Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Insulin sensitivity and \beta-cell function during Ramadan fasting in healthy male subjects have not been investigated so far. We assessed the changes of these and other metabolic parameters to judge the potential metabolic benefits of Ramadan fasting. Materials and methods: Twenty-four healthy males of Turkish origin living in Germany, with normal glucose tolerance, participated in this study during Ramadan of 2009; 19 who completed fasting were analyzed. Blood was drawn at sunset after a period of fasting lasting approximately 15 h on days 0, 16, and 30 of Ramadan, as well as 7 and 28 days later. Insulin sensitivity (Homeostasis Model Assessment, HOMA), \beta-cell function, and other parameters were assessed. Results: Ramadan fasting was associated with a significant reduction (-) or increment (+) for the following variables: insulin sensitivity (-20%; P = 0.04), \beta-cell function (+10%; P = 0.049), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-23%; P = 0.0003), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (+14%; P = 0.007), nonesterified fatty acids (-62%; P < 0.0001), resistin (-20%; P = 0.01), adiponectin (+16%; P = 0.003), and glucagon (-1%; P = 0.01). C-peptide, insulin, leptin, triglyceride, and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were not significantly changed. Conclusion: Ramadan fasting is associated with transiently impaired insulin sensitivity, compensated for by an increased \beta-cell function. However, the pattern of insulin resistance-mediating adipocytokines suggests a potentially beneficial metabolic effect of Ramadan fasting.


Insulin sensitivity, \beta-cell function, adiponectin, leptin, resistin, Ramadan fasting

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