Exploring the Health Implications of Diurnal Intermittent Fasting in Obese Subjects: Ramadan Fasting Model
Dr. “Mo’ez Al-Islam” Faris
Nutrition and Food Research Group
Research Institute of Medical and Health sciences
Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics
College of Health Sciences
Intermittent fasting is a growing trend, used for weight loss and for increasing well-being. This nutrition strategy consists of fasting for short periods over the course of a day, during which the fasting subject is alternating between fasting and feasting within the twenty-four hours. Growing attention has been directed toward Ramadan fasting as a unique model of intermittent fasting. This model is characterized by complete abstinence from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset, for consistent time-frame ranging from 12-17 hours for consecutive thirty days. Our meta-analysis and systematic reviews revealed that Ramadan intermittent fasting (RIF) is associated with variable impacts on body weight, BMI, lipid profile and fasting blood sugar, and inflammatory and oxidative stress markers, as per Hedges’ s G value. Clinical investigations on fasting obese subjects revealed that RIF is associated with significant reduction in body fatness and visceral adiposity measured by 3D MRI, with variable changes in different adipocytokines (leptin, adiponectin, visfatin, resistin, apelin, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor, TNF-α) and insulin-like growth factor-1(IGF-1). Genetic studies on anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory genes (TFAM, SDO2 and Nrf2) expressions revealed a significant up-regulation for these genes upon RIF (implying a plausible anti-aging effect for RIF) while revealed variable effects on the mitochondrial metabolism-controlling genes (SIRT1 and SIRT3). Analysis of salivary microbiota on 16S rDNA using NGS technique on 64 obese subjects unraveled significant change in the phylum Candidatus_Saccharibacteria. Obesity-related microbiota such as Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Prevotella and Lachnospiraceae were also detected in salivary microbiota in fasting obese subjects upon RIF.