Cardiac Patients Should Be Wary of Fasting Diets

People with heart disease should be cautious about fashionable fasting diets that could damage the heart. A recent study found a sudden significant drop in calorie intake resulted in the release of fat into the bloodstream of dieters. From the bloodstream the fat was carried to the heart and absorbed. Fat levels in the hearts of study participants increased 44 percent.

Healthy people might not notice a change in heart function in the early stage of fasting, but people with cardiac problems could well experience breathlessness and an irregular heartbeat, according to the study’s authors.

Obese people in the study who suddenly cut their calorie intake to just 600-to-800 units a day lost an average of six per cent of their total body fat after just seven days.

“The heart muscle prefers to choose between fat or sugar as fuel and being swamped by fat worsens its function,” revealed Dr. Jennifer Rayner from the University of Oxford. “Caution is needed in people with heart disease.” Diet should be supervised for obese people who decide to fast, she recommended.

The researchers studied 21 obese volunteers with an average age of 52. Excess heart fat balances out by week eight of dieting, said researchers.

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