Fasting is increasingly practiced to improve health and general well-being, as well as for its cytoprotective effects. Changes in blood redox status, linked to the development of a variety of metabolic diseases, have been recently documented during calorie restriction and intermittent fasting, but not with long-term fasting (LF). We investigated some parameters of the blood redox profile in 109 subjects before and after a 10-day fasting period. Fasting resulted in a significant reduction in body weight, improved well-being and had a beneficial modulating effect on blood lipids and glucose regulation. We observed that fasting decreased lipid peroxidation (TBARS) and increased total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in plasma, concomitant with a uric acid elevation, known to be associated with fasting and did not cause gout attacks. Reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase in erythrocytes did not show significant changes. In addition, reduction in body weight, waist circumference, and glucose levels were associated to a reduced lipid peroxidation. Similar results were obtained by grouping subjects on the basis of the changes in their GSH levels, showing that a period of 10 days fasting improves blood redox status regardless of GSH status in the blood.
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