Fasting during the month of Ramadan may save you from two serious diseases Fasting during the month of Ramadan may save you from two serious diseases

Fasting during the month of Ramadan may save you from two serious diseases

Fasting during the month of Ramadan may save you from two serious diseases

A study found that those who follow an intermittent fasting diet or fast during Ramadan may have a reduced risk of developing age-related neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
The study addresses the positive interaction between fasting and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which plays a vital role in the survival and growth of nerve cells, which are cells specialized in nerve impulses.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is known to be important in regulating glucose and energy metabolism. It is a protein encoded in humans by the BDNF gene. Low levels of this factor are linked to nerve cell loss, which studies have found to be a sign of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's disease.

The researchers systematically reviewed experimental and observational human studies conducted from January 2000 to December 2023 and published in major databases.

The review notes that intermittent fasting “has varying effects on brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels and cognitive functions in healthy individuals with overweight/obesity and patients with metabolic conditions.”

The authors find that the relationship between intermittent fasting and brain-derived neurotrophic factor is of paramount importance as more people turn to fasting as a health practice.

This study comes at a time when more than two billion Muslims around the world are preparing to fast the month of Ramadan.

Although fasting is recommended as a healthy practice, the researchers highlight the controversial nature of the studies they reviewed. “A few human studies have shown that intermittent fasting increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor,” they assert.

However, researchers have found that BDNF improves brain function by promoting both neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity, particularly through long-term potentiation (LTP), a process that involves sustained strengthening of synapses that leads to a long-lasting increase in signal transduction. between nerve cells.

The researchers pointed out that there are recommendations calling for fasting “as one of the candidate treatments for neurological disorders. This comes due to the effect of fasting in improving cognition, slowing down neurodegeneration, reducing brain damage, enhancing functional recovery after stroke, and alleviating the pathological and psychological effects and clinical manifestations of epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.” In animal models.

The study looks at different intermittent fasting systems, which include alternate-day fasting, time-restricted eating, and Ramadan fasting.

The results show that fasting has varying effects on the level of BDNF in healthy people and patients with obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Moaz Al-Islam Fares, professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Sharjah and lead author, says that the results of this review emphasize the importance of fasting in improving the level of an important protein factor that affects brain health.

He explained: "This protein factor is important for maintaining brain function and reducing the risk of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, as well as in preventing mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety."

He continued: “The importance of the study stems from it being the first systematic review summarizing the effect of calorie restriction and different intermittent fasting systems on the level of BDNF and the resulting mental health and cognitive health parameters. The importance of the project depends on the possibility of applying intermittent fasting as one of the preventive strategies and even therapeutic interventions for prevention and treatment.” "From mental health problems, brain problems and mental health problems associated with aging in older people."

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