MONDAY, Dec. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Intermittent fasting is associated with beneficial anthropometric and cardiometabolic outcomes, according to a review published online Dec. 17 in JAMA Network Open.

Chanthawat Patikorn, Pharm.D., from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify randomized controlled trials that assessed the associations of intermittent fasting (zero-calorie alternate-day fasting, modified alternate-day fasting, the 5:2 diet, and time-restricted eating) with obesity-related health outcomes.

Based on 130 identified studies, the researchers found that 28 of 104 associations were statistically significant, and intermittent fasting showed beneficial outcomes for body mass index, body weight, fat mass, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting plasma glucose, fasting insulin, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, and blood pressure. There was an association observed between intermittent fasting and reduced fat-free mass. High-quality evidence showed a significant association for modified alternate-day fasting for one to two months and a moderate reduction in body mass index among healthy adults and adults with overweight, obesity, or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

“Our results support the role of intermittent fasting, especially modified alternate-day fasting, in adults with overweight or obesity as a weight loss approach with metabolic benefits,” the authors write. “More clinical trials with long-term follow-up are needed to investigate the effects of intermittent fasting on clinical outcomes such as cardiovascular events and mortality.”

One author disclosed receiving fees from Hachette Book Group for the book The Every Other Day Diet.

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