Fasting Could Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

A study at Intermountain Medical Center shows a link between fasting and a lower rate of heart disease. Researchers are now conducting another study to determine why.

The first study was conducted to find out why people who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have a lower risk of heart disease. Initially, researchers believed it was because of their non-smoking lifestyle. But upon closer examination they learned there was another factor, fasting. Dr. Benjamin Horne, the director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at IMC says “there was something else and we deduced from potential factors that were shared by Latter Day Saints that it was probably fasting.”

Members of the LDS faith fast once a month. More research showed fasting has a dramatic impact on the heart. Those who fast have a 40 to 45 percent lower risk of coronary disease, and doctors think they know why. “When you are in a fasting state, the cells in your body go into a self protection mode to survive until food starts coming again. They produce these proteins to protect themselves.”

The proteins released when people do not eat change and regulate the metabolism, also controlling diabetes. “In our initial study we not only found that fasting was associated with lower coronary risk but also lower prevalence of diabetes.”

Scientists also want to measure the impact of fasting on other risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, diabetes, and obesity. The results of fasting will be measured with blood test over a two day period. Researchers hope fasting is another tool to prevent the number one killer in the United States. “It’s something that if you participate in it, potentially prevents coronary heart disease so that you can have a longer life.”

Those who wish to participate in this study should contact Intermountain Medical Center.

Reported by: Barbara Smith
(Aaron Kimbell, ABC 4 News)

Posted on by Tom Coghill

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