Study Suggests Routine Fasting May Affect Heart Health

Submitted on May 31, 2011 - 6:45pm

Research by doctors and scientists at the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, UT revealed metabolic changes during fasting that could be linked to better health. The most recent study confirmed their finding from an earlier study that was published in the October 2008 Journal of Cardiology. The original study found a correlation between the fasting behavior of members of the Latter Day Saints church and reduced risk of Coronary Artery Disease.  The study says,

"[The fact that LDS do not smoke and exercise regularly] allows for the possibility that fasting may simply be the best surrogate for a cluster of low-risk behaviors, including unmeasured factors. However, fasting behavior was reported by some with religious preferences other than LDS, and in these subjects, an association of large effect size was found (77% lower risk of CAD). This suggested that the observed benefit arose from fasting and not from a cluster of religion-associated behaviors. In addition, it was unlikely that the other behaviors (at least the measured ones) accounted for the fasting benefit because they were all eliminated when statistical modeling included them with fasting."

The most recent study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal (at least that I have found), but several news sources picked up the press release from the Intermountain Medical Center. According to the press release:

"Unlike the earlier research by the team, this new research recorded reactions in the body's biological mechanisms during the fasting period. The participants' low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, the 'bad' cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, the 'good' cholesterol) both increased (by 14 percent and 6 percent, respectively) raising their total cholesterol and catching the researchers by surprise. ... This recent study also confirmed earlier findings about the effects of fasting on human growth hormone (HGH), a metabolic protein. HGH works to protect lean muscle and metabolic balance, a response triggered and accelerated by fasting. During the 24-hour fasting periods, HGH increased an average of 1,300 percent in women, and nearly 2,000 percent in men."


The results of these studies is no surprise. At TrueNorth we've fasted thousands of people over the past many years, and heart disease is one condition that consistently responds to a fasting protocol. For more information about the research on fasting that we've done, click here.