Fasting might seem like an impossible task for most people, given the amount of easily available snacks that seem to be everywhere. While abstaining from food is often difficult, new research indicates that it could benefit the heart health among those who have undergone cardiac catheterization.
Putting Food to the Side
For those who are unfamiliar with this procedure, cardiac catheterization is done in order to examine the heart for various health problems. To do this, a doctor will insert a long, thin tube called a catheter into the body through either the groin, neck or arm. The doctor will then guide the catheter towards the heart through the body’s blood vessels.
The study in question was conducted by the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. Researchers from this institute studied over 2,000 people from 2013 through 2015, all of whom underwent cardiac catheterization during this time period. Each participant was tracked for four and a half years following the procedure.
Upon reviewing this group of subjects, the authors determined that survival rates were higher amongst those who fasted on a regular basis. Even when a subject’s health history, lifestyle decisions and medication use were taken into account, the connection between fasting and relatively high survival rates remained intact.
When a person engages in intermittent fasting, they often strictly limit their calories over a 24 hour period. Alternatively, some people will minimize their caloric consumption during a certain range of time, such as from 9AM to 2PM.
Not For Everyone
In summarizing his team’s findings, lead researcher Benjamin Horne noted that the study represented “another example of how we’re finding that regularly fasting can lead to better health outcomes and longer lives.” However, the team also cautioned that additional research will be needed to confirm their findings. They are also quick to note that fasting is not something which everyone can safely do; expecting mothers, for example, should refrain from fasting.