Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 929–942

Does Ramadan Fasting Alter Body Weight and Blood Lipids and Fasting Blood Glucose in a Healthy Population? A Meta-analysis

  • Seval Kul
  • Esen Savaş
  • Zeynel Abidin Öztürk
  • Gülendam Karadağ
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10943-013-9687-0

Cite this article as:
Kul, S., Savaş, E., Öztürk, Z.A. et al. J Relig Health (2014) 53: 929. doi:10.1007/s10943-013-9687-0

Abstract

In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis of self-controlled cohort studies comparing body weights, blood levels of lipids and fasting blood glucose levels before and after Ramadan taking into account gender differences. Several databases were searched up to June 2012 for studies showing an effect of Ramadan fasting in healthy subjects, yielding 30 articles. The primary finding of this meta-analysis was that after Ramadan fasting, low-density lipoprotein (SMD = −1.67, 95 % CI = −2.48 to −0.86) and fasting blood glucose levels (SMD = −1.10, 95 % CI = −1.62 to −0.58) were decreased in both sex groups and also in the entire group compared to levels prior to Ramadan. In addition, in the female subgroup, body weight (SMD = −0.04, 95 % CI = −0.20, 0.12), total cholesterol (SMD = 0.05, 95 % CI = −0.51 to 0.60), and triglyceride levels (SMD = 0.03, 95 % CI = −0.31, 0.36) remained unchanged, while HDL levels (SMD = 0.86, 95 % CI = 0.11 to 1.61, p = 0.03) were increased. In males, Ramadan fasting resulted in weight loss (SMD = −0.24, 95 % CI = −0.36, −0.12, p = 0.001). Also, a substantial reduction in total cholesterol (SMD = −0.44, 95 % CI = −0.77 to −0.11) and LDL levels (SMD = −2.22, 95 % CI = −3.47 to −0.96) and a small decrease in triglyceride levels (SMD = −0.35, 95 % CI = −0.67 to −0.02) were observed in males. In conclusion, by looking at this data, it is evident that Ramadan fasting can effectively change body weight and some biochemical parameters in healthy subjects especially in males compared to pre-Ramadan period.

Keywords

RamadanFastingBody weightLipid profileTriglycerideBlood glucose levels

Abbreviations

HDL

High-density lipoprotein (HDL)

LDL

Low-density lipoprotein

RFR

Ramadan fasting

RCT

Randomized controlled trial

SMD

Standardized weighted mean difference

Supplementary material

10943_2013_9687_MOESM1_ESM.docx (63 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 62 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seval Kul
    • 1
  • Esen Savaş
    • 2
  • Zeynel Abidin Öztürk
    • 3
  • Gülendam Karadağ
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of GaziantepGaziantepTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine, Subdivision of Social Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of GaziantepGaziantepTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine, Subdivision of Geriatrics, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of GaziantepGaziantepTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Publich Health-Nursing SchoolUniversity of GaziantepGaziantepTurkey