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International Journal of Recent Trends in Science and Technology, ISSN 2277-2812 E-ISSN: 2249-8109

Volume 8, Issue 1, August 2013 pp 31-35

Research Article

The Effect of Ramadan Fasting on the Body Composition, Blood Pressure, Heart Rate of Healthy Young Adults


B. Shruthi1, Abrar Hassan2, B. V. Reddy3

1,3Professor, 2Professor and Head, Department of Physiology, Bhaskar Medical College, Moinabad, R R. Dist, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA.


Academic Editor : Dr. Aher K.R.


During the month of Ramadan, Muslims refrain from drinking and eating between sunrise and sunset. This study is aimed to understand the effect of this long intermittent fasting schedule during Ramadan on body composition, and cardiovascular system in healthy young adults. Fifty healthy adults were included and were all tested before and on the 28th day of the Ramadan fast. The parameters studied were body composition, blood pressure and heart rate before and towards the end of the fasting. Significant changes were observed in the form of decreased body weight, Body Mass Index, Waist to Hip Ratio, body fat percentage, blood pressure and heart rate. Dominance of the sympathetic nervous system over the parasympathetic nervous system has been shown to be a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Weight loss has a positive effect on this balance and is associated with significant improvement in autonomic cardiac modulation through enhancement of parasympathetic effect. This increase in vagal tone has shown its effects on the blood pressure and heart rate in this study. At the cellular level fasting reduces the levels of oxidative stress at the same time it acts as repeated mild stress that induces expression of genes that enhance the ability of cells to cope with more severe stress. The effect of fasting on cardiovascular function should be further explored to recognize fasting as a potential non-pharmacological intervention for improving cardiovascular health.