Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Inflammatory Biomarkers and Body Composition in Healthy Subjects

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Nutrition, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Departmet of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences, Neyshabur, Iran

3 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: During Ramadan, adult Muslims abstain from drinking and eating from sunrise to sunset. This religious practice influences individuals’ lifestyle factors such as eating behavior, meal schedule, and sleep pattern. These changes may affect endocrine and neuroendocrine circadian patterns, and consequently, cardiovascular indices. This study was performed to investigate the effects of Ramadan fasting on serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP) and homocysteine as the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and body composition in the Iranian population. Methods: Healthy volunteers who fasted at least during 20 days of Ramadan were included in the study. Body composition and biochemical markers were measured pre- and post-Ramadan fasting. For normally distributed parameters, paired samples t-test was performed for analyzing the differences between the results, and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test was run for non-normally distributed parameters. All the data was analyzed by SPSS, version 11.5. Results: Fifty-one healthy participants with the mean age of 36±10 years were enrolled in this study. Our analyses showed a reduction in body mass index (BMI) and fat mass pre- and post-Ramadan fasting. However, lean body mass and total body water remained unchanged by fasting. Variation in the serum Hs-CRP and homocysteine were not statistically significant. The results were the same across genders. Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that Ramadan fasting may lower fat mass in fasting volunteers with no adverse effects on inflammatory biomarkers of cardiovascular disease.


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