UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Effects of Ramadan Intermittent Fasting on Gut Hormones and Body Composition in Males with Obesity Zouhal, Hassane; Bagheri, Reza; Triki, Raoua; Saeidi, Ayoub; Wong, Alexei; Hackney, Anthony C.; Laher, Ismail; Suzuki, Katsuhiko; Ben Abderrahman, Abderraouf


We studied the effects of Ramadan intermittent fasting (RIF) on gut hormones (leptin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), peptide YY (PYY), cholecystokinin (CCK), and ghrelin) in males with obesity. Thirty sedentary males were randomly allocated to either an experimental group (EG, n = 15) or a control group (CG, n = 15). The EG group completed their Ramadan fasting rituals (30 days), whereas the CG continued with their normal daily habits. Blood samples were collected at four time points: 24 h before the start of Ramadan (T0), on the 15th day of Ramadan (T1), the day after the end of Ramadan (T2) and 21 days after Ramadan (T3). There were significant pre-to-post improvements for leptin (p = 0.01, d = 1.52), GLP-1 (p = 0.022, d = 0.75), PYY (p = 0.031, d = 0.69) and CCK (p = 0.027, d = 0.81) in the EG, with no interaction effect for ghrelin (p = 0.74; d = 0.008). No significant changes (p > 0.05) occurred in plasma volume variations (ΔPV) after RIF in both EG (−0.03 ± 0.01%) and CG (0.06 ± 0.07%). RIF represents an effective strategy to modify appetite-regulating hormones, leading to improved body composition indices and reduced obesity.

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