Ramadan Fasting: Do We Need More Evidence?

Document Type: Review Article

Authors

Department of Nutrition, School of Medicine, Biochemistry and Nutrition, Endoscopic & Minimally Invasive Surgery, and Cancer Research Centers, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS), Mashad, Iran

Abstract

Over a billion of Muslims fast worldwide during Ramadan each year. Through this religious custom, fasting contributes to their health as well as their spiritual growth. However, available evidence regarding the health-benefits of Ramadan fasting is scarce and highly contentious. Although Islam exempts patients from fasting, many fast conceivably, and their clinical condition is prone to deteriorate due to persistent gap between current expert knowledge and conclusive strong evidence regarding the pathophysiologic and metabolic alterations of fasting and the consensus that should be taken into account to implements guided managing of various patient groups during Ramadan fasting among health care professionals. In this article, we summarized the results of initial studies regarding the effects of Ramadan fasting on some clinical conditions including alterations of body composition and clinically important outcomes of patients with a previous history of cardiovascular disease, asthma and renal colic disease. Our studies have shed light on several outcomes in favor of Ramadan fasting, and encourage those with mentioned diseases to consult their physicians and follow medical and scientific recommendations. In this review we aimed to present a piece of relevant evidence, clarify future scope and provide suggestions for future investigations.

Keywords


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