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Intermittent Fasting During Ramadan and Its Effects in Individuals With Metabolic Syndrome

Alinezhad-Namaghi, Maryam MD, PhD; Eslami, Saeid PhD; Nematy, Mohsen MD, PhD; Khoshnasab, Adeleh BSc; Rezvani, Reza MD, PhD; Philippou, Elena MD, PhD; Norouzy, Abdolreza MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000351
Nutrition Science
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This study evaluated the effect of intermittent fasting during Ramadan, the Muslim religious season of fasting, on body composition among 95 adults (65 male adults) with a mean age of 45.4 years with metabolic syndrome in Iran. The individuals were classified retrospectively into fasting and nonfasting groups based on fasting for a minimum of 10 days during Ramadan. Body composition, physical activity, and dietary intake were assessed both at baseline before the fast began and after Ramadan. Those who fasted a minimum of 10 days had significant reductions in body weight (−1.5 kg) and body mass index, body fat mass (−1.2 kg), fat free mass (−0.4 kg), skeletal muscle mass (−0.3 kg), and visceral fat area (−5.7 cm2). Also, they showed significant decreases in the total body water, intracellular water, 50-kHz whole-body phase angle (−0.13 degrees), and total physical activity. Fasting resulted in a 1.5-kg weight loss, of which the percentage losses were loss in body fat mass, 76%; body water loss, 18%; and protein loss, 6%, and also decrease in daily dietary intake during fasting in those who fasted. Fasting during Ramadan, which restricts the time of eating and caloric restriction, may be effective as dietary interventions in patients with metabolic syndrome to reduce body weight, fat mass, and visceral fat while retaining lean mass.

Maryam Alinezhad-Namaghi, MD, PhD, Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

Saeid Eslami, PhD, Pharmaceutical Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

Mohsen Nematy, MD, PhD, Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

Adeleh Khoshnasab, BSc, Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

Reza Rezvani, MD, PhD, Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

Elena Philippou, MD, PhD, Department of Life and Health Sciences, School of Sciences and Engineering, University of Nicosia, Cyprus.

Abdolreza Norouzy, MD, PhD, Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

This study was funded by Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Abdolreza Norouzy, MD, PhD, Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Paradise Daneshgah, Azadi Square, Post Code 91779-48564, PO Box 91775-379, Mashad, Iran (Norouzya@mums.ac.ir).

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