New science presented at Digestive Disease Week found that fasting between dawn and sunset for a total of 30 days increased protein levels that play a crucial role in improving insulin resistance and protecting against the risks from a high-fat, high-sugar diet, per a press release.
“According to World Health Organization data, obesity affects over 650 million people worldwide, placing them at risk for any number of health conditions,” said Ayse Leyla Mindikoglu, MD, MPH, lead author of the study and associate professor of medicine and surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, TX, in a press release. “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. Therefore, the timing of and duration between meals could be important factors to consider for people struggling with obesity-related conditions.”
The study comprised 14 healthy people who fasting—no food or drink—for approximately 15 hours a day for 30 days during Ramadan. Data was collected via blood sampling at the beginning of the time period, on the fourth week, and one week after the fasting period ended.
The final results showed increased levels of tropomyosin (TPM) 1, 3 and 4—proteins responsible for maintaining healthy insulin levels.
“TPM3 plays a key role in increasing insulin sensitivity, which allows the cells of the body to use blood glucose more effectively, reducing blood sugar,” explained the researchers. “Findings from the study showed a significant increase in TPM3 gene protein products between the initiation of the fast and the test one week afterwards. Similar results over that period were found for TPM1 and TPM4 gene protein products.”
“We are in the process of expanding our research to include individuals with metabolic syndrome and NAFLD to determine whether results are consistent with those of the healthy individuals,” continued Dr Mindikoglu in a statement. “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.” —Edan Stanley