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Nutr Healthy Aging. 2017 Dec 7;4(3):255-263. doi: 10.3233/NHA-170031.

Effect of alternate day fasting on markers of bone metabolism: An exploratory analysis of a 6-month randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
2
Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Ascension, Wauwatosa, WI, USA.
3
Nutrition Obesity Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.
4
Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
5
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alternate day fasting (ADF) is a novel diet therapy that reduces body weight, but its effect on bone health remains unknown.

OBJECTIVE:

This study examined the impact of ADF versus traditional daily calorie restriction (CR) on markers of bone metabolism in a 6-month randomized controlled trial.

METHODS:

Overweight and obese subjects (n = 100) were randomized to 1 of 3 groups for 6 months: 1) ADF (25% energy intake fast day, alternated with 125% intake feast day; 2) CR (75% intake every day); or 3) control (usual intake every day).

RESULTS:

Body weight decreased similarly (P < 0.001) by ADF (-7.8±1.2%) and CR (-8.8±1.5%), relative to controls by month 6. Lean mass, total body bone mineral content and total body bone mineral density remained unchanged in all groups. Circulating osteocalcin, bone alkaline phosphatase, and C-terminal telopeptide type I collagen (CTX) did not change in any group. IGF-1 increased (P < 0.01) in the CR group, with no change in the ADF or control group. When the data were sub-analyzed according to menopausal status, there were no differences between premenopausal or postmenopausal women for any marker of bone metabolism.

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest that 6 months of ADF does not have any deleterious impact on markers of bone metabolism in obese adults with moderate weight loss.

KEYWORDS:

Alternate day fasting; bone metabolism; bone mineral content; bone mineral density; calorie restriction; obese adults

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