Cardiovascular disorders are the 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 the 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 the heart and associated system from developing complications. It not only act directly on the body’s cardiovascular system but also controls 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 activates the parasympathetic system and releases acetylcholine into the bloodstream. 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 assumed that the effect is brought about by vagus nerve activation.
Obesity is a predisposing factor to cardiac diseases. Another benefit of fasting is the control of obesity in multiple ways. Fasting is a safe and effective mechanism of reducing weight that also helps in the control of cardiovascular diseases. Recent research shows that although the caloric intake may be constant pre and post Ramadan there is considerable weight loss due to intermittent fasting. Optimal weight and lower BMI have a positive impact on Cardiovascular Health.
Diabetes is another risk factor for heart diseases. Fasting improves glucose metabolism and decreases insulin tolerance. Fasting release stored energy from liver and help in burning of adipose tissues. Diabetes can progressively cause a 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 a longer period of time. This results in better outcomes for Cardiovascular Health.
Impact of fasting on inflammatory biomarkers:
Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of cardiovascular-related death in the World. It clinically manifests in the form of ischemic heart diseases, artery disease, and stroke. It is a chronic condition in which plaque forms in arteries gradually. One of the most important factors for developing atherosclerosis is the 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 the 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 caused a marked decrease in visceral body fat and reduce the level of triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein, an overall reduction of the size of these molecules which could lead to good Cardiovascular Health.