Metabolic and clinical effects of Ramadan fasting in patients with type II diabetes

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2003 Jun;13(6):329-32.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of fasting on anthropometric indices and carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in patients with type II diabetes.

Design: Observational non-interventional study.

Place and duration of study: : Diabetes clinic, Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran during Ramadan 1419 (winter 1998-99).

Patients and methods: Fifty-seven volunteers with type II diabetes underwent anthropometric and biochemical evaluation before and on the 14th and 28th days of Ramadan. Biochemical markers were measured by standard laboratory methods and anthropometric indices by WHO criteria. Statistical analysis was done by ANOVA for repeated measurements and Friedman's two-way ANOVA using SPSSv6 software.

Results: Daily cholesterol intake increased in all subjects (p<0.03). Body mass index increased in women (p<0.03), but BMI and waist-hip ratio both decreased in men (p<0.01). Blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and serum fructosamine did not change during the study. Plasma insulin (p<0.05), C-peptide (p<0.01) and insulin resistance (p<0.01) decreased only in men. Total and LDL cholesterol increased significantly in all subjects during the study.

Conclusion: Ramadan fasting does not alter carbohydrate metabolism or tissue insulin sensitivity in patients with type II diabetes given appropriate dietary education and rescheduling of oral hypoglycaemic medication. Lipid profile is unfavourably altered due to changes in both diet and biochemical response to starvation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Fasting / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Islam*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Insulin