Does intermittent fasting raise mortality with heart risk?

Given that evidence connects 8-hour mealtimes to a 91% increased risk of mortality from heart disease, intermittent fasting raises safety issues when it comes to weight loss. A close examination of research methods and the need for extended studies are highlighted.

Krishna: Hey, have you heard about intermittent fasting lately? I’ve been considering trying it out, but I stumbled upon an article claiming it might increase the risk of death from heart disease. What are your thoughts on that?

Shyam: Yeah, I’ve heard a bit about that too. It’s a hot topic, but I think there’s more to it than just black-and-white conclusions. Let’s dig into it.

Krishna: Agreed. So, intermittent fasting, as I understand it, involves cycles of eating and fasting, right? The idea is to restrict calorie intake during certain hours of the day or certain days of the week. But why would that be linked to heart disease?

Shyam: Well, some studies have suggested that intermittent fasting might lead to changes in cholesterol levels and blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. When you fast, your body might start breaking down fat for energy, which could affect cholesterol levels.

Krishna: That makes sense. But isn’t there also research suggesting that intermittent fasting can improve heart health by reducing inflammation and promoting weight loss?

Shyam: Absolutely. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. While some studies show potential benefits, others raise concerns. Plus, it’s crucial to consider individual factors like age, overall health, and the specific fasting regimen followed.

Intermittent fasting is becoming popular as the go-to weight loss strategy, and it’s one that many choose for results that are assured. But a shocking finding from a study presented at a medical conference called into question the safety of intermittent fasting, a well-liked weight-loss strategy that includes limiting food intake to certain times of the day.

Krishna: Right. I guess it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. But do you think the purported risks outweigh the potential benefits?

Shyam: It’s hard to say definitively. I think moderation and balance are key. Like with any dietary change, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have pre-existing conditions like heart disease or diabetes.

Krishna: Good point. It’s crucial to approach fasting, or any lifestyle change, with caution and proper guidance. But what about those who swear by intermittent fasting and claim it’s transformed their health?

Shyam: Well, anecdotal evidence can be powerful, but it’s not always reliable. What works for one person may not work for another, and just because someone experiences positive effects doesn’t mean it’s entirely risk-free. We have to look at the bigger picture, considering both short-term and long-term implications.

The results of the Chicago study, which was released on Monday, showed that cutting mealtimes to eight hours a day was linked to a 91% increased risk of heart disease-related death. The American Heart Association only published an abstract, leaving scientists to conjecture about the precise methods used in the study. Other experts reviewed the report before it was released, according to the American Heart Association.

Krishna: Absolutely. So, do you think the key lies in finding a balance between fasting and regular eating habits?

Shyam: Definitely. Balance is key to everything we do, especially when it comes to our health. Incorporating intermittent fasting into a well-rounded, nutrient-rich diet and coupling it with regular exercise might offer benefits without significantly increasing the risks.

A new class of weight-loss drugs has raised questions about lifestyle weight-loss programs. Several doctors questioned the study’s findings, claiming that there were differences between the fasting patients and the comparison group, whose members consumed food throughout a 12- to 16-hour day. May have distorted the results because of things like underlying heart health ailments.

Krishna: That sounds like a sensible approach. It’s all about moderation and finding what works best for our bodies. And if intermittent fasting isn’t suitable for someone, there are plenty of other ways to maintain heart health, right?

Shyam: Exactly. Eating a variety of whole foods, staying active, managing stress, and getting regular check-ups are all crucial components of a heart-healthy lifestyle. It’s about adopting sustainable habits that promote overall well-being. Time-restricted eating is a popular tactic for calorie cutting, according to Keith Frayn, an emeritus professor of human metabolism at the University of Oxford, who made this statement to the UK Science Media Center. “This work is crucial in demonstrating the necessity for long-term research on the impacts of this practice,” Frayn said. Still, there are a lot of unanswered questions in this abstract.

Krishna: I heard that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathered one survey. Is it true?

Shyam: Yes. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathered information from more than 20,000 adults for their National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Victor Zhong from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine headed the research team that looked over the information.


In addition to looking at death data from 2003 to 2019, the study also looked at questionnaire responses. Researchers pointed out that because the study relied in part on forms asking patients to recall what they had eaten over the previous two days, there was a chance for inaccuracies. The average age of the patients was 48, and approximately 50% of them were male.

Krishna: Well said. It seems like there’s still a lot we don’t know about intermittent fasting and its effects on heart health. But I’m glad we had this discussion; it’s given me a more nuanced perspective.

Shyam: Likewise. It’s essential to stay informed and keep an open mind, especially when it comes to complex topics like this. And remember, we’re in this together, supporting each other on our journey toward better health. Zhong said that although the duration of the patients’ intermittent fasting was unknown, researchers hypothesized that it was maintained.

Younger men with greater BMIs and food insecurity were more common among the patients who wore fasting garments. They also reported having decreased rates of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. The positive correlation between 8 hours of time-restricted eating and cardiovascular mortality persisted even after we adjusted for all of these factors in the analysis,” according to Zhong.

Krishna: Absolutely. Thanks for chatting about this. Let’s continue to research and learn that it’s all part of the journey toward living our healthiest, happiest lives.

Shyam: I couldn’t agree more. Here’s to our health!

While there are studies suggesting both benefits and risks, the key takeaway is the importance of moderation, individualized approaches, and consulting healthcare professionals before making significant dietary changes. Ultimately, maintaining a balanced lifestyle with a focus on overall well-being is essential for heart health and longevity.

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FAQ

1. What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting involves cycles of eating and fasting. The idea is to restrict calorie intake during 8 hours of the day or certain days of the week.

2. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, how many people were surveyed?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathered information from more than 20,000 adults for their National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

3. According to Victor Zhong, why does fasting cause cardiovascular diseases?

In intermittent fasting, the positive correlation between 8 hours of time-restricted eating and cardiovascular mortality persisted even after we adjusted for all of these factors in the analysis.

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