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The Effects Of Dawn-To-Sunset Fasting On Obesity-Related Insulin Resistance

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As suggested by a new study, fasting from dawn to sunset could help treat certain conditions relating to obesity.


Over the years, fasting has been promoted due to its health benefits. Due to this, more people now fast, not just for religious purposes but also to lose weight and boost metabolism.


Experts found that restricting food intake may increase metabolic activity more than researchers used to believe. It also helps in fighting ageing.


According to other research, fasting improves gut health. Furthermore, it strengthens circadian rhythms (a roughly 24-hour cycle of the natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle). Thus, it boosts overall health.


The researchers used the Islamic religious practice of Ramadan to study the benefits of fasting from dawn to sunset by Dr Ayse Leyla Mindikoglu in Houston, TX, and her colleagues. They found that practising this type of fasting for 30 days raised the levels of certain proteins that can improve insulin resistance and stave off the adverse effects of a diet rich in fats and sugar. They presented their findings at the Digestive Disease Week Conference that took place in San Diego, CA.


The link between fasting and obesity

Dr Ayse Leyla Mindikoglu said,

“Based on our initial research, we believe that dawn-to-sunset fasting may provide a cost-effective intervention for those struggling with obesity-related conditions.”



The team of researchers studied 14 healthy people who fasted for 15 hours each day from dawn to sunset. Their fast was part of Ramadan. The participants did not consume any food or drink while fasting. They took their blood samples before the start of the fast. They tested the participants’ blood after 4 weeks of fasting and 1 week after the fasting period.


After the experiment, the blood samples revealed higher levels of proteins called tropomyosin (TPM) 1,3, and 4. TPM is “best known for its role in the regulation of skeletal muscle and heart contraction.”


Other roles of TPM includes maintaining the health of cells that are important to insulin resistance and repairing damaged cells. TPM3 however, plays an important role in improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin. That, in turn, helps the body regulates sugar better.


Experts found that the levels of TPM 1,3 and 4 “gene proteins products” increased considerably between the start of the experiment and 1 week after the fasting period.


“Feeding and fasting can significantly impact how the body makes and uses proteins that are critical to decreasing insulin resistance and maintaining a healthy body weight” stated by the study’s lead author.


As stated by Dr Mindikoglu,

“The timing of and duration between meals could be important factors to consider for people struggling with obesity-related conditions.


“World Health Organisation data state that obesity affects over 650 million people worldwide, placing them at risk for any number of health conditions.


“They are in the process of expanding our research to include individuals with metabolic syndrome and [nonalcoholic fatty liver disease] to determine whether the results are consistent with those of the healthy individuals.”

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