The Influence of short/long-term starvation on hepatitis b?


I want do starvation. Anyone had knownledge about impact starvation on hepatis b?
I want start starvation since september and thinking about peroid like 21-28 to 40 days.

I also vegan, several times I made starvation
like 2-5 days with normal daily activity and sports, and feel good.

I thinking about starvation, beacouse medicine hasn’t curve for hepatisB.
I reading lot of stuff books about diet, health etc, also many materials about Yoshinori Ohsumi. If long starvation don’t help me with hepatis B, probably nothin.

HepCommunity what you thiking about it?

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Dear @leonk,

Long term starvation over weeks is very stressful on the body and can lead to bad health outcomes.

Fasting has been mentioned in other threads:

And there are resources on other site about this: Is Fasting Safe for People Living with Hepatitis B? - Hepatitis B Foundation

Scientific studies haven’t shown any effect of fasting on HBV (at least in mice): Limited Effects of Fasting on Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Biosynthesis in HBV Transgenic Mice - PMC

So I think you need to be careful about this and talk it through with your doctor.



Hi @leonk, I completely agree with what Thomas wrote. Starvation is not the key to getting rid of hep b, which is caused by a VIRUS. Being seen by a knowledgeable health care provider and considering an antiviral medication (if it makes sense based on your lab tests and family history) are your best options. And yes, diet and lifestyle can help keep your liver healthier! So stop or avoid drinking alcohol, stop smoking, keep your stress level down, eat a healthy diet, exercise if possible and get enough sleep. All of us understand your frustration and desire to get rid of the hep b virus!!! But avoid extreme diets and herbal remedies that promise more than they deliver (and can sometimes do harm). Thanks for sharing your feelings and concerns with us. Always, Joan


I truly appreciate the calm and thoughtful responses and information on this site. Well done everyone.



@ThomasTu @Joan_Block @Darlene

Thanks for replies!
OK, starvation is not key to curve hepatisB, but have many benefits, yes?
I can use starvation? Is not negative consequence for my livering and hepatisB?

Second question is antiviral medication, it is helpful for me? I have low virus:
HBsAg - positive (+)
hbv dna - 305 IU/ml
alt - 14 U/l
afp - 4.48 ng/ml
ast - 25 U/l
ultrasound - is good, without changed

how will the drug help me? what will be the benefits? I reade that antyviral is helpful for person which high virus load, do you agree with me?

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Hi @leonk, glad to know that you understand that a “starvation” diet will not cure you of hep b. Also, I think you’re referring to the “intermittent diet” where you don’t eat for long periods of a day, right? For example, here in the US a popular intermittent diet is to stop eating after dinner and then resume eating 16 hours later (in other words, skipping breakfast and eating around noon). The idea is that waiting 16 hours gives the body time to burn off fat. But let me ask, why do you want to to “starve” your body? Are you concerned about your weight? Generally these extreme diets are not great for folks like us living with chronic liver disease. It’s better to eat as healthfully as possible - more fruits, vegetables and less animal protein and simple carbs - and on a regular basis. With that said, I’m not a doctor or even a dietician, so I don’t want to presume to give anyone nutritional advice. But common sense eating is better than extremes.

As far as antiviral therapy, you’re right that a high viral load is generally the key marker for starting treatment. But if there’s a family history of serious liver disease or liver cancer, then treatment would probably be recommended earlier than sooner. If there’s no family history, then your age, overall physical health and any co-morbidities (diabetes, fatty liver disease, etc.) would be factors in making any treatment decision. There are others on this forum who can give you more expert opinions on your question. Thanks again for posting! Always, Joan

Dear @leonk

I agree with Joan, there should be no need for starvation. There is no evidence that it will benefit you and there are several ways that it can hurt you.

The current guidelines would not indicate that you should be treated with those results (low HBV DNA and normal ALTs) unless you had a family history of liver cancer or have indications of liver damage.


@Joan_Block @ThomasTu thanks for helps!

@ThomasTu you told that starvation is not will not be of benefit, but in 2016 year, Y.Ohsumi won Nobel Prize for starvation and autophagy, it is fake? (sources)

Additionaly, at the moment I only prevent and control maximum my health - it is only weapon with fight with HPB at the moment, yes?

My second question is how long I will be living? I readead that people with HBV living average 70-72 years, and people without HBV 75-76, it is real numbers?


Dear @leonk,

The Nobel prize data is very much real, but this describes a process going on at a cellular level. It gets a lot more complicated when you take into an entire organism taken together, so the website you’re linking to is taking the research out of context. For example, the prize wasn’t for stimulating antivirus response by starvation, and some viruses (like HepB) can actually use autophagy to stimulate their replication.

Regarding ways to help your health, the best way is keeping a healthy lifestyle, keeping your status monitored with regular lab tests, and taking antiviral medication when it is recommended.

Regarding life expectancy, I think you may be referring to this study: Model of Life Expectancy of Chronic Hepatitis B Carriers in an Endemic Region - PMC.

These are results from modelling based on some assumptions from clinical results data, so it calculated from real studies (and not just made up). It’s important to note that antiviral treatment was not part of the assumptions in this model; if you are appropriately monitored and treated, I would expect the life expectancy to be more equal, but this has not been calculated.

Hope this helps,



Thank you! OK, I have last question:

  • since I know that I have hepatitis B (7 years ago)
    – I moved on vegan diet without alcohol, smoke, sugar, and animal food/hal-food like egg, cheese etc.
    – I exercise minimum 1 hours per day (cardio exercise)
    – I eating in model intermittent fasting 8/16 or 4/20 (eating/salvation)
    – In my country (Poland) is very popular low calories diet based only on vegetables (500-600 calories per day / per 10-12 days) I sometimes using this diet 2-3 per year.

is any of the above a threat to me?

Dear @leonk

This is certainly an intense lifestyle. I cannot make any judgement as to how healthy this is for you, and would recommend you get medical advice from your doctor as to whether this is appropriate.

Yours sincerely,


Thank you! Maybe which diet is the best for me, and how many exercise (minutes) per week?
At the moment I preparing for ultratrial +180km running per 20h, and ironman.

What do you think about this activity?

I think that this activity is quite impressive!

In general, there are no restrictions on the physical exercise you can do as someone with Hep B. Basically look after yourself just as anyone else training for a ultra-trial/ironman would be doing (which I definitely have no expertise in!)


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Thank you!

I can support this community via Paypal etc?

I was reading through your threads and I realize that those are my questions but I haven’t found answers to those.

My liver specialist told me that the long term fasting is not good for HBV but never really explained to me why. I don’t know if there are any study done for that. But I know that for regular people, a long term fasting can be beneficial for even people who are not obese. When our body is in starvation mode, it repairs on a cellular level and supposedly it even reverses aging. Your dna is very low so you won’t need any treatment. Ironman thing is super impressive! But if you are doing that, perhaps starvation or long term fasting is not good. You’ll need to eat for burning calories doing all the physical activities. Some physical stress is supposedly good for our health but it’s hard to distinguish between extreme conditioning and healthy stress. Not easy to balance that.

I have not found answers to effects of fasting and HBV in depth . This question will remain unanswered until the need arises for scientists to want to investigate. For now, I will take Thomas comment as a guide when he said that hbv can use autophagy to stimulate replication and not do the long term fasting.

I stopped my long term fasting and now I eat two meals and a snack in between. But still searching and seeking for the optimal way to eat and exercise. Being a chronic hbv does have some restrictions aside from not able to enjoy wine regularly. a bummer.,


Thanks for your generosity, @leonk. It is probably easiest to donate through Hepatitis B foundation - and enter in in the field for “please let us know where your support should go:”.


I think the evidence of long-term fasting being good is a bit weak still (at least as far as I’ve read) and I’m not sure it does repair or reverse aging. I think the most important part is to make changes in your lifestyle that you can consistently keep up. If you go too extreme and go on and off diets, your body fights to keep up and it’s very stressful. The immune system takes a lot of energy to maintain itself and keep us healthy, so that’s why such measures aren’t really recommended generally.

Hope this helps a bit.



I try to find information on the internet on Fasting/Intermittent Fast effect on hepatitis b. But no luck to find a reliable one.

Most of the topic are saying fasting and intermittent fasting are good for overall health especially on control blood sugar and may cure Insulin Resistance which is the main cause of diabete.

There is not much information regarding affect on hepatitis b.

I am really interested to know the correlation between fasting and Hepatitis B too. If future research will be done.

Personally I try to eat nutrition packed food and less/no junk food, high sugar, alcohol, smoke and exposed to much toxic.

As far as I understand, the liver is responsible for at least 90% of metabolism process inside the body. I think less food mean less liver job, less toxic food mean less liver job. I hope my understanding is correct.

However, I still wonder how or when liver healing took place? Or how/what can we do to help liver fight with Hepatitis B better beside taking antiviral drug? Please somebody has any idea?


Hi @senhour ,

I have heard and read before about long or extended fasting not being a good idea for people with liver disease. I think it at least in part has something to do with an impaired liver not being able to absorb nutrients well. For the first year after I was diagnosed with cirrhosis and I got real sick, I was mostly drinking Liquid IV for hydration and drinking Ensure for sustenance and nutrition because I lost my appetite and was too sick most of the time to eat.

This past year I have been hearing so much about intermittent fasting and my first thought was that it’s probably one of those crazy fad diets. Then I started reading up on it and watching videos and figured out that it is not very difficult for me because I was already eating this way for the past few years. The main gist is that instead of eating small amounts regularly throughout the day, you just eat 2 or 3 meals within a day with at least a 4 hour separation in between. So you could eat 3 times with 4 hours in between each with NO snacking. You could eat 2 times a day with 6 hours in between. Or you can come up with your own method as long as you keep a minimum of 4 hours between meals with NO snacking in between meals.

The point is that when you eat too often or snack in between meals, each time you eat, you raise your insulin levels. So the more often you eat, the more often your insulin levels spike and don’t have time to level out before they spike again. When insulin levels stay high and don’t have a chance to lower, then you can get insulin resistance. Insulin resistance reduces your body’s ability to use fat for energy and instead uses your fuel for energy (food, carbs, etc.) and once that’s depleted, your body craves more fuel (food) instead of using it’s fat resources stored in your body.

The other aspect of intermittent fasting is to eat more protein than carbs and a lot of fiber to help metabolize and rid the body of excess glucose. I am probably only skimming the surface and mixing up terms. Hopefully @healthexperts can correct anything if I got it wrong.

I was basically already doing this because I only eat 1 or 2 meals a day and I can easily go 12-24 hours without eating meals. After reading up on it however, I have learned the importance of not snacking in between and also the emphasis on proteins over carbs and eating lots of fiber.

For someone with cirrhosis, I feel better for the past couple of months that I have been practicing intermittent fasting and my other (not specific to Hep B) lab numbers are good. This helps people with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high A1C and blood glucose levels. It also helps increase good gut bacteria and aids in digestion.

I am sharing this because I kept thinking it was this crazy tremendous dieting fad type of thing, but it’s not… it all makes sense and it’s not THAT hard. It’s flexible enough for most people too. Eat 2 or 3 healthy meals a day with a minimum of 4 hour intervals and don’t snack in between. Then, to get one step more advanced, eat more protein than carbs and eat plenty of fiber (pretty much anything with an outer layer. Apples have skin, oranges have that white stuff.) The easiest way for me to think about it is that most fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. that have a skin, shell or covering of some kind has fiber. For example that apple has carbs but also has the benefit of fiber because of the skin. If you peel the skin off, then you lose most of the fiber. However, most people remove the outside of an avocado but it still has fiber without eating the outside, so this is just a general rule.

Please keep in mind, I am no expert, I am not even a health guru or anything of the like. I am just passing on information that I have learned and works for me. I hope it will be helpful for you and anyone else also.



Hi @senhour,

As I’ve mentioned previously in the forum:

The same holds true for any diet-based advice I think. We are all different. Probably the most firm evidence for general health is for eating foods that are not as highly processed and to eat in moderation. Try to eat mostly vegetables (like the Mediterranean diet).

I think if you can stick to that you’re doing well.


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