Assessment of the Effects of Periodic Fasting on Inflammation and Food Reward

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Addis Ababa University


Background: Increased urbanization and economic development have led to a shift to consumption of higher caloric diet. This dietary pattern is associated with markers of inflammation. Fasting plays a remarkable part in regulation of food intake. However, there is no study conducted on the role of fasting practice in relation to inflammation and food reward in Ethiopia. Objective: To assess the effects of periodic fasting on inflammation and food reward. Methodology: Before and after study design having controls was used among voluntarily selected participants and followed over Easter fasting period in two groups. The study populations for examining the effect of fasting on inflammation were fasters (n=42) and non-fasters or controls (n=38) groups. In addition, another fasters group (n=46) was involved in the study of effect of fasting on food reward. Participants were measured for serum high sensitive C reactive protein (hs-CRP) and anthropometric measurements before the beginning and at the end of fasting .Explicit liking, explicit wanting and 24 dietary recalls were collected at pre fast state and after the completion of fasting .The Three Factor Eating Questionnaire Revised 18 –Item (TFEQ-R18) traits were assessed only at pre fasting state. Paired t-test was used for comparison of baseline and end line measurements in each group. Besides, independent sample t-test was used for comparison of differences between groups. Bivariate correlations were used to evaluate associations between food rewards with TFEQ-R18traits. Results: Between the baseline and end line assessments, although the changes were statistically insignificant, among fasters hs-CRP decreased by 22.9℅ .In addition, fasters involving in liking and wanting have showed an insignificant increase in high fat savory (HFSA) liking by 10.2℅, low fat savory (LFSA) liking by 8.8℅, high fat sweet (HFSW) liking by 24.4℅, HFSA wanting by 5.2℅, LFSA wanting by 8.3℅, HFSW wanting by 9.3℅. The 24 hour dietary recall results showed that the participants consumed more energy from HFSA and LFSA foods at post fasting than pre fasting even though the change was still statistically not significant. Furthermore, it was seen that uncontrolled eating was positively associated with explicit liking for high fat savory foods (p<0.05). Besides, emotional eating was positively and significantly associated with explicit liking and explicit wanting for HFSA, HFSW and LFSA foods. Conclusion: Inflammatory marker (hs-CRP) was decreased and the food reward values were increased for most food categories (HFSA, LFSA and HFSW) among fasters after the end of fasting even though those presented differences were not statistically significant. This highlights that fasting might have a substantial positive impact on health if after fast cognitive controlling of eating is achieved.



Periodic Fasting, Explicit Liking and Wanting, Food Reward, Inflammation, TFEQ-R18traits, 24 Hour Dietary Recall