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Int J Prev Med. 2019 Jan 15;10:7. doi: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_252_17. eCollection 2019.

Effects of Intermittent Fasting during Ramadan on Insulin-like Growth Factor-1, Interleukin 2, and Lipid Profile in Healthy Muslims.

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Department of Nutrition, Persian Gulf Tropical Medicine Research Center, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, I.R. Iran.
Department of Laboratory Technology, Paramedical Faculty, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, I.R. Iran.
Department of Nutrition, Student Research Committee, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, I.R. Iran.



Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) play an essential role in pathophysiology of several chronic diseases. As a stressor, fasting in Ramadan may increase inflammatory markers such as IGF-1 and IL-2 in Muslims. The aim of this before-after study was to investigate the effects of fasting in Ramadan on IGF-1 and IL-2 levels in individuals.


In all, 34 men age 16-64 years were selected out of the overall number of individuals who were ready for fasting entirely throughout Ramadan. A sample of blood was drawn from the contributors before and after Ramadan, and plasma IGF-1, IL-2, total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were determined. To identify differences between the initial and final values of test results of the study for plasma IGF-1, IL-2, and lipid parameters, we used paired sample T-test.


Paired sample T-test illustrated a significant decrease in IGF-1 and IL-2 levels after Ramadan fasting compared to before Ramadan. The concentration of TG, cholesterol, and LDL-C levels underwent significant decreases over the period of the study. HDL-C levels did not change significantly during the study. A significant decrease in weight, waist circumferences, calorie, carbohydrate, and fat intake were observed in participants during Ramadan fasting.


It is concluded that fasting in Ramadan independent of anthropometric measures attenuates inflammation and is beneficiary to health.


Fasting; insulin-like growth factor-1; lipids

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