The Effect of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians ‘Abiy Tsom’ (Lent fasting) on Metabolic Syndrome Indices and Serum Electrolytes

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Health, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

2 Biochemistry, Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

3 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Addis Ababa University

4 department of medical physiology, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University

5 Physiology, Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Background: -Fasting, the voluntary abstention from all restricted foods, is a feature of many religions, and the putative health benefits have attracted both scientific and popular interest. There is no clear understanding that religious fasting has great effects on metabolic syndrome. There is little data available that provides information concerning Ethiopian Orthodox Christians fasting influence on metabolic syndrome indices and serum electrolytes to date. Objective: -To determine the effect of ‘Abiy tsom’ (lent fasting) of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians on metabolic syndrome indices and serum electrolytes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Methodology: - 88 Study subjects were included conveniently who were followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity faith and fasting “lent” and longitudinal cross-sectional study design was employed. Data were collected twice, the first during last week of the fasting months and the second during the last week of two months’ time after returning to usual diet. The data and sample were collected, analyzed, interpreted and was displayed by using descriptive and analytical statistical methods. Results: Our study found that Ethiopian Orthodox lent fasting had clear and significant effects on Anthropometric measurements, systolic blood pressure, lipid profiles, and Urea. It was also found that this fasting decreased the levels of Calcium and Chloride ions while Serum sodium and potassium were influenced insignificantly. Conclusion: Ethiopian Orthodox Christians lent fasting is beneficial for weight loss and fighting metabolic syndrome.