Aims: We assessed the effect of fasting during Ramadan on blood pressure (BP), body weight, plasma lipid, and lipoprotein variables among healthy normal individuals.
Methods: 102 (68% male) multi-ethnic volunteers; mean age ± SD (38.7 ± 10.5 years) were randomly recruited in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), to be investigated before Ramadan, one day after the end of Ramadan, and four weeks after Ramadan. Anthropometric, demographic, fasting plasma total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) were measured by standard methods, and Low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) was calculated using Friedewald's formula.
Results: 65 subjects completed the study. We found significant and beneficial changes in systolic blood pressure (SBP), body weight, waist circumference (WC), TG, HDL-C and LDL-C, at the end of Ramadan, but not in TC. Further, there was a progressive and significant increase and decrease in HDL-C and LDL-C levels, respectively, four weeks after Ramadan.
Conclusions: We observed significant improvements in HDL-C, and LDL-C levels even after four weeks post Ramadan. Ramadan-like fasting may be considered for more effective lipid and lipoprotein control.