Send to

Choose Destination
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

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



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


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.


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).


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.


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.


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

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center