Sunday February 24, 2019

New method may remove the idea of fasting before cholesterol test

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New method may remove the idea of fasting before cholesterol test
New method may remove the idea of fasting before cholesterol test. wikimedia commons

New York, Jan 3, 2018: A new method of calculating so-called “bad cholesterol” levels has the potential to do away with the need to fast before blood is drawn for such screening, say researchers.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, suggests that the new method is more accurate than an older method in people who did not fast before the cholesterol test.

The new method for calculating LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, was developed by Seth Martin and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US.

“Although the new LDL calculation method is a bit more complex, the beauty is that it can be performed using information that is already collected in the blood sample for the standard lipid profile and automated in the lab’s computer system to give a more accurate result,” Martin said.

“Since nonfasting samples are now accurate, it’s more convenient for patients because they can come in anytime and don’t need to return for a second appointment if they have eaten,” Martin added.

For the study, the researchers compared the accuracy of the new LDL calculation method with the Friedewald method, developed in the late 1970s when patients fasted or did not fast.

The Friedewald method was earlier shown by Martin and colleagues to underestimate LDL cholesterol levels, particularly in people with high triglycerides.

Triglycerides are fatty acids that tend to be higher in people with obesity and diabetes and that increase after eating.

The physicians did their comparison using data already gathered in a clinical repository.

In their final analysis, the researchers found that approximately 30 per cent of the nonfasting participants had greater than 10 milligrams per decilitre inaccurate cholesterol measurements using the Friedewald method compared with only three per cent error from the actual measured value with the new method.

The new test does not take any longer to provide results to physicians and patients, and the cost is the same to administer, the study said. (IANS)

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Here’s How Fasting Can Improve Your Overall Health

This study opens new avenues of investigation that could ultimately lead to the development of nutritional strategies to improve health in humans

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Wikimedia commons
Wikimedia commons

Fasting may not be just a religious or political practice. It may actually protect you against age-related diseases and improve your overall health, researchers say.

The study, led by a team from the University of California-Irvine (UCI), found that fasting affects circadian clocks in the liver and skeletal muscle, causing them to rewire their metabolism, which can ultimately lead to improved health and protection against age-related diseases.

The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment.

And, while food is known to influence clocks in peripheral tissues, it was unclear until now how the lack of food influences clock function and ultimately affects the body.

“We discovered fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation,” said lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Professor of Biological Chemistry at UCI.

“Skeletal muscle, for example, appears to be twice as responsive to fasting as the liver,” Sassone-Corsi added.

Water fasting can be harmful Wikimedia commons
How fasting can improve your overall health. Wikimedia commons

The research, detailed in the Cell Reports journal, was conducted using mice, which were subjected to 24-hour periods of fasting.

While fasting, the mice exhibited a reduction in oxygen consumption (VO2), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and energy expenditure, all of which were completely abolished by refeeding, which parallels results observed in humans.

“The reorganisation of gene regulation by fasting could prime the genome to a more permissive state to anticipate upcoming food intake and thereby drive a new rhythmic cycle of gene expression. In other words, fasting is able to essentially reprogram a variety of cellular responses,” Sassone-Corsi said.

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“Therefore, optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefiting health and protecting against age-associated diseases.”

This study opens new avenues of investigation that could ultimately lead to the development of nutritional strategies to improve health in humans. (IANS)