The Physiological effect of intermittent fasting (fasting the month of Ramadan) on anthropometerics and blood varaibles
Alayafi, Yahya Rajeh
University of Kansas
Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences
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Muslims fast one month each year during the month of Ramadan. Many studies have been conducted on fasting during the month of Ramadan; however, their results were varied. Furthermore, few studies have been conducted on hormones levels during Ramadan and these studies had vastly inconsistent results. It is important to note that none of these studies controlled or even monitored physical activity and food intake. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of fasting during the month of Ramadan on anthropometric and blood variables. This study will determine if intermittent fasting will affect body composition, blood lipid profile, glucose, blood proteins and hormones. Methods: eight healthy athlete males aged (21.75± 2.05 years, 66.73±7.51 kg, 170.68±5.21cm) participated in this study. The subjects were randomly selected from a first division Saudi Soccer League (Raka Soccer League). Weight, height and body composition of all subjects were recorded at baseline one day before Ramadan (D1), after ten days of fasting Ramadan (D10) and twenty-eight days of fasting Ramadan (D28). Blood was collected and then analyzed. Physical activities and food intake were measured. All data was analyzed using 1x3 repeated measures ANOVA (p< .05). Results: There was significant decrease in body mass (D1= 66.73 kg, D10= 66.73 kg and D28= 65.53 kg) and Lean body mass (D1= 50.51 kg, D10= 50.46 kg and D28= 49.46 kg) comparing the end of Ramadan with baseline and day 10 of intermittent fasting whereas they were almost identical at the baseline and Day 10 of Ramadan. There was no significant difference in data of Body Fat percentage. Physical activity, Vigorous activity and Moderate activity were significantly decrease at Day 10 and Day 28 of Ramadan. Total cholesterol, Triglycerides, LDL, HDL and VLDL did not show significant differences. However, the ratio of LDL to HDL was significantly increased at Day 10 (p= 0.021) and at the end of fasting Ramadan (p= 0.004) compare to baseline. Energy intake showed no significant differences overall across the three times of testing. However, the percentage which recommended dietary allowances of calories from protein showed significant decrease at Day 10 and Day 28 of Ramadan compare to the baseline (D1=17.57 %, D10 =12.50 % and D28 =11.35 %). In addition, the percentage of calories from carbohydrate showed significant increase at Day 10 and Day 28 of Ramadan compare to the baseline (D1 =47.79 %, D10 =59.01 % and D28 =57.89 %). Whereas, there were no significant changes in calories from fat. Fasted Glucose levels were significantly increased at D 10 but not at the end of Ramadan compare to the Pre-Ramadan p=0.001. Insulin and Cortisol did not change significantly at all measures. However, Glucagon decrease significantly after ten days of intermittent fasting and returned back closer to the Pre-Ramadan at the end of Ramadan. In addition, Albumin levels were significantly lower at Day 10 and Day 28 of Ramadan compare to baseline; however, Albumin levels were still within normal/health range. Conclusion: These results show the level of physical activity and food intake are major contributing factors on the reduction in body weight specifically the lean body mass. Overall, these findings indicate no health risk for fasting during the month of Ramadan.
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