Intermittent Fasting

Recently, there has been growing interest in intermittent fasting. In clinic, I find it is much easier to answer questions about coronary angiography and interventions than it is about fasting. This month, I invited Dr. Christian Assad to provide us with an overview of intermittent fasting in a Video Interview.

Dr. Assad is currently an Interventional Cardiologist and the Director of the CardioMetabolic Clinic at RGV Cardiology in McAllen, Texas. His previous research involves the role of the immune system with heart failure, application of google glass in tele-mentoring. Since he moved to McAllen, Texas (arguably the most obese city in United States) he started focusing on prevention and the therapeutic roles of Intermittent Fasting, Ketogenic diet, Low Carbohydrate diet and other lifestyles that have helped many of his patients revert the metabolic syndrome and put DMII in remission.

The interview addresses all the following:

  1. Is it just a fad or are there health benefits? (Are there health benefits beyond weight loss?)
  2. What are the different methods of intermittent fasting and which do you recommend from your own experience?
  3. Is intermittent fasting recommended for life or only brief periods?
  4. What are the physiological effects of intermittent fasting?
  5. In which individuals would intermittent fasting be contraindicated?
  6. Can we debunk these myths?
    • Diabetes control becomes difficult with interrupted fasting compared to regular frequent meals.
    • Pregnant women who fast can harm the fetus.
    • Elderly individuals don’t benefit from fasting. In fact, fasting may accelerate dementia.
    • Intermittent fasting curtails the effects of exercise and body building programs?