On the seventh day of his indefinite fast, Anna Hazare’s body started showing signs of starvation. The 73-year-old activist has only been taking about three litres of plain water since seven days.
On Monday, he barely addressed the gathering at Ramlila Ground and spent most of his time resting. Doctors have found traces of ketone, an organic compound that the body produces when it begins to get into starvation mode, in Hazare’s blood and urine samples. It means the body has started burning fat to produce energy.
Hazare has lost about 5kg in seven days, of which 2kg was lost in the past three days alone. “It’s nothing to worry about. Traces of ketone is normal for anyone who observes a fast of this nature. We have advised him to drink about 4.5 litres per day,” said Dr Balram Gupta, one of the treating doctors from Medanta-The Medicity Hospital.
For a healthy male above 70 years of age, who has not eaten anything for seven consecutive days, the process of burning fat for energy starts from the seventh day.
In the first phase of fasting, the body uses glucose stored in the liver to produce energy. In the second phase, which normally starts after the seventh day, the body starts burning fat to produce energy.
The process of burning fat usually continues till about the 21st day after which the body starts burning its muscle mass to produce the necessary energy.