The Effect of Fasting on the Immune System of Athletes during Holly Ramadan


avatar Hossein Ali Khazaei 1 , *

Department of Immunology and Hematology, Children and Adolescencents Health Research Center, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

how to cite: Khazaei H A . The Effect of Fasting on the Immune System of Athletes during Holly Ramadan. Zahedan J Res Med Sci. 2014;16(6): -.


Background: Holly Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which millions of mature and obligated Muslims fast many hours during a day in all over the world. This study was performed to evaluate some immune factors in fasting athletes during the month.
Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study was performed in 90 athletes with physical activity of 2-3 hours per day, age ranged of 16-36 years old, during holly Ramadan. Serum immunoglobulin levels of IgG, IgM, IgA and IgE, as well as serum complement components of C3, C4 and blood count cells with differential evaluation were measured at the beginning and end of holy Ramadan.
Results: Mean serum IgA level has significantly increased from 239.2±98.2 mg/dL before Ramadan to 262.8±88.6 mg/dL at the end of this month (p=0.008). Mean serum C4 level was 258.2±150.6 g/L and 330.7±127.6 g/L before and after Ramadan, respectively (p<0.001). However, the percentage of lymphocytes was decreased from 37.81±4.14% before Ramadan to 36.50±5.98% at the end (p=0.005) and neutrophils was decreased from 60.0±4.2% before this month to 56.2±8.3% at the end of the month (p=0.003).
Conclusion: Fasting seems to have positive effects on increasing the serum levels of C4, IgA levels, which could have protective effect on the athletes’ immune system against infection during exercise.


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