London, Nov 7 (UNI) Fasting one day a month could help cut the risk of heart attack, scientists say.
Experts believe a break from food could help re-set the body's metabolism, enabling it to work more efficiently as a result.
In a study of Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which requires followers to fast once a month, it was found that fasting for at least 24 hours cuts the risk of coronary artery disease by up to 40 per cent, compared with those who eat every day.
''People who fast seem to receive a heart-protective benefit, and this appeared to also hold true in non-LDS (Latter Day Saints) people who fast as part of a health-conscious lifestyle,'' the Daily Mail quoted study author Dr Benjamin Horne, professor of biomedical informatics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City as saying.
His team examined the records of patients who had had a coronary angiography-- an X-ray examination of the blood vessels of the heart to look for blockages-- between 1994 and 2002. Of 4,629 men and women whose arteries could be clearly examined, Mormons were less likely to have coronary artery disease, defined as 70 per cent narrowing or blocking of at least one artery.
A further study of 515 patients who had angiography between 2004 and 2006 found those who fasted were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with coronary artery disease than those who did not fast.