Sep 6, 2008

Scientific Evidence on the Benefits of Fasting

Assalamu'alaikum wa Rahmatullah.

Insha'Allah this reaches you all in the highest state of Iman.

I was doing some reading and came across this site that laid down some scientific proof of the benefits of fasting:


The material I found proves one of the recommendations of the Prophet (saw) –namely that of the BEST fast that there is – fasting one day and then not fasting the next and repeating the cycle so it’s an alternate day fast or an intermittent fast.

Here is the hadith:

He said, ‘Then fast one day and break the fast the next. That is the fast of Dawud, peace be upon him, and it is the fairest fast.’ (One variant has, ‘It is the best fast.’) I said, ‘I can do better than that.’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘There is nothing better than that.’
(Riyadh-us-Saliheen, hadith 150)

And here is the scientific proof.

Dietary restriction has been shown to have several health benefits including increased insulin sensitivity, stress resistance, reduced morbidity, and increased life span. The mechanism remains unknown, but the need for a long-term reduction in caloric intake to achieve these benefits has been assumed. We report that when C57BL/6 mice are maintained on an intermittent fasting (alternate-day fasting) dietary-restriction regimen their overall food intake is not decreased and their body weight is maintained. Nevertheless, intermittent fasting resulted in beneficial effects that met or exceeded those of caloric restriction including reduced serum glucose and insulin levels and increased resistance of neurons in the brain to excitotoxic stress. Intermittent fasting therefore has beneficial effects on glucose regulation and neuronal resistance to injury in these mice that are independent of caloric intake.

But mice that were fed regularly only every other day—receiving the same average calorie intake as the dieting mice—showed “[dramatically] increased neurogenesis,” and also showed an increase in learning and memory abilities, Thuret said.

SubhanAllah...truly amazing eh?

May Allah (swt) accept our fasting and du'as during this blessed month and may He reserve for us all a spot in Paradise. Ameen.

Wassalamu'alaikum wa Rahmatullah.