Doctors issue warning over Sharon Osbourne’s three-day fast: Millions of women could be at risk of infertility
Sharon Osbourne revealed this week that she goes without eating for 72 hours every week – a dangerous habit that doctors warn poses major health risks.
The 70-year-old TV personality says she won’t eat for ‘at least’ three days in the last episode of The Osbournes Podcast.
Dr. Jason Fung, the doctor who invented the intermittent fasting diet, told DailyMail.com that the practice can be “very dangerous” if your body doesn’t have enough calories in fat stores.
And Dr. Mary Jacobson, chief medical officer at telemedicine company Hello Alpha, based in Palo Alto, California, told DailyMail.com: “72 hours is really quite extreme.”
Someone who tried to fast for that long would feel incredibly lethargic and weak, she said, and would be at risk of serious psychological symptoms.
And experts have previously told DailyMail.com that prolonged fasting can affect the hormones that regulate menstruation in women and in some rare cases lead to infertility.
Sharon Osbourne, 70, demonstrated her dramatic weight loss while shopping in Mayfair, London, on Wednesday
The mother-of-three looked effortlessly chic in a black blazer with gold detailing, teamed with matching trousers and heels
In June, Ms Osbourne, pictured left in April, revealed she had lost more than 28 pounds after taking the weight-loss drug Ozempic (pictured right in September)
Mrs Osbourne revealed she had not eaten for three days in a chat with her son Jack about preparing for Judgment Day.
During the conversation, Sharon’s son Jack explained: ‘If you have something someone wants, they’ll kill you for it. Do you know how far we are as a society from total collapse? Nine meals.
“If you break it down, you’re nine meals away from complete and total breakdown.” That’s three days of breakfast, lunch and dinner. That disappears for people, they don’t eat for three days, they kill each other, their neighbors, everything.’
Mrs Osbourne then replied: ‘God, I do that every week. At least three days without food.’
“That’s called intermittent fasting,” replied podcast guest star Jason Kennedy.
Research into the health benefits of intermittent fasting (eating within a limited time frame) has piled up, with practice founders Megan Ramos and Dr. disease, and even preventing cognitive decline associated with dementia.
Following an intermittent fasting regimen involves alternating between days of fasting and days of normal eating. On fasting days, dieters restrict their eating to certain times during the day, such as eating only at breakfast or dinner.
This can lead to irregular periods, which have been linked to a higher risk of ovarian cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and mental health problems.
Some women say that if they fast for eight to 12 hours a day, they no longer have periods at all.
Forcing the body without nutrients for long periods of time can lead to hormonal deficiencies, as hormones cannot function properly without adequate nutrients.
Without hormones, such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), women are more likely to experience irregular periods and, more rarely, interphile. This is because women without periods cannot ovulate, which reduces their chances of pregnancy.
“From there it’s kind of a cascade of effects on the hormones,” Carolyn Williams, an Alabama dietitian, previously told DailyMail.com.
Women who have irregular periods or struggle with infertility should consult their doctor before beginning intermittent fasting, she said, “because the last thing you want is to disrupt your hormones.”
Fasting “all depends on your situation,” Dr. Fung to DailyMail.com.
“If you’re very thin like (Sharon) looks, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it,” he said.
‘If you are underweight and don’t eat for three days, that is not exactly healthy. That’s just common sense.’
Previously spoken to E! News, Sharon explained, “In my life I was the heaviest, 230 pounds and I’m now under a hundred. And I want to stay around 105 because I’m too skinny. But I try to find a healthy balance.’
Dr. Fung said, “If you weigh less than 100 pounds, yes, (fasting) is bad.”
Ms Osbourne previously revealed she had lost more than 28 pounds after using the slimming drug Ozempic to achieve her new figure.
But she has since stopped taking the drug, saying it made her feel sick every day and that it is not a “quick fix.”
She told E! News: ‘But listen, I did it for four months, I lost 30 pounds. I just popped two chips in my mouth during break, and I’m eating normally now, and I haven’t gained a pound. Nothing.’
Dr. Fung emphasized that fasting in itself is not bad and is a “send from heaven” for some people trying to lose weight.
But when there is little to no excess weight to lose, as in Ms. Osbourne’s case, fasting can “start burning or metabolizing things you don’t want,” such as functional muscle and protein, he said.
‘If you don’t have any energy to lose, you’re really going to shut down your metabolism. Your heart rate will slow down; your blood pressure is going to drop, your body temperature is going to drop, because your body now has to conserve calories.”
He added: “You will feel tired, you will feel cold, you will feel hungry, you will not feel well. If things continue like this, your body will have to absorb those calories by burning functional tissue, meaning muscle and other proteins, for fuel… that’s not what you want to do.
‘You see that with anorexia nervosa. It’s not healthy; people die from those conditions.”
Dr. Jacobson said it wouldn’t be a good idea for anyone to fast for three days.
“Intermittent fasting for 72 hours is not sustainable,” she said. ‘Someone’s not going to keep doing that. Then the patient enters a vicious circle of what we call weight cycling or yo-yoing… he may over time gain more weight than he initially gained.’
She said there hasn’t been much medical research on the effects of 72-hour fasting on the body, but one study found that people who followed the very restricted diet had an increase in appetite, as well as changes in their mental health.
Dr. Jacobson added: ‘They seemed to reflect severe depressive symptoms such as sadness, self-blame and difficulty making decisions. For some, also loss of libido. Problems that arise at the level of the brain. And this is for people who are healthy.”
Dr. Fung said, “If you don’t eat for three days, you need about 5,000 to 6,000 calories to maintain your body. If you have two pounds of body fat, you can definitely do that. So it’s not a problem. You’re not going to go crazy because your body has more than enough left, two pounds out of 50 or 60.”
‘If you have £200 or £50 to lose, you can easily afford the £3 or £2.’
But he added: ‘If you don’t have one then those two pounds are a big problem. You can certainly have psychological consequences. In such situations people have gone crazy. There are mental illnesses and things like that.”