The Influence of Fasting and Energy Restricting Diets on Blood Pressure in Humans: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev. 2020 Aug;27(4):271-280. doi: 10.1007/s40292-020-00391-0. Epub 2020 Jun 20.


Introduction: To the best of our knowledge, no comprehensive meta-analysis has been carried out to investigate the effect of different approaches of fasting and calorie restriction on blood pressure. AIM: Thus, the present systematic review and meta-analysis was designed to examine the effect of fasting and energy restricting diets on blood pressure in adult subjects.

Methods: We searched PubMed/Medline, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar up to June 2019. The clinical trials that examined the effects of fasting and energy restricting diets on Blood Pressure was identified using MESH and non-MESH terms.

Results: 23 studies, including a total of 1397 participants, reported SBP and DBP as an outcome measure. Overall results from the random-effects model indicated that fasting and energy restricting administration elicited significant changes in SBP (weight mean difference (WMD): - 1.88 mmHg, 95% CI - 2.50, - 1.25) and DBP (WMD - 1.32 mmHg, 95% CI - 1.81, - 0.84, p = 0.000). Subgroup analyses displayed that intervention duration ≤ 12 weeks more effectively reduced SBP (WMD: -3.26 mmHg) and DBP (WMD - 1.32 mmHg). In addition, these analyses showed that fasting regimens (WMD - 3.26 mmHg) more effectively reduced SBP than energy restricting diets (WMD - 1.09 mmHg).

Conclusion: The principal finding of this study was that fasting and energy restricting diets elicited, overall, significant reductions in SBP and DBP. Subsequent subgroup analyses revealed that intervention duration ≤ 12 weeks and fasting regimens more effectively reduced SBP and DBP.

Keywords: Blood pressure; Energy restricting; Fasting; Meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Caloric Restriction* / adverse effects
  • Fasting* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome