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Singapore Med J. 2009 Sep;50(9):897-901.

The interaction between physical activity and fasting on the serum lipid profile during Ramadan.

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  • 1Physiology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Jomhoori Islamic Boulevard, Kerman 7618747653, Iran.



The serum lipid profiles in Muslims change during the fasting month of Ramadan, but it is not clear whether this change is due to changes in their physical activities. In this study, we compared the patterns of the lipid profile changes in those who engaged in regular physical activity with those who did not.


In a randomised trial, we assigned 93 students who took a physical education course into two groups--those who had regular physical activity after Ramadan and those who had physical activity during Ramadan. Venous blood (5 ml) was taken just before, at the end, and 40 days after Ramadan, and the fasting glucose sugar and lipid profile were measured.


Fasting with physical activity decreased body weight by 1.2 kg (p-value is 0.03). Fasting blood sugar also decreased by 7 mg/dL during Ramadan, but this drop was observed in both groups. Triglyceride decreased in both groups during Ramadan, but cholesterol levels dropped considerably during and after Ramadan for those who concurrently engaged in physical activity and fasted (-12.24 and -8.4 mg/dL, respectively). The patterns of changes in the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and HDL/LDL values were more or less comparable in both groups (p is greater than 0.5).


Usually, people are less physically active during Ramadan, but our findings show that physical activity alone cannot explain the variations in the lipid profile. Other factors, such as changes in the diet and sleeping hours, may have more important roles.

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