Role of therapeutic fasting in women's health: An overview

J Midlife Health. Apr-Jun 2016;7(2):61-4. doi: 10.4103/0976-7800.185325.

Abstract

Fasting is a therapeutic tool practiced since millennia by different cultures and medical systems heterogeneously. PubMed and Google Scholar search engines were searched using the keywords "fasting," "intermittent fasting," "calorie restriction," "women's health," "women's disorders," "fasting and aging," and "fasting and health." All the animal and human studies which address women's health and disorders were included in the review. Fasting has shown to improve the reproductive and mental health. It also prevents as well as ameliorates cancers and musculoskeletal disorders which are common in middle-aged and elderly women. The present studies available have limitations such as majority of the studies are preclinical studies and human studies are with lesser sample size. Future studies should address this gap by designing medically supervised fasting techniques to extract better evidence. Nevertheless, fasting can be prescribed as a safe medical intervention as well as a lifestyle regimen which can improve women's health in many folds.

Keywords: Diet; fasting; menopause; therapeutic fasting; women’s health.

Publication types

  • Review