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Article

Ramadan Fasting Improves Body Composition without Exacerbating Depression in Males with Diagnosed Major Depressive Disorders

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Ministry of Health, Manama 410, Bahrain
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Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama 323, Bahrain
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University Sleep Disorders Center, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, P.O. Box 225503, Riyadh 11324, Saudi Arabia
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The Strategic Technologies Program of the National Plan for Sciences and Technology and Innovation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh 11324, Saudi Arabia
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Laboratory for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Departments and Statistics, York University, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada
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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany
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Military Nutrition Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA 01760, USA
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Teresa Vanessa Fiorentino
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2718; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082718
Received: 8 May 2021 / Revised: 3 August 2021 / Accepted: 5 August 2021 / Published: 7 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Implication of Intermittent Fasting on Health and Diseases)
Background: Ramadan fasting (RF) is a form of intermittent fasting that generally improves body composition and related metabolic profiles. Whether RF exacerbates depressive symptomatology in individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) is undetermined. Methods: 100 men, who lived in Bahrain and were between the ages of 18 and 64 years with an established diagnosis of MDD, participated in this 4-week study. Based on preference, participants were assigned to a fasting group (FG, n = 50) and a non-fasting group (NFG, n = 50). The FG engaged in fasting from 03:40 to 18:10 (dawn and dusk timings). Changes in depressive symptoms, body mass, body composition, and components of metabolic syndrome were measured. Results: There were no significant changes in depressive symptoms within the FG vs. NFG after controlling for baseline covariates: mean difference 0.49 (SE = 0.63), p = 0.43. No adverse effects were reported in either group. The FG experienced significant reductions in body mass, 1.87 kg, p = 0.001; body mass index, 0.69 kg/m2, p = 0.001; body fat, 0.87%, p = 0.001; body surface area, 0.03 m2, p = 0.001; and lean mass, 0.77 kg, p = 0.001. Conclusions: RF did not negatively affect depressive symptoms and improved body composition, suggesting short-term intermittent fasting may be a safe dietary practice for adult males with MDD. View Full-Text
Keywords: depression; intermittent fasting; mood disorders; metabolic syndrome depression; intermittent fasting; mood disorders; metabolic syndrome
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jahrami, H.; BaHammam, A.S.; Haji, E.A.; Bragazzi, N.L.; Rakha, I.; Alsabbagh, A.; Nugraha, B.; Pasiakos, S.M. Ramadan Fasting Improves Body Composition without Exacerbating Depression in Males with Diagnosed Major Depressive Disorders. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2718. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082718

AMA Style

Jahrami H, BaHammam AS, Haji EA, Bragazzi NL, Rakha I, Alsabbagh A, Nugraha B, Pasiakos SM. Ramadan Fasting Improves Body Composition without Exacerbating Depression in Males with Diagnosed Major Depressive Disorders. Nutrients. 2021; 13(8):2718. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082718

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jahrami, Haitham, Ahmed S. BaHammam, Eman Ahmed Haji, Nicola L. Bragazzi, Ihab Rakha, Amani Alsabbagh, Boya Nugraha, and Stefan M. Pasiakos. 2021. "Ramadan Fasting Improves Body Composition without Exacerbating Depression in Males with Diagnosed Major Depressive Disorders" Nutrients 13, no. 8: 2718. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082718

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