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Gorging and plasma HDL-cholesterol —The Ramadan model


Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a single evening meal (gorging) on plasma lipids and lipoproteins in normal individuals observing the Ramadan Fast. During the Ramadan month, Muslims refrain from food and liquids during the day and eat a large meal after sundown.

Design: Sequential measurement of plasma lipids and lipoproteins in Muslims observing the Ramadan Fast and non-fasting individuals.

Setting: The study was conducted in the Bedouin town of Rahat, in the northern Negev area of Israel.

Subjects: Twenty-two healthy subjects who fasted during Ramadan and 16 non-fasting laboratory workers, were studied before Ramadan, at week 1, 2 and 4 of the Ramadan month, and again four weeks after the end of Ramadan.

Results: Plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) rose significantly (P<0.001) at the week 4 measurement, returning to basal levels 4 weeks after the end of Ramadan. Total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), very-low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL), and lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] did not change significantly.

Conclusions: Plasma HDL increased by 23% after four weeks of gorging. The dietary change did not affect the composition of other lipoproteins, such as LDL, VLDL or Lp(a), other plasma biochemical parameters, or BMI. Prolonged gorging, well tolerated by all individuals, is a very effective non-pharmacological method to increase plasma HDL-cholesterol.

Sponsorship: This work was supported by funds from the Ben-Gurion University School of Medicine and Soroka Medical Center of Kupat Holim, Beer Sheva, Israel.

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Maislos, M., Abou-Rabiah, Y., Zuili, I. et al. Gorging and plasma HDL-cholesterol —The Ramadan model. Eur J Clin Nutr 52, 127–130 (1998).

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  • gorging
  • nibbling
  • high density lipoprotein
  • Ramadan

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