Science & Tech

Intermittent fasting is a 'serious health risk' according to experts

Intermittent fasting is a 'serious health risk' according to experts
Intermittent Fasting May Raise The Risk Of Cardiovascular Death
ZMG - Veuer / VideoElephant

It’s one of the most popular dieting and lifestyle trends out there, but experts have flagged intermittent fasting as a serious health risk.

The practice, as the name suggests, involves restricting eating times to a window of around eight hours during the day.

Intermittent fasting has become popular online over recent years, but the American Heart Association has now stated that people who follow it have a 91 per cent higher chance of death by cardiovascular disease than those who don’t.

Experts stressed that further research is required, but senior study author Victor Wenze Zhong, who is the chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in Shanghai, China, was among the experts warned about intermittent fasting in the study.

"Although the study identified an association between an eight-hour eating window and cardiovascular death, this does not mean that time-restricted eating caused cardiovascular death," Zhong said when the findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Chicago conference recently.


The research also found that of the 20,000 people involved in the study from 2003 to 2018, for those living with existing cardiovascular diseases, intermittent fasting was associated with a 66 per cent higher risk of death from heart disease or stroke.

Furthermore, the study published by The American Heart Association, found that intermittent fasting did not reduce the risk of death from any cause.

The study used research collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Perhaps most significant was research showing that people who practiced intermittent fasting who are already living with heart conditions or cancer were at an increased risk.

Christopher Gardner, who is director of nutrition studies at Stanford University, said: "Our study’s findings encourage a more cautious, personalized approach to dietary recommendations, ensuring that they are aligned with an individual’s health status and the latest scientific evidence.”

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