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Lamri-Senhadji MY, El Kebir B, Belleville J, Bouchenak M
Correspondence: Prof M Bouchenak, email@example.com
Introduction During the month of Ramadan, fasting is obligatory for all healthy adult Muslims, with the only exempted adults being those who have to travel or are sick. The aim of this study was to see whether changes in food intake and meal patterns during Ramadan fasting could modify serum lipid and lipoprotein parameters in healthy Algerian young men and women volunteers. The time-course prospective study was done in order to investigate at what time eventual changes to these parameters occur during Ramadan and their disappearance after Ramadan.
Methods Subjects were interviewed by trained interviewers using the method of the “seven day recall and record”, before, during and after Ramadan. The serum lipid and lipoprotein contents were analysed at different times.
Results The total energy intake was higher during Ramadan (13 and 11 MJ/day) than before and after Ramadan (11 and 9 MJ/day) in men and women, respectively. In the second week of Ramadan, carbohydrate intake was elevated by 22 percent and 24 percent in men and women, respectively, compared to before and after Ramadan. At the end of Ramadan, the low density lipoproteins (LDL) percentages decreased by 20 percent in women and 55 percent in men compared to the values obtained before Ramadan. In both groups, the amount of serum high density lipoproteins (HDL) was 1.4-fold higher, in particular on day 28 of Ramadan, in comparison with the period before and after Ramadan. Indeed, a progressive decrease in LDL-C was noted in women and was particularly drastic in men. In contrast, HDL-C had increased by 30 percent on day 15 of Ramadan, compared to before Ramadan.
Conclusion This study shows that striking changes in nutritional habits during Ramadan may be useful in reducing LDL levels and in increasing HDL levels. The young Muslim’s diet during Ramadan may contribute to favourable modifications of the serum lipoprotein profile related to cardiovascular protection.
Keywords: cholesterol, dietary consumption, lipids, lipoproteins, Ramadan
Singapore Med J 2009; 50(3): 288-294