Ramadan-Type Fasting Diet May Help Improve Insulin Resistance: Study

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: May 24, 2019 18:06 IST

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Ramadan-Type Fasting Diet May Help Improve Insulin Resistance: Study

A new study looked at the impact of Ramadan fasts on blood sugar control

Fasting diets have been rising in popularity all around the world, all thanks to their claimed benefits, which include weight loss, improved insulin resistance, regulate hunger pangs etc. Numerous studies done on the impacts of fasting diets on health, have also corroborated some of these claims, although jury is still out on whether it's good for everyone or not. Another study has indicated possible health benefit that fasting may offer for obese patients of insulin resistance. The study has said that fasting, particularly the kind practiced by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, may improve insulin resistance and may even offset some of the harmful effects of a diet rich in sugar and fats.

During Ramadan or Ramazan, followers of Islam fast from dawn to dusk or from the sunrise to sunset. They consume one meal before the break of dawn and the final one after the sun sets. The study found that fasting in this manner may increase the levels of certain proteins in the body, which may in turn, lead to improvement of insulin resistance in obese people. The study was conducted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. For the study, the researchers got 14 healthy people to fast for around 15 hours in a day, following the spiritual practice of roza during Ramadan. They took blood samples from the participants before the fast started.

They also collected participants' blood samples after four weeks of fasting and one week after the fast ended. The blood samples showed high levels of the proteins tropomyosin (TPM) 1, 3, and 4. TPM 3 is a protein that is responsible for improving body's resistance to insulin and in turn, improving blood sugar control in individuals. The authors also surmised that these alternate feeding and fasting cycles may be used for improving obesity-related conditions. The study is a preliminary one and the results of this study were presented at the Digestive Disease Week that took place in San Diego, California in the United States of America.

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