Fasting is becoming an increasingly popular practice. Nevertheless, its clinical benefits and possible inconveniences remain limitedly evaluated. We observed the effects of a seven-day fast conducted in a non-medical center located in the Swiss Alps. Clinical parameters were measured on the first and last day of fasting (D1 and D7), and two months later (D60). Among the 40 participants, blood analyses were done on 25 persons with an increased metabolic risk, with the primary goal of assessing the lasting effect on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. By comparing D60 with D1, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) (+0.15 mmol/L) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) (+2.05 mmol/L) increased (both p < 0.009), all other blood parameters (LDL, glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, C-reactive protein (CRP)) did not change; weight (-0.97 kg) and hearth rate (-7.31 min-1) decreased (both p < 0.006). By comparing D7 with D1, total cholesterol (+0.44 mmol/L), triglycerides (+0.37 mmol/L) and CRP (+3.37 mg/L) increased (all p < 0.02). The lack of LDL variation at D60 may be due to the low metabolic risk level of the participants. The increase of total cholesterol, triglycerides and CRP at D7 warrants studies to understand whether such fluctuations represent a stress reaction to the fasting state, which may vary in different fasting types.
Keywords: CRP; HDL; IGF-1; LDL; body composition; fasting; lipid profile; periodic fasting; triglycerides.