Effects of Ramadan fasting on lean body mass in the older people

  • Sibel AkınEmail author
  • Firuzan Fırat Özer
  • Gülşah Güneş Şahin
  • Nurhayat Tuğra Özer
Research Paper

Key summary points


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the physiological effects of Ramadan fasting on muscle function and muscle mass in the older people.


We found that body weight and composition were not influenced by Ramadan fasting in both females and males.


Ramadan fasting supplied no risk for muscle function and muscle mass in the older people.



In Islam, Ramadan fasting is a unique model that is associated with the restriction of food and fluid intake. We aimed to estimate the physiological effects of Ramadan fasting on muscle function and muscle mass in the older people.


A random sample was recruited from healthy older Muslims people aged 60 years and older, who expressed an intention to fast for 30 days during the month of Ramadan. Walking speed was expressed in meters per second (m/s). Muscle strength was assessed by hand grip strength (HGS) with a dynamometer. A Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) device (BodystatQuadScan 1500, UK) was used for the evaluation of body composition. Dietary data of the patients during Ramadan were obtained by a 43-item Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ).


The mean age [Standard Deviation(SD)] of the older people was 66.7(4.7) years of age and 50% were females. There were no significant changes in body weight, muscle function and muscle mass before and after Ramadan fasting in both genders. The mean SMI, mean (SD) kg/m2, values of females and males with adequate milk and yogurt consumption before and after Ramadan fasting were 8.03 (0.75) kg/m2 and 8.43(1.03) kg/m2 for females (p = 0.133) and 10.11(0.79) kg/m2 and 10.35 (0.93) kg/m2 for males (p = 0.59), respectively.


Ramadan fasting supplied no risk for muscle function and muscle mass in the older people. If the older people consume enough milk and yogurt in Ramadan, they may not loss muscle mass.


Ramadan fasting Loss of lean mass Older people 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research commitee (Erciyes University Ethics Commitee/Decision no: 218/424) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration standards and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Individual informed consent was obtained from all the participants.


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Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sibel Akın
    • 1
    Email author
  • Firuzan Fırat Özer
    • 1
  • Gülşah Güneş Şahin
    • 2
  • Nurhayat Tuğra Özer
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, Erciyes School of MedicineErciyes UniversityKayseriTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Nutrition, Erciyes School of MedicineErciyes UniversityKayseriTurkey

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