Intermittent fasting may affect female hormones and fertility: Study


Intermittent fasting is very famous among celebrities these days. Through this many celebrities have lost their weight. Now common people are also adopting it. Some research suggests that intermittent fasting benefits physical health as well as mental health. Experts also mention some side effects of intermittent fasting. Recent studies suggest that intermittent fasting also affects female hormones and fertility. Before knowing about the study, let us know about intermittent fasting.

What is intermittent fasting

For intermittent fasting, the food is managed in such a way that a certain interval is kept between fasting and taking the diet. In this, a person has to skip miles by staying hungry for a long time. You are able to eat food in a given time only. Keeping fast for a long time every day leads to weight loss.

What does research say about this

A study was done on rats at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In a study conducted on rats, it was found that intermittent fasting affects the hormonal cycle and fertility. In view of the result, later studies were also done on humans. Researchers put 50 women into two groups. Those women were given food according to intermittent fasting for eight weeks. These included post-menopausal and pre-menopausal women. The participants’ blood samples were tested to measure sex hormone levels at certain times.

Eight-weeks later both groups lost almost the same amount of weight. But they showed some reduction in sex hormone levels. Both groups of women in the study found a statistically significant reduction in DHEA levels over eight weeks when they followed the intermittent fasting plan.

Possibility of trouble making sex hormones

The only hormone found to change significantly during the study was dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). It helps in making sex hormones in the body. These hormones also affect fertility later on. DHEA levels were seen to be affected by weight loss.

Intermittent fasting was seen to affect DHEA levels along with weight loss. Image: Shutterstock

However, despite the decline, the participants’ DHEA levels remained within the normal range. Due to this, there were no worrisome side effects in trials. Know that high levels of DHEA are also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. High levels of DHEA may also be related to irregular menstrual periods, excessive acne, and changes in hair development.

Intermittent fasting is not good for reproductive health

Even before this study, a research article was published in the Nutrition Journal in June. It was also included in PubMed Central. It presented a review of human trials for the effects of intermittent fasting on reproductive hormone levels in women and men. In this, authors Sofia Cienfuegos, Sara Corapi consider intermittent fasting for weight loss not good for women’s reproductive health.

Ye time body ko cells repair karne ke kaam aata hai
Intermittent fasting for weight loss is not considered good for women’s reproductive health. Image: Shutterstock

According to them, the study results suggest that intermittent fasting increases sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels in premenopausal women with obesity. It reduces the androgen marker – testosterone and the free androgen index.

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