Efficacy of fasting calorie restriction on quality of life among aging men

Physiol Behav. 2011 Oct 24;104(5):1059-64. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.07.007. Epub 2011 Jul 18.


Calorie restriction (CR) has been promoted to increase longevity. Previous studies have indicated that CR can negatively affect mood and therefore the effect of CR on mood and quality of life (QOL) becomes crucial when considering the feasibility of CR in humans. We conducted a three month clinical trial on CR (reduction of 300 to 500 kcal/day) combined with two days/week of Muslim sunnah fasting (FCR) to determine the effectiveness of FCR on QOL among aging men in Klang Valley, Malaysia. A total of 25 healthy Malay men (age 58.8±5.1 years), with no chronic diseases and a BMI of 23.0 to 29.9 kg/m2 were randomized to FCR (n=12) and control (n=13) groups. Body composition measurements and QOL questionnaires were ascertained at baseline, week 6 and week 12. QOL was measured using the Short-Form 36, sleep quality was determined using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Beck Depression Inventory II was used to measure mood and the Perceived Stress Scale was used to measure depression. The FCR group had a significant reduction in body weight, BMI, body fat percentage and depression (P<0.05). The energy component of QOL was significantly increased in FCR group (p<0.05). There were no significant changes in sleep quality and stress level between the groups as a result of the intervention. In conclusion, FCR resulted in body weight and fat loss and alleviated depression with some improvement in the QOL in our study and has the potential to be implemented on a wider scale.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Caloric Restriction / methods*
  • Fasting / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*