Several studies have been conducted to assess the impact of fasting on your heart's health by researchers from various parts of the world. Studies conducted in this field reveal an interesting relationship between continuous fasting and heart health.
Studies conducted in this field
A recent study was conducted by the doctors in Utah, which examined the relationship between regular fasting and cardiovascular diseases. 200 patients, undergoing a diagnostic test called calligraphy, were interviewed. Angiography is an x-ray exam of the blood vessels and heart chambers to find out whether the patient sufferers from any chronic heart disease.
The patients in the study were asked whether they engage in regular fasting. The answers were analyzed with respect to the angiography results. The study was conducted among the, 'Mormons', a faith which practices regular fasting to religious claims. The results revealed that patients who engage in fasting have fewer risks of coronary heart diseases compared to those who do not.
The study proved a relationship between continuous fasting and better heart health. The results of the research are important as they affirmed the results of a larger study which was published in 2008 by the American Journal of Cardiology.
Another research was presented in the New Orleans Conference where 30 patients were asked to fast for a span of 24 hours. They were only allowed to drink water. The scientists conducted blood tests on the patients before and after the fasting. It was found that the human growth hormones (HGHs) surged after fasting. It increased by about 20 times in men and 15 times in women. The hormone is released by the body in times of starvation.
Some other studies published in the Journal of American Medical Association reveal that there is a connection between non-fasting triglycerides and cardiac problems such as heart-attack, stroke and cardiac death. This holds good especially in case of women.
How does fast benefit the heart?
Fasting, as explained by doctors is a process which forgoes not only food but also fluids into the body for a certain period of time. This gives some rest to the body and allows it to reset metabolism. The process increases the body's sensitivity towards glucose and insulin. Doctors also suggest that during fast, the body uses glucose and fats stored in the body to get energy. This automatically reduces the cholesterol that has been built in the walls of the artery. Cholesterol built in the artery walls narrows and hardens them, leading to the obstruction of blood flow.
However, fast only works if there is complete abstinence from all kinds of fluids
(except water) along with food. This is because, during a fast, metabolism takes place from stored fats and glucose. If fluids like tea or fruit juices enter the body, glucose is digested from them as well.
In spite of the benefits of fasting on heart health, doctors have recommended that fast should not be practiced to the extent of random skipping of meals. Patients should not take up fast without consulting with their doctors. It is strongly recommended by experts, that any kind of fast should include water or else dehydration is likely to occur, which may lead to stroke.
Fasting can be beneficial for the heart. It has also been described as a natural healing process by the natural hygienists. The connection between regular fasting and heart health interests researchers across the globe. There are many ongoing studies which are researching the subject further.