Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Lipid Profile: A Narrative Review

Document Type: Review Article

Authors

Biochemistry and Nutrition Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

Ramadan Fasting during the month of Ramadan is a religious obligation, practiced by millions of people around the world. Ramadan fasting is essentially a fundamental change in lifestyle for one lunar month. This type of fasting may have significant effects on lipid profile. Although there is no scientific consensus about the effects of fasting on cardiovascular risks such as changes in lipid profile, some studies have revealed the positive effects of Ramadan fasting (and similar religious fasting) on lipid profile and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. These effects may be related to factors such as different fasting durations (season-dependent), diets, and physical activities during Ramadan. An overall improvement in cardiovascular risk profile is noted during Ramadan fasting. Majority of studies have reported an increment in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level, decreased triglyceride level, and no change or decline in total cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Therefore, given the lack of comprehensive literature in this field, we reviewed some related studies in order to describe the impact of Ramadan fasting on lipid profile.
Conclusion: It can be inferred that Ramadan fasting alters lipid profile by improving HDL-cholesterol and reducing LDL-cholesterol in some cases. However, changes in triglyceride and total cholesterol during Ramadan are not uniform or similar. Moreover, Ramadan fasting is not associated with any changes in the prevalence of CVD or frequency of hospitalization.

Keywords


  1. Mazidi M, Rezaie P, Nematy M. The Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Growth Parameters: A Narrative Review. J Fasting Health. 2014; 2(1):41-44.
  2. Moradi M. The effect of Ramadan fasting on fetal growth and Doppler indices of Pregnancy. Journal  of  research  in  medical  sciences:  the official  journal  of  Isfahan  University  of  Medical Sciences. 2011; 16(2):165.
  3. Bogdan A, Bouchareb B, Touitou Y.  Ramadan fasting alters endocrine and neuroendocrine circadian patterns.  Meal–time as a synchronizer in humans? Life sciences. 2001; 68(14):1607‐15.
  4. Larijani  B,  Zahedi  F,  Sanjari  M,  Amini  M,  Jalili  R, Adibi  H,  et  al.  The  effect  of  Ramadan fasting  on fasting  serum  glucose  in  healthy  adults.  Medical Journal of Malaysia. 2003; 58(5):678‐80.
  5. Norouzy A, Salehi M, Philippou E, Arabi H, Shiva F,  Mehrnoosh  S,  et  al.  Effect  of  fasting  In Ramadan  on  body  composition  and  nutritional intake:  a  prospective  study.  Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 2013.
  6. Nematy  M,  Alinezhad‐Namaghi  M,  Rashed  MM, Mozhdehifard  M,  Sajjadi  SS,  Akhlaghi  S,  Et  al. Effects of Ramadan fasting on cardiovascular risk factors:  a  prospective  observational  study. Nutrition journal. 2012; 11(1):69
  7. Maximo Maislos, Nail Khamavsi, Abid Assali, Yunes Abou-Rabiah, Irenne Zvili, and Shraga Shany. Marked increase in plasma high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol after prolonged fasting during Ramadan: Am J Clin Nutr 1993; 57:640-2.
  8. Zadegan N, Atashi M, Naderi G, Baghai A, Asgary S, et al. (2000) The Effect Of Fasting In Ramadan on the Values and Interrelations Between Biological, Coagulation and Hematological Factors. Annals of Saudi Medicine 20: 5–6.
  9. Khaled M, Belbraouet S (2009) Ramadan Fasting Diet Entailed a Lipid Metabolic Disorder Among Type 2 Diabetic Obese Women. American Journal of Applied Sciences 6(3): 471–477.
  10. Saleh S, Elsharouni A, Cherian B, Mourou M (2005) Effects of Ramadan fasting on Waist Circumference, Blood Pressure, Lipid Profile, and Blood Sugar on a Sample of Healthy Kuwaiti Men and Women. Mal J Nutr 11(2): 143–150.
  11. Imtiaz Salim, Jassim Al Suwaidi, Wissam Ghadban, Hani Alkilani, Amar M Salam. Impact of Religious Ramadan Fasting on Cardiovascular Disease: a Systematic Review of the Literature. Current Medical Research & Opinion
  12. Bener A, Hamad A, Fares A, Al-Sayed H M, Al-Suwaidi J. Is there any effect of Ramadan fasting on stroke incidence?. Singapore Med J 2006; 47(5): 404
  13. Hassan Chamsi-Pasha, Waqar H. Ahmed. The effect of fasting in Ramadan on patients with heart disease: Saudi Med J 2004; Vol. 25 (1): 47-51
  14. Akhan, G., Kutluhan, S., & Koyuncuoglu, H. R. 2000, "Is there any change of stroke incidence during Ramadan?” Acta neurologica Scandinavica, vol. 101, no. 4, pp. 259-261.
  15. Al Suwaidi J, Bener A, Suliman A, Hajar R, Salam A.M, Numan M.T, Al Binali H.A. A population based study of Ramadan fasting and acute coronary syndromes. Heart 2004; 90(6): 695-696.
  16. Al Suwaidi J, Bener A, Hajar HA, Numan MT. Does hospitalization for congestive heart failure occur more frequently in Ramadan: a population based study?. Int J Cardiol. 2004; 96(2):217–221.
  17. Nizal Sarraf-Zadegan; Mahmood Atashi; Gholam A. Nader et al. THE EFFECT OF FASTING IN RAMADAN ON THE VALUES AND INTERRELATIONS BETWEEN BIOCHEMICAL, COAGULATION AND HEMATOLOGICAL FACTORS: Annals of Saudi Medicine, Vol 20, Nos 5-6, 2000
  18. Durdi Qujeq; Khezroolla Bijani; Khodaberdi Kalavi; Javad Mohiti; Hamidreza Aliakbarpour. EFFECTS OF RAMADAN FASTING ON SERUM LOW-DENSITY AND HIGH-DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN-CHOLESTEROL CONCENTRATIONS: Ann Saudi Med 2002;22(5-6):297-299
  19. Abdullah Shehab, Abdishakur Abdulle, Awad El Issa, Jassim Al Suwaidi, Nico Nagelkerke. Favorable Changes in Lipid Profile: The Effects of Fasting after Ramadan. PLoS ONE 7(10): e47615. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047615
  20. Sondos Pirsaheb, Yahya Pasdar, Seied Jafar Navabi, Mansour Rezaei, Mitra Darbandi ,Parisa Niazi. Fasting Consequences during Ramadan on Lipid Profile and Dietary Patterns: J Fasting Health. 2013; 1(1).
  21. Salhamoud Abdelfatah Saleh, Salah Anies Elsharouni, Boby Cherian, and M. Mourou. Effects of Ramadan fasting on Waist Circumference, Blood Pressure, Lipid Profile, and Blood Sugar on a Sample of Healthy Kuwaiti Men and Women: Mal J Nutr 11(2): 143-150, 2005