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-   -   The Impact of Religious Fasting on Human Health. (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6251)

Darryl Shaw 07-01-2011 03:28 AM

The Impact of Religious Fasting on Human Health.

The Impact of Religious Fasting on Human Health.


The past two decades have seen a rise in the number of investigations examining the health-related effects of religiously motivated fasts. Islamic Ramadan is a 28 - 30 day fast in which food and drink are prohibited during the daylight hours. The majority of health-specific findings related to Ramadan fasting are mixed. The likely causes for these heterogeneous findings are the differences between studies in the following: 1) the amount of daily fasting time; 2) the percentage of subjects who smoke, take oral medications, and/or receive intravenous fluids; and 3) the subjects' typical food choices and eating habits. Greek Orthodox Christians fast for a total of 180 - 200 days each year, and their main fasting periods are the Nativity Fast (40 days prior to Christmas), Lent (48 days prior to Easter), and the Assumption (15 days in August). The fasting periods are more similar than dissimilar, and they can each be described as a variant of vegetarianism. Some of the more favorable effects of these fasts include the lowering of body mass, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and the LDL-C/HDL-C ratio. The Biblical-based Daniel Fast prohibits the consumption of animal products, refined carbohydrates, food additives, preservatives, sweeteners, flavorings, caffeine, and alcohol. It is most commonly partaken for 21 days, although fasts of 10 and 40 days have been observed. Our initial investigation of the Daniel Fast noted favorable effects on several health-related outcomes, including: blood pressure, blood lipids, insulin sensitivity, and biomarkers of oxidative stress. This review summarizes the health-specific effects of these fasts and provides suggestions for future research.

See also:

Effect of a 21 day Daniel Fast on metabolic and cardiovascular disease risk factors in men and women.

A 21 day Daniel Fast improves selected biomarkers of antioxidant status and oxidative stress in men and women.

Sam Ser 08-31-2011 11:34 AM


Originally Posted by sarena kopciel (Post 92762)
Interesting that the Jewish fasts which are of 25 hrs duration without any food or drink are not included in this study. Perhaps due to being only a day-ish? But they are true fasts without any intake....

i imagine the effect is too small, or too short-lived to be of much significance.

Scott Hanson 08-31-2011 04:37 PM


The Daniel Fast is a widely utilized fast based on the Biblical book of Daniel. It involves a 21 day ad libitum food intake period, devoid of animal products and preservatives, and inclusive of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Did it occur to anyone conducting this study that "fast" and "ad libitum food intake" are mutually exclusive. It should have been labelled as a study of veganism.

Nathen Cloud 04-23-2013 10:24 PM

Very interesting info!It will be a great knowledge for me. Fasting is a way of shedding fats from your body. As it is a religious aspect, so it has dual benefits. Happiness of God and maintenance of body systems.

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