A new study found cardiac catheterization patients who regularly practised intermittent fasting lived longer than those patients who did not. Researchers from the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City in the United States (US) conducted the study.
The team also found intermittent fasting reduced the risk of heart failure in these patients. "It's another example of how we're finding that regularly fasting can lead to better health outcomes and longer lives," Benjamin Horne, PhD, principal investigator of the study and director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute, told a news portal.
2,001 Intermountain patients undergoing cardiac catheterization from 2013 to 2015 participated in the study. Researchers were asked a number of questions about their lifestyle. They were also asked questions about intermittent fasting. Four years after conducting that questionnaire, the team found those who regularly practised fasting had better outcomes.
This may be because those who make fasting a habit are more likely to practise healthy behaviours. Researchers also took other factors into consideration:
* Socioeconomic factors
*Cardiac risk factors
* Comorbid diagnoses
* Alcohol consumption
"While many rapid weight loss fasting diets exist today, the different purposes of fasting in those diets and in this study should not be confused with the act of fasting," Dr Horne told a news portal. Adding, "All proposed biological mechanisms of health benefits from fasting arise from effects that occur during the fasting period or are consequences of fasting."
Researchers have yet to discover why intermittent fasting has such an effect. "With the lower heart failure risk that we found, which is consistent with prior mechanistic studies, this study suggests that routine fasting at a low frequency over two thirds of the lifespan is activating the same biological mechanisms that fasting diets are proposed to rapidly activate," Dr. Horne told a news portal.
However, researchers advise patients with chronic diseases to avoid fasting and should consult with their doctor before doing so.
The study's findings were recently presented at the 2019 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia.
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