Washington: Observing fasts have long been considered as a step to please the almighty and cleanse our soul, but a new study claims that routine 24-hour water-only fasting is also good for your health and your heart.

US research cardiologists found that routine fasting can lower your risks of developing coronary artery disease and diabetes and also can improve your blood cholesterol levels. The study also reveals that fasting for 24 hours can bolster a metabolic protein called human growth hormone that protects lean muscles.

Another study reported in American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007 also found a link between lower rates of heart disease and people who fast one day each month for religious practices.

While some experts agreed that a one-day water fast won't do too much harm, they urge caution when trying a more extended detox plan, such as the Master Cleanse or Lemon Detox Diet, Fat Flush, 21 Pounds in 21 Days, or the Liver Detox Diet.
"Extreme diets generally do little more than causing frustration, are potentially dangerous, and are in general a waste of time and money," Michelle May, MD and author of Am I Hungry?,said.

Strict regimens can lead to fluid losses that can upset your electrolyte balance, causing upset stomach, headaches, fatigue, moodiness, and even dehydration.

Experts also say that your body naturally detoxes itself through your hardworking kidneys and liver which eliminate toxins. If you're looking for a safe cleanse or a way to lose weight, load up on healthful all-natural foods, drink lots of filtered water, and avoid excess medications and alcohol.


(Agencies)