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Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam and mandatory for all healthy adult Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset for a period of a month. During fasting, Muslims are required to refrain from all intakes of food, water, beverages, smoking and from sexual intercourse. Ramadan fasting causes many physiological, biochemical, metabolic and spiritual changes in the body. Ramadan Fasting increases the Red Blood Cells (RBCs), White Blood Cells (WBCs), platelet (PLT) count, High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-c), and decreases the blood cholesterol, triglycerides, Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL-c) and Very Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (VLDL-c). Moreover, it reduces body weight, waist circumference, body mass index, body fat, blood glucose, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and anxiety levels. Furthermore, Ramadan fasting decreases the inflammation, pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1b, IL-6, tumour necrosis factor a and cancer promotion. Among healthy adults, there are no adverse effects of Ramadan fasting on the brain, heart, lung, liver, kidney, haematologic, endocrine profile and cognitive functions. Ramadan fasting is a healthy non pharmacological means for minimizing the risk factors and improving health. Although Ramadan fasting is safe for all healthy individuals, but those with various illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, renal and eye illness should consult their physicians and firmly follow the scientific recommendations.

Original Article