(KUTV) Intermittent fasting is one of the latest diet trends, but could this eating pattern actually improve your health? That’s what a new study out of Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute is looking to answer. The WONDERFUL trial asks whether or not intermittent fasting could be a solution for patients at risk of developing a chronic disease.
“We’re essentially weaponizing fasting in the fight against heart disease and diabetes,” says Dr. Benjamin Horne from Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.
The study has two groups: a control group and the fasting group. Ray Vermeer is part of the fasting group.
“The first month was pretty challenging because it’s two 24-hour fasts, two fasts per week for a month,” says Ray.
After the first month it gets much easier. The remaining five months, participants fast once a week. During the fast, the only thing participants can have is water. Ray says drinking water and staying busy have been key to his first three months of fasting.
“It’s easier than you think. If you have anything at all to do during the day, then the day goes by pretty fast,” says Ray.
The WONDERFUL trial is still enrolling. The study is looking for people ages 21-60 with moderately-high LDL (bad) cholesterol. Eligible participants also need to have one additional risk factor such as prediabetes, high-blood pressure, low HDL (good) cholesterol, high triglycerides, or being overweight.
“We are looking for people who are not necessarily healthy, but they haven’t had a diagnosis of a chronic disease yet,” says Dr. Horne.
Participants should not be in need of medication, but are in need of a lifestyle change.
“We’re not advocating alternate fasting over medications. If you’re already on medications, this is not a study where we’re attempting to take you off of medications,” says Viet Le, Pa-C at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.