Cardiovascular disorders are leading cause of death globally. In today’s world many people are living with heart diseases and fear of impending death. Modern lifestyle, tobacco smoking, fast food, obesity and stress are factors that deteriorate cardiac diseases.
We as Muslims are blessed with bounty of almighty Allah in the form of Ramadan. The sacred ritual of fasting can protect us from cardiovascular disease and even cure pre-existing cardiovascular disease. Fasting acts in multiple ways to protect heart and associated system from developing complications. It not only act directly on body cardiovascular system but it also control predisposing factors that might develop into advanced cardiac diseases. How Ramadan fasting can protect us from cardiovascular disease let’s have a look.
Direct Function in Lowering Blood Pressure:
Fasting activate parasympathetic system and release acetylcholine in blood stream. This in turn can slow heart rate and open up blood vessels. This combination results in lower blood pressure to a greater extent. All the underlying mechanism is not well understood but it is asumed that the effect is bring about by vagus nerve activation.
Obesity is predisposing factor to cardiac diseases. Another benefit of fasting is control of obesity by multiple ways. Fasting is safe and effective mechanism of reducing weight that also help in control of cardiovascular diseases. Recent research shows that although the caloric intake me be constant pre and post Ramadan but there is considerable weight loss due to intermittent fasting. Optimal weight and lower BMI have positive impact on Cardiovascular Health.
Diabetes is another risk factor for heart diseases. Fasting improves glucose metabolism and decrease insulin tolerance. Fasting release stored energy from liver and help in burning of adipose tissues. Diabetes can progressively cause reduction in elasticity of blood vessels promoting atherosclerosis and cardiac malfunction.
Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases. During fasting people abstain from smoking for longer period of time. This results in better outcome for Cardiovascular Health.
Impact of fasting on inflammatory biomarkers:
Atherosclerosis is leading cause of cardiovascular related death in the World. It clinically manifest in the form of ischemic heart diseases, artery disease and stroke. It is a chronic condition in which plaque form in arteries gradually. One of the most important factor for developing atherosclerosis is high level of low density lipoproteins, elevated triglycerides that in turn activate inflammatory biomarkers through a complex mechanism eventually leading to plaque formation at various sites. Intermittent fasting not only lowers LDL but also helps in reduction of inflammatory biomarkers, resulting in increased protection from cardiovascular diseases.
Impact of fasting on lipid metabolism:
Intermittent fasting can decrease body mass index and can increase lipid metabolism. Fasting cause marked decrease in visceral body fat and reduce level of triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein and overall reduction of size of these molecules which could lead to good Cardiovascular Health.