A new research has added to the mounting evidence that fasting may be helpful in the fight against obesity and its related conditions. Dr Ayse Mindikoglu, who is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and her colleagues used the Islamic spiritual practice of Ramadan to study the benefits of fasting from dawn to sunset.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, the researchers found that practising this type of fasting for 30 days raised the levels of certain proteins that could improve insulin resistance and stave off the adverse effects of a diet rich in fats and sugar.
The researchers presented their findings during the Digestive Disease Week, a conference that took place recently in San Diego, California.
Mindikoglu and her colleagues studied 14 people who were healthy at baseline and who fasted for 15 hours each day from dawn to sunset as part of Ramadan.
While fasting, the participants did not consume any food or drink. Before the start of the fast, the researchers took blood samples from the participants. They also tested the participants’ blood after four weeks of fasting and one week after fasting ended.
The blood samples according to the researchers revealed higher levels of proteins called Tropomyosin 1, 3, and 4. “TPM is best known for its role in the regulation of contraction in skeletal muscle and the heart. It is also helps to maintain the health of cells that are important to insulin resistance and repairing them, if they sustain damage,” the researchers said.
The study’s lead author, Mindikoglu, said, “Feeding and fasting can significantly impact how the body makes and uses proteins that are critical to decreasing insulin resistance and maintaining a healthy body weight.
“Therefore, the timing of and duration between meals could be important factors to consider for people struggling with obesity-related conditions.
“We are in the process of expanding our research to include individuals with metabolic syndrome and to determine whether the results are consistent with those of the healthy individuals.
“Based on our initial research, we believe that dawn-to-sunset fasting may provide a cost-effective intervention for those struggling with obesity-related conditions,” she said. (Punch)
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