5:2 is bad for female health?

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5:2 is bad for female health?

This topic contains 26 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  splashabs 9 years, 4 months ago.

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  • Hi everyone,

    I have been on the 5:2 for about six weeks now. Have lost half a stone and experienced common side effects mentionned in forums so have not been concerned. Find the diet easy to stick to and plan to switch to 6:1 when I reach my target weight.

    However, I read an article in this months Glamour magazine called “What Nobody Tells You About 5:2”. The article states that research on this diet has mainly been conducted on men, and that female research has had negative results. The main points were a negative effect on fertility and blood sugar levels and insulin control meaning that risk of diabetes is higher.

    I have noticed on the forum women mentionning lighter periods and longer cycles and the article states that fasting causes the body to put ovulation at the bottom of its priority list.

    I was just wondering if anybody else had these same concerns? I am really enjoying the diet but do not want to compromise my health or fertility levels!

    hi holly789

    went 2 glamour magazine http://www.glamour.com/
    put in search 5:2
    or fast or diet or all kinds of combos

    also searched on google scholar

    google bing etc

    nothing on all sites

    may we please have the link of ur article
    it always helps 2 look @ the whole article

    thanks
    & congrats on ur half a stone 🙂

    Hi wiltldnrUSA,

    Sorry, I did try to find the article in question online so I could post a link for others reference. However, like you I found nothing so I assume, at the moment at least, the article is only available in the UK edition of this months magazine. I have tried to summarise the main points above without making it too lengthy so if anyone has any further questions I will try to pull them from the article!

    Thanks 🙂

    if u could type where they got this info
    we can research that
    thnks

    Try these links.

    http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/373665/Caveman-fasting-diet-may-leave-women-diabetic

    http://ifasters.com/intermittent-fasting-and-fertility-in-women/

    It’s interesting to note though, that studies have only been carried out on a tiny proportion of humans, the rest is on rats.

    thanks aniann

    4 finding these links

    now i know where the energy insomia comes from

    but 4 women over 50 it seems 2 be good

    “They also become increasingly alert and active, which may account for the fact women are also more susceptible to insomnia on the 5:2 regime.” that’s me 😀

    “This dangerous apple-shape becomes more common in women after menopause, which suggests there may be some benefits to the 5:2 regime for those over 50. However, for younger women there are serious concerns about fasting and fertility.

    Studies at the American National Institute on Ageing found that when rats are put on a restricted diet the females stop ovulating and their ovaries shrink.

    http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/373665/Caveman-fasting-diet-may-leave-women-diabetic

    i think if i still wanted 2 create a family

    i would be kind of scared of sabotaging that

    i know how hard it was 2 create
    & never did

    however, as pointed out in this article

    “The studies that show decreased fertility levels in rats and mice are pretty much irrelevant to humans because they are ‘foragers’ compared to us hunter-gatherers. Any period of time that a species who forage for food (and therefore rarely go without it) is likely to trigger a decrease in reproduction hormones as the message their body is receiving is that ‘food is scarce’. Throughout the Paleolithic era (the majority of the time humans have been on earth) we ate intermittently naturally, when we could find and hunt for food.
    A recent study in human females in the International Journal of Fertility and Sterility (2010) looked at the effect of intermittent fasting on ovulation and fertility hormones such as follicle stimulating hormone, estradiol and progesterone, in 24 women with normal menstrual cycles. They found that there were no changes in these hormones when fasting compared with not fasting, and no changes at all in ovulation.”

    http://ifasters.com/intermittent-fasting-and-fertility-in-women/

    thanks again 4 alerting us Holly789

    % 4 aniann supplying the links

    it’s nice 2 have a forum that lets us make our informed decisions. don’t we have the greatest and nicest forum on the planet

    so proud of this place !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    many other forums

    so many r nasty 🙁

    yay yay yay 😀

    Thanks for posting these links guys. Makes me feel better, I’m 22 and not planning a family yet but don’t want to sabotage my chances later on in life in any way! Might just ask my doctor and see their opinion 🙂

    thanks 2 u

    @ least now u know that rats r not u
    & that they have a good reason 2 stop producing

    we r like our ancestors that did THE IF
    naturally & no problems in producing
    🙂

    Ah that well respected scientific journal- Glamour magazine! Says it all really. Sorry but if you are going to put forward arguments as to why women should not use this diet to lose weight then please use legitimate sources.

    Glad you found the links useful. Holly, you were right to have some concern but at least you can now relax a little. I’m always very suspicious of women’s magazines sensationalising things just for the sake of a story. Talking with your doctor is always the best thing to do. I thought mine would say the 5:2 wasn’t good but quite the opposite. He said his wife was using it and very successfully. He’s quite young so I’m guessing she must be too. Therefore neither of them are worrying that it will affect fertility. 🙂

    Thanks guys. ljc1011 I am aware Glamour magazine isn’t a well respected scientific journal and was not trying to promote it as one. I just thought I would use these forums for their purpose to share my concerns and see if anyone else had any thoughts. Good point about our ancestors wiltldnrUSA – I had not thought of that!

    Holly789

    it was not me w/ that point though ur welcome 😉 it was in the link

    c b low

    “The studies that show decreased fertility levels in rats and mice are pretty much irrelevant to humans because they are ‘foragers’ compared to us hunter-gatherers. Any period of time that a species who forage for food (and therefore rarely go without it) is likely to trigger a decrease in reproduction hormones as the message their body is receiving is that ‘food is scarce’. Throughout the Paleolithic era (the majority of the time humans have been on earth) we ate intermittently naturally, when we could find and hunt for food.
    A recent study in human females in the International Journal of Fertility and Sterility (2010) looked at the effect of intermittent fasting on ovulation and fertility hormones such as follicle stimulating hormone, estradiol and progesterone, in 24 women with normal menstrual cycles. They found that there were no changes in these hormones when fasting compared with not fasting, and no changes at all in ovulation.”

    http://ifasters.com/intermittent-fasting-and-fertility-in-women/

    & ljc1011

    i just finished praising our forum on how nice we all r
    i guess it was one of those fastday crankinesses 😀

    holly still thanks
    these r legitimate concerns 4 all

    wish u continued success in this fastday lifestyle
    please still share w/ us

    oops this is also
    all thanks 2 aniann
    finding these links w/ more info

    sorry aniann

    Holly, I think Glamour magazine published a misstatement when the article said that the research done on intermittent fasting was mostly done on men (as far as I know, there is no published research on the 5:2 diet itself). The research for the 2-Day Diet, which also involves intermittent fasting, was done on women because the researchers were interested in preventing breast cancer, and 90% of the people who get breast cancer are women. The research that Krista Varady has done in Chicago on alternate-day fasting involved both women and men (Mosley & Spencer, “The FastDiet”, chapter 1). Since they seem to have missed these important studies, I don’t think they have all the information they need to publish a well-informed article.

    It seems likely that breast cancer researchers might have monitored levels of estrogen, progesterone, etc., but I do not know if they in fact did so. I wonder if Michael Mosley might know.

    I wonder where Glamour magazine got the idea that intermittent fasting leads to worse blood sugar control for women. If they have actual evidence of that it would be of concern. But the breast cancer researchers reported that the 2-day dieters had a greater improvement in their insulin function than the daily dieters in their study did (Michelle Harvie & Tony Howell, “The 2-Day Diet,” chapter 1).

    It seems some newspaper or magazine will always be scaremongering about something or other, so I take it all with a pinch of salt and will carry on with the diet regardless! I’m well past the menopause anyway and not diabetic. If doctors are recommending it, that’s good enough for me, as long as I stick to the calories on fast days and neither starve myself or overeat on the others. If it starts to make me feel really ill I’ll stop.

    Ann

    Personally I’m more inclined to believe the NHS than these scaremongers

    http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/01January/Pages/Does-the-5-2-intermittent-fasting-diet-work.aspx

    Puny –

    Great article with reference to prior studies done on IF.

    It encourages me further with thoughts on longevity.

    Thank you for this.

    I saw this article yesterday evening whilst waiting in the dr surgery.

    I did panic a bit but am going to do some research.

    Given that fasting allows the body to have a rest from digestion and start repairing(as I understand it), it would make sense that it would actually help fertility issues.

    A point made in the article (by one of the experts in fertility – Zita West, I think) was that it stresses the body (a good thing in some respects) so ovulation moves down the list of important things for the body to do.

    It would be interesting to see what Dr Christine Northrup has to say on the topic as she’s an expert in women’s health

    Anyway, the comments above are very helpful – many thanks 🙂

    I have posted a message on both Zita West Dr Northrup’s facebook page so we’ll see what they say, if anything, I guess! 🙂

    Holly789

    this was discussed & our very helpful posters research w/ the links 2 the original article

    basically the conclusion is

    “The studies that show decreased fertility levels in rats and mice are pretty much irrelevant to humans because they are ‘foragers’ compared to us hunter-gatherers. Any period of time that a species who forage for food (and therefore rarely go without it) is likely to trigger a decrease in reproduction hormones as the message their body is receiving is that ‘food is scarce’. Throughout the Paleolithic era (the majority of the time humans have been on earth) we ate intermittently naturally, when we could find and hunt for food.
    A recent study in human females in the International Journal of Fertility and Sterility (2010) looked at the effect of intermittent fasting on ovulation and fertility hormones such as follicle stimulating hormone, estradiol and progesterone, in 24 women with normal menstrual cycles. They found that there were no changes in these hormones when fasting compared with not fasting, and no changes at all in ovulation.”

    http://ifasters.com/intermittent-fasting-and-fertility-in-women/

    u will enjoy how the conclusion came about it is so cool how we rallied around the young lady she had every right 2 b concerned

    5:2 is bad for female health?

    http://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/52-is-bad-for-female-health/#post-9750

    I’m 31, a breastfeeding mother, 2 active toddlers. My periods are as clockwork as ever. My milk supply is stellar.

    Sorry for my weak anecdotal evidence. In the spirit of science I will make the following point: Glamour magazine is not written by academics nor is it peer reviewed.

    Glamour my ass.

    While I would question the legitimacy of an article in Glamour magazine, I have experienced extremely erratic cycles on 5:2 (I used to be like clockwork, tracked through an iPhone app). I have been on 5:2 for almost one year now and have lost 10kg as a result (current weight is 58kg). Since October last year, so 5 months after I started, I’ve had 3 or 4 very light cycles when I should have had at least 7.

    Just for reference I’m 29 years old.

    Interesting…….I’ve been doing 5:2 since 3rd March (had 2 x 6:1 weeks) and only lost 5lbs but this month I was 5 days late for my period….I am NEVER late. I’m 40.

    Since I am 54, my periods are supposed to be erratic or even end, but they have only changed.

    When you, I noticed when I lose weight that my periods were slightly off (late and lighter) for a bit until my body became used to the reduced amount of mass.

    “The studies that show decreased fertility levels in rats and mice are pretty much irrelevant to humans because they are ‘foragers’ compared to us hunter-gatherers. Any period of time that a species who forage for food (and therefore rarely go without it) is likely to trigger a decrease in reproduction hormones as the message their body is receiving is that ‘food is scarce’. Throughout the Paleolithic era (the majority of the time humans have been on earth) we ate intermittently naturally, when we could find and hunt for food…”

    The Paleolithic argument is not based on science. It is an inference based on inferences made by some (not all) archeologists.

    “A recent study in human females in the International Journal of Fertility and Sterility (2010) looked at the effect of intermittent fasting on ovulation and fertility hormones such as follicle stimulating hormone, estradiol and progesterone, in 24 women with normal menstrual cycles. They found that there were no changes in these hormones when fasting compared with not fasting, and no changes at all in ovulation.

    http://ifasters.com/intermittent-fasting-and-fertility-in-women/

    The link provided is to a summary of results of actual science sprinkled with speculation. However it does contain a further link to a scientific report. Relevant details were left out. The length of time for fasting was 11 hours and it was repeated daily for a month. (Islamic fasting).

    Conclusion: In the interest of earning a living as a journalist, there is no limit on stretching the truth in the interest of writing entertaining articles.

    If you dig for the actual science and you can wade through the scientific jargon, you will find that fasting 1 day every 3 or 4 days is likely beneficial to your health and will not harm healthy adults.

    If you can stick to a 5:2 diet and you can’t stick to a daily calorie restricted diet for the rest of your life, then the 5:2 diet is far better.

    The 5:2 diet may provide health benefits beyond a daily calorie restricted diet of the same number of calories per week. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3017674/

    Alternate day fasting (900 calories) by senior citizens in a nursing home for 3 years cut the death rate in half.

    A three or four day water only fast every month is highly likely to provide significant immunity to acquired cancer, diabetes II, and heart disease.
    Extensive studies on animals by Victor Longo and others. 20 year study of Ecuador population of dwarfs by Victor Longo.

    My speculation: Various forms of periodic fasting show positive scientific signs. All the criticisms I have seen are anecdotal and without scientific support. The criticism that 5:2 dieting has limited scientific support is technically true until you consider studies of other intermittent fasting plans. There is more scientific support for the 5:2 diet plan than most other diet plans followed my millions of people. Even the government advocated diet guidelines are frequently withdrawn after 20 or 30 years because they rely to much on inferences, correlation studies, and political pressure.

    regards,
    Paul Bristol

    I started fasting last April after being attracted by the health claims. I was a fit healthy person but wanted to do all I could. For the first 6 months I felt great and lost half a stone. I then noticed that my periods had started to be very irregular and my PMT was terrible. I got tested by the doctor for all sorts of things as I started to feel terrible, had insomnia and no energy. My partner suggested it might be the Fast diet but as I was such an advocate for it I didn’t want to see the link. I continued until July this year and to be honest was not enjoying it at all. I felt controlled by it, looked older and was more stressed. So i finally gave up. My periods have returned to normal. I feel better and sleep better. However I have put on a stone since stopping so weigh more than before I started. I eat v healthily and exercise every day. So I am questioning the claims that it doesn’t affect your metabolism. I have since read many personal testimonials form Pre menopausal woman who have had similar negative experiences. I would just like woman to make sure they do as much research as possible before starting and if it doesn’t work for them to stop.

    would you consider going back on the 5:2 diet to ensure that it was the diet that caused the issues – just in case it was a co-incidence or placebo effect? Just a thought…..

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