Fasting Cuts Risk for Heart Disease and Diabetes

Reducing your Heart and Diabetes Risk

| May 16, 2011

Researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center's Heart Institute in Utah have found that regular fasting cuts the risk of both heart disease and diabetes. The study comes from Utah because the state's large number of Mormon residents are asked to fast at least once a month. For many of them, not eating at all has real, long-lasting health benefits.

"Utahns and LDS [Latter Day Saints] people have a lower risk of cardiac mortality. Even today, despite the fact that smoking rates have declined in most states, and quite considerably in some states, the Utah rate of cardiac death is much lower than in most states," said Dr. Benjamin Horne, one of the team of researchers at the institute.

How does it work? Basically, fasting allows the body to burn fat as fuel, Horne said, and that reduces its overall number of fat cells. Fewer fat cells mean lower cholesterol, increased insulin sensitivity, and a lower risk of diabetes.

Researchers first looked at fasting back in 2007.  

That initial round of work suggested that it cut the risk of heart disease. Their new findings show that it can improve other measures of heart health and overall wellness, such as weight, blood sugar, and triglycerides.

Utah, with its sizable Mormon population, was the perfect place for the study, Horne said. While other religions include fasting, they don't make a habit of it. "Most of the world's population doesn't fast on a regular basis," he said.

Doctors involved in the study want to continue examining the benefits of fasting, a topic that hasn't been studied in depth.

They plan on using a grant from the Deseret Foundation-a  nonprofit connected to the institute-to continue their work, concentrating on how fasting might help those already managing heart disease and diabetes.

Interested in trying out fasting for yourself? Horne recommends that you look before you leap. Some people simply shouldn't fast for health reasons. "People have to be careful," he said. "If there is some interest, they ought to talk to their physician first."

The Intermountain Medical Center scientists presented their findings at the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans in April.


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Categories: Cholesterol, Diabetes, Diabetes, Health, Heart Disease

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Posted by Anonymous on 19 May 2011

There are big holes in this study. While fasting MAY have such benefits, the study isn't controlled for other factors such as diet, lifestyle, and possible genetic factors. As a group, Mormons are perhaps more active and eat better than the average American, and already have lower rates of obesity, NOT due to fasting.

Posted by LucienPotvin on 19 May 2011

Intermittent fasting works very well for me. I have had diabetes type 2 since ~1992 and with ageing (now 65 y.o.) my health was deteriorating rapidly. I discovered the ketogenic diet ~6 years ago and intermittent fasting ~3 years ago. I am now in good health and require no medication other than insulin.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 May 2011

I have to agree with the first poster on here. This study seems full of holes. I am a type 1 diabetic, and I just don't see how fasting would even be possible. It's hard enough to regulate my sugars with regulated meals. This study seems like a waste of money.

Posted by freshstart222 on 20 May 2011

According to this study, fasting reduces the number of fat cells. Every study I have read concludes that the number of fat cells do not reduce after adulthood. You can reduce the amount of fat stored only. sounds like this study, as reported, has a big flaw.

Posted by Anonymous on 20 May 2011

I am a type 2 diabetic and dont see how fasting and not eating in beneficial. It's hard enough to regulate your blood sugar and highs and lows to wreck it all in one day by not eating.

Posted by Anonymous on 20 May 2011

Well, have to understand.. If you want to Either Get or Keep Funding? You have to provide something..

There are Thousands of Rich People more than willing to donate to fund such programs and Of course as their is alot of Competition for Federal Funding Dollars..

How about all the tests /Studies of yrs past, saying more Study is required?

Seems to me? This study just common sense, you don't eat, you loose weight and thus what happens?

And remember, 90% of Diabetes is for whome? T2's and what is their #1 problem? Being Overweight..

The Loosing Weight /Diet methods have made Millions, maybe even Billions over the Decades..

I encourage anyone who is overweight to try anything and everything..before giving up to Liposuction... Which I have no doubt many Celeberties have it done Annualy.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 June 2011

Has anyone tried to repair their pancreas with eating foods rich in beta glucan, ie, oats, barley?

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