 cases needed investigation.

Cancer patients or those who are severely immunocompromised could benefit from a new treatment which has shown fasting for three days triggers the production of white blood cells, essentially ‘resetting’ the immune system.

The Telegraph reports that a six month trial, which asked patients to regularly fast for between two and four days, saw white blood cells rapidly depleted alongside fat and glucose stores. This depletion triggered stem-cells to being proliferating into new white blood cells.

Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California said: ‘Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.’

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