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Ramadan diurnal intermittent fasting is associated with significant plasma metabolomics changes in subjects with overweight and obesity: A prospective cohort study

  • Madkour, Mohamed1
  • Giddey, Alexander D.2
  • Soares, Nelson C.2, 3, 4
  • Semreen, Mohammad H.2, 3
  • Bustanji, Yasser5, 6
  • Zeb, Falak2
  • Halwani, Rabih2, 7
  • Faris, MoezAlIslam E.8
  • 1 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah , (United Arab Emirates)
  • 2 Research Institute of Medical and Health Sciences (RIMHS), University of Sharjah, Sharjah , (United Arab Emirates)
  • 3 Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Sharjah, Sharjah , (United Arab Emirates)
  • 4 Department of Human Genetics, National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA), Lisbon , (Portugal)
  • 5 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah , (United Arab Emirates)
  • 6 School of Pharmacy, Department of Biopharmaceutics and Clinical Pharmacy, The University of Jordan, Amman , (Jordan)
  • 7 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah , (United Arab Emirates)
  • 8 Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Health Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah , (United Arab Emirates)
Published Article
Frontiers in Nutrition
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jan 09, 2023
DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2022.1008730
  • Nutrition
  • Original Research


Introduction During the holy month of Ramadan, adult healthy Muslims are mandated to abstain from dawn to sunset, with free eating at night hours that may extend up to 12 h. The current work was designed to investigate the metabolomics changes incurred upon the observance of Ramadan diurnal intermittent fasting (RDIF). Methods Twenty-five metabolically healthy participants with overweight and obesity (7 females and 18 males, with a mean age of 39.48 ± 10.0 years) were recruited for the study and were followed before and at the end of RDIF month. Dietary, anthropometric, biochemical, and physical activity assessments were performed before and at the end of the fasting month. The metabolomic assay was performed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry for the two-time points. Results and discussion Metabolomics assay revealed a significant reduction in a few metabolites. The analysis revealed that 27 metabolites differed significantly (P < 0.05) between pre-and post-RDIF. Among the differentially abundant metabolites, 23 showed a decrease with fasting, these included several amino acids such as aspartame, tryptophan, phenylalanine, histidine, and other metabolites including valeric acid, and cortisol. On the other hand, only four metabolites showed increased levels after RDIF including traumatic acid, 2-pyrrolidinone, PC[18:1(9Z)/18:1(9Z)], and L-sorbose. The MetaboAnalyst® platform reported that the top enriched metabolic pathways included: (1) histidine metabolism; (2) folate biosynthesis (3) phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan biosynthesis; (4) aminoacyltRNA biosynthesis; (5) caffeine metabolism; (6) vitamin B6 metabolism; and several other pathways relating to lipid metabolisms such as arachidonic acid metabolism, glycerophospholipid metabolism, and linoleic acid metabolism. In conclusion, RDIF entails significant changes in various metabolic pathways that reflect different dietary and lifestyle behaviors practiced during the fasting month.

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