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World’s largest fasting study

Steffanie Hornstein - 14/01/2020 - 0 comments

The largest scientific study on the effects of Buchinger therapeutic fasting carried out to date has now been published.

It was conducted at Buchinger Wilhelmi, a well-established fasting clinic, by a team led by Dr. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo in cooperation with Prof. Andreas Michalsen from Charité University Hospital in Berlin and with the support of many of our guests and patients.

The study collected and evaluated data from 1,422 subjects (41 % male, 59 % female), who completed the Buchinger Wilhelmi fasting programme over a period of 5, 10, 15 or 20 days in 2016.

Under the title “Safety, health improvement and well-being during a 4 to 21-day fasting period in an observational study including 1422 subjects”, the study shows that Buchinger therapeutic fasting is safe and therapeutically effective. It also promotes emotional and physical well-being. The results of the study were published online on January 2, 2019 in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE.

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The study provided detailed evidence that:

  • Fasting mobilizes the energy stored in the fatty tissue of the human body. The metabolism switches from glucose to fat and ketone consumption, causing many beneficial effects. The metabolic change was documented in the study by the permanent presence of ketone bodies in the urine.
  • Fasting leads to significant weight loss, a reduced abdominal circumference, and lower cholesterol and blood lipid levels.
  • Fasting also normalized blood pressure and improved diabetes parameters such as blood sugar and HbA1c, thus improving many factors that contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system.
  • Furthermore, in 84 % of cases, serious health conditions such as arthritis, type 2 diabetes as well as fatty liver and hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure and fatigue improved through fasting.
  • 93 % of the subjects did not feel hungry during fasting, which contributed to their emotional and physical well-being.
  • Medically supervised fasting had only very few side-effects, which could be treated easily and without interruptions to fasting. In individual cases, subjects experienced restless sleep, headaches, tiredness or lumbar spine complaints during the first three days.

In summary, this particular fasting programme has been shown to be a safe and well-tolerated approach to prevent age-related illnesses and treat chronic metabolic disorders, including weight issues.

About Buchinger Wilhelmi fasting programme

The Buchinger Wilhelmi fasting programme evolved from the traditional Buchinger fasting cure. It involves a daily intake of organic fruit juice and soup averaging 200-250 calories, accompanied by physical activity in an environment that promotes calmness and mindfulness. It combines fasting with integrative medicine and a variety of incentives for personal development and empowerment.


Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, Franziska Grundler, Audrey Bergouignan, Stefan Drinda, Andreas Michalsen: “Safety, health improvement and well-being during a 4 to 21-day fasting period in an observational study including 1422 subjects.” PLOS ONE, January 2, 2019

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this study!


Dr. Francoise Wilhelmi de Toledo