Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Committee Chair

Jeff Hartman

Abstract

This systematic review investigated thirteen primary and secondary research studies from the past 20 years to determine the effects of intermittent fasting on chronic disease in adults through evaluation of biological markers pertaining to inflammation, oxidative stress, and the cardiovascular system. The dependent variables examined included heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels for cardiovascular risk; leptin and TNF-a for inflammatory risk; and F2-Isoprostanes and free radicals for oxidative stress biomarkers. The reviewed studies found that there was a decrease in resting heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood LDL and total cholesterol levels, inflammatory cells, like leptin, TNF-a, and insulin, and oxidative stress (isoprostanes and free radicals); and an increase in HDL cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity in human and animal subjects engaged in various forms of intermittent fasting. The reviewed effects in both human and animal trials point to beneficial health effects of intermittent fasting in preventing and resisting chronic disease risk factors. In the short-term, it can be implicated that intermittent fasting could be successful in preventing chronic disease from a holistic perspective. This review is limited due to its narrow examination of only thirteen studies, minimal intervention time, and small population size for tested subjects.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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