Study, warriors diet, fasting affects health, effects of intermittent fasting, health, latest news, updates

Study, warriors diet, fasting affects health, effects of intermittent fasting, health, latest news, updates


The researchers noticed differences in hormone levels in the women who were using the Warrior Diet method of intermittent fasting.

Representative image | Photo: Getty Images

Chicago [US]: Although intermittent fasting has been shown to be a successful method for losing weight, some have expressed concern that it may harm a woman’s reproductive hormones. Recently, a group of researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago published a study on obesity that adds new information to the debate.

Eight weeks were spent observing a group of obese pre- and postmenopausal women who were using the “warrior diet” technique of intermittent fasting, under the supervision of researchers led by Krista Faraday, professor of nutrition at UIC.

The Warrior Diet calls for a four-hour window each day during which dieters are allowed to eat without counting calories before beginning a water fast until the next day.

They measured the differences in hormone levels between groups of dieters who adhered to four- and six-hour feeding windows and a control group that did not follow dietary restrictions, using data from blood samples.

Faraday and her team discovered that after eight weeks of dieting, levels of sex-binding globulin, a protein that transports reproductive hormones throughout the body, remained unchanged. Both testosterone and androstenedione, a steroid hormone that the body uses to produce both testosterone and estrogen, showed the same behavior.

Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is a hormone that fertility clinics recommend to improve ovarian function and egg quality, but at the conclusion of the trial, it was significantly lower in both pre- and postmenopausal women, decreasing by about 14%.

While the decrease in DHEA levels was the study’s most important finding, in both pre- and postmenopausal women, DHEA levels remained within the normal range by the end of the eight-week period.

“This suggests that in premenopausal women, the slight decrease in DHEA levels must be weighed against the proven fertility benefits of lower body mass,” said Faraday. “The decrease in DHEA levels in postmenopausal women may be worrisome because menopause already causes a significant decrease in oestrogen, and DHEA is a major component of estrogen. However, a survey of participants reported no Negative side effects associated with low estrogen – menopause, such as impotence or skin changes.”

In addition, Faraday noted that because elevated DHEA is associated with breast cancer risk in pre- and postmenopausal women, a moderate decrease in levels may be beneficial in reducing this risk.

Levels of estradiol, estrone, and progesterone were also measured in the study, but only in postmenopausal women because levels of these hormones fluctuate during the menstrual cycles of premenopausal women. All of these hormones are necessary for pregnancy. At the end of eight weeks, these hormones have not changed in postmenopausal women.

Compared to the control group, who lost almost no weight, the women in the four- and six-hour diet groups lost between 3% and 4% of their starting weight during the study period. Additionally, dieters noted a decrease in biomarkers of oxidative stress and insulin resistance.

Women in their 40s experiencing menopause were not included in the study.

However, Varaday said, “I think this is a great first step. We have observed thousands of pre- and postmenopausal women with different strategies of alternate-day fasting and time-restricted eating. All it does is make people eat less. By By shortening this eating period, you are naturally cutting calories. A lot of the negative information about intermittent fasting reported has come from studies in mice or rats. We need more studies to look at the effects of intermittent fasting in humans.”

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