EFFECT OF RAMADAN FASTING ON SERUM PROTEIN CONCENTRATIONS IN MALE AND FEMALE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
S.A. Nagra, N. Shaista, M.Z.A. Nomani, and A. Ali
1Biochemistry Section, Institute of Chemistry, University of the Punjab, Lahore-54590, Pakistan
2Human Nutrition and Foods Discipline, Division of Family Resources, West Virginia University, Morgan Town 26506-6124, USA
3Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 34, PC 123, Al-Khoud, Muscat, Oman.
Keywords: Ramadan fasting, serum proteins, body weight, health effects, university students.
The present study evaluated the effect of Ramadan fasting on metabolic changes in serum proteins concentration in male and female university students. Thirty healthy university students (15 female and 15 male; average age 22 ? 1.8 years) with average body weights of 52.4 ? 2.8 kg and 64.7 ? 5.1 kg for female and male respectively, residing in separate university student’s hostel for males and females but with common dining arrangements, participated in the study. Fasting blood samples were obtained two days before the start of Ramadan fast and on 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th day of Ramadan. Daily dietary energy and protein intakes were 2100 ? 141 kcal and 2378 ? 145 kcal and 55.4 g and 58.8 g for females and males respectively. Overall the body weight did not show any significant (P > 0.05) variation during or at the end of fasting period. Serum total proteins and albumin levels declined in both the genders with advancing days of fasting. The decline in albumin levels in females was however much sharper and curvilinear (r2 = 0.4, P < 0.001) whereas in males it was linear (r = -0.69, P <0.001). The minimum level of albumin (4.2 g/dL) reached on 21st and 28th day of fasting. Although the levels of serum globulin, blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine increased significantly (P < 0.05) with the advancement of fasting days, the values remained within the normal physiological limits. The results suggest that Ramadan fasting has no adverse effects in normal healthy male and female university students.