Can Intermittent fasting increase risk of death from heart disease?

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With the gaining popularity of Intermittent fasting as the conventional method for weight loss, it is one way many people opt for guaranteed weight loss results. However, a startling discovery from research presented at a medical conference cast doubt on the safety of intermittent fasting, a popular weight-loss method that involves restricting food consumption to specific periods.
Restricting mealtimes to eight hours per day was found to be associated with a 91% higher risk of heart disease-related death in the Chicago study, which was announced on Monday. Only an abstract was released by the American Heart Association, leaving scientists to speculate on the specifics of the study technique. The American Heart Association states that other specialists evaluated the report before it was published.

A new line of medications that aid in weight loss has brought scrutiny to lifestyle treatments for weight loss. The results of the study were questioned by several physicians who said that variations between the fasting patients and the comparison group, whose members ingested food throughout a daily period of 12 to 16 hours, may have skewed the results due to factors like underlying heart health.

In a statement to the UK Science Media Center, Keith Frayn, an emeritus professor of human metabolism at the University of Oxford, stated that time-restricted eating is a common strategy for cutting calories. “This work is crucial in demonstrating the necessity for long-term research on the impacts of this practice. However, a lot of questions remain unaddressed in this abstract.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, comprised data from over 20,000 adults. The researchers, led by Victor Zhong of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, examined the data.

The study examined questionnaire responses in addition to death records from 2003 to 2019. Scientists noted that there was potential for errors because the study partially relied on forms that requested patients to recall what they had eaten over the course of two days. The patients’ mean age was 48, with men making up around half of the group.

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Zhong stated that although it was unclear how long the patients maintained their intermittent fasting, the researchers surmised that they did. The patients who were fasting tended to be younger guys who had higher BMIs and were food insecure. According to their own reports, they also had lower rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension. “We controlled for all these variables in the analysis, but the positive association between 8-h time-restricted eating and cardiovascular mortality remained,” Zhong stated.

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