Fasting Prevents Obesity-Related Insulin Resistance, Backed by Science

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 13:05

Researchers from medicine and surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston used the Islamic spiritual practice of Ramadan to study the benefits of fasting from dawn to sunset.

According to the Medical News Today, researchers add to the mounting evidence that fasting may be helpful in the fight against obesity and its related conditions.

Fasting may also improve gut health, according to other research, and strengthen circadian rhythms, thus boosting overall health. New research adds to this body of evidence by zooming in on a specific type of fasting and its benefits for obesity-related conditions.

Dr. Ayse Leyla Mindikoglu, who is an associate professor of medicine and surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, and her colleagues used the Islamic spiritual practice of Ramadan to study the benefits of fasting from dawn to sunset.

The researchers found that practicing 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. Dr. Mindikoglu and team presented their findings at the Digestive Disease Week, a conference that took place recently in San Diego, CA.

The blood samples, taken by researchers from the participants, revealed higher levels of proteins called tropomyosin (TPM) 1, 3, and 4. TPM is "best known for its role in the regulation of contraction of skeletal muscle and the heart."

However, TPM is also key for maintaining the health of cells that are important to insulin resistance and repairing them if they sustain damage.

The study's lead author comments on the findings, saying: "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."

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