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The Effect of Ramadan Fasting on IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in Pre-menarche Girls

Background: The metabolic and endocrine effects of fasting have been studied in healthy adults but not in adolescent children. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Ramadan fasting on the serum of insulin-like growth factor -1 (IGF-1) and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) among pre-pubertal girls.

Methods: This study was performed during Ramadan of 2012. Fifty-eight girls aged 9-13 years old who either fasted or did not fast as per their own choice participated. Anthropometric and hormonal assessment was undertaken before and after Ramadan. Body composition was measured using bio-impedance analyzer method and tanner stages were determined following examination by an endocrine pediatrician. Serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were measured using Radio Immunoassay and ELISA kit, respectively.

Results: Ramadan induced a significant decrease in BMI and weight in the fasting group (P=0.005, P=0.044, respectively) while a significant increase was observed in the non-fasting group (P<0.001). After Ramadan, IGFBP-3 concentration decreased in the fasting group but increased in the nonfasting group; although the changes were not statistically significant (P>0.05 for both). However, serum IGF-1 concentration increased significantly after Ramadan in the non-fasting group (P=0.005). IGF-1 concentration increased in the fasting group although this was not significantly different from baseline the fasting group (P>0.05).

Conclusions: In the present study, no difference was observed in IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentrations between fasting and non-fasting groups in pre menarche girls; however, a significant increase of IGF-1 was found in the non-fasting group after Ramadan compared to before Ramadan.

Author(s): Shohreh Bahre Ini, Maryam Alinezhad-Namaghi, Elena Philippou, Rahim Vakili, Behrouz Talaei, Abdolreza Norouzy, Habibollah Esmaily and Mohsen Nematy

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