Research Links Intermittent Fasting to an Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Mortality

Research Links Intermittent Fasting to an Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Mortality

A new investigation suggests that a diet that alternates between times of voluntary fasting and non-fasting may increase the chance of dying from cardiovascular disease.

A study conducted on Monday during the scientific sessions of the American Heart Association in Chicago revealed that individuals who consume food for less than eight hours a day are ninety-one percent more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who eat for twelve to sixteen hours a day.

Researchers also found that those with cancer or heart disease had a higher risk of cardiovascular death. According to the data, people who ate eight to ten hours a day and already had cardiovascular disease were at 66 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.

Over the past ten years, there has been a rise in the popularity of intermittent fasting, which entails eating for six to eight hours and fasting for the remaining sixteen to eighteen. According to studies, the diet can improve blood pressure, increase energy, help people lose weight, and reduce their chance of developing diseases like cancer.

Researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China conducted the analysis using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which included 20,000 adult Americans between 2003 and 2018. It hasn’t been published in an academic journal or subjected to peer review yet. It is one of the few, though, that explicitly looks at how intermittent fasting affects the long-term risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

“Restricting daily eating time to a short period, such as 8 hours per day, has gained popularity in recent years as a way to lose weight and improve heart health,” senior study author Victor Wenze Zhong, Ph.D., said in a statement. “However, the long-term health effects of time-restricted eating, including risk of death from any cause or cardiovascular disease, are unknown.”

Zhong stated that the discovery that people who adopt an intermittent fasting diet have an increased risk of cardiovascular death “surprised” the researchers.

“Even though this type of diet has been popular due to its potential short-term benefits, our research clearly shows that, compared with a typical eating time range of 12-16 hours per day, a shorter eating duration was not associated with living longer,” he said.

The results highlighted that dietary decisions should be “aligned” with an individual’s health state and should prompt people to exercise more prudence.

Further research should examine the “biological mechanisms” underlying the correlations between the diet and unfavorable cardiovascular outcomes, he continued, as the findings do not imply that intermittent fasting caused cardiovascular death. He pointed out that memories of what people had eaten are also a factor in the research.

Zhong wrote to the outlet that “practicing intermittent fasting for a short period of time such as 3 months may likely lead to benefits on reducing weight and improving cardiometabolic health,” but that it is premature to put out precise recommendations based on the data. According to News, he said that individuals should use “extreme” caution when fasting intermittently for extended periods of time.

Sanchita Patil

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