Intermittent Fasting may Lower Your Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease?

Intermittent Fasting Weight LossAccording to new research, intermittent or periodic fasting might be the slow and steady way to reduce your risk of both heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  The research was presented at the annual scientific sessions at the American College of Cardiology conference in New Orleans recently.

The study itself was conducted in Salt Lake City, which has a predominately Mormon population.  Two thirds of its residents are Mormons who fast  at least one per month for 24 hours for religious purposes.  In total, the study included 200 residents from the State of Utah.

The same researchers previously had found that those who fasted at least once per month had a lower incidence of coronary heart disease in an earlier study.

[colored_box color=”eg. blue, green, grey, red, yellow”]The researchers were able to replicate these initial findings and also demonstrate that fasting is associated with a lower prevalence of diabetes. In fact, fasting appeared to nearly halve the odds of developing diabetes.[/colored_box]

Intermittent Fasting and Cardiovascular Risk:

In a companion study to these findings, the researchers also looked at the acute effects of fasting on blood markers for cardiovascular risk.  For this part of the study, they used participants who did not routine fast.  Participants did not eat or drink anything other than water for 24 hours.

During the fast, researchers found favorable effects such as an increase in HDL cholesterol and lowering of triglycerides.  However, they also noted that both LDL and total cholesterol levels rose—which may be a transient finding since cholesterol levels returned to normal after the fast was over.

“It appears that the total cholesterol has gone up because the liver is not processing as much cholesterol and instead it is being dumped into the bloodstream to be used as fuel,” according to lead researcher, Benjamin Horne.

Intermittent Fasting and Human Growth Hormone:

In addition to the effects of fasting on cholesterol levels, it also caused a significant rise in human growth hormone (HGH) levels.  Generally speaking, HGH is involved in fat loss.  Levels rose by a factor of 13 in women and 20x in men during the fast.

Horne continued, “Fasting is not a quick fix, it’s a long-term lifestyle that you integrate into your normal life and do it for the duration…”

Of course, fasting is NOT for everyone.  “There are some dangers for people that are at high risk for other conditions, women who are pregnant or lactating, and young children” Horne added.

4 thoughts on “Intermittent Fasting may Lower Your Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease?

  • August 19, 2011 at 6:33 am

    I have been recommending moderation in diet and exercise for years as a method of controlling cholesterol but have never tried fasting as part of a lifestyle change. I know it is considered beneficial by many cultures, but if it can lead to improvements in HDL levels it has to be worth a try. Thanks for the post.

  • August 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    It seems like some people just don’t realize how effective your diet is to lowering your cholesterol. If you eat right and get some exercise, most people’s cholesterol will decrease.

  • April 21, 2011 at 7:57 am

    HGH supplements have different effects for adults who have otherwise grown normally.

  • April 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Yes, intermittent fasting is good for preventing diabetes from developing. But what about those who already have diabetes, they can not fast.


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