The Effects of Orthodox Christian Fasting on Blood Coagulation
Maria Liali, Leonidas Mpirintzis, Eleni Vagdatli, Evagelia Pantziarela, Vasiliki Konstantinidou*, Eygenia Limperaki, Georgios Andreadis
Int. J. Bio. Lab. Sci  2015  4:39-43 Abstract】 PDF

Introduction: Several studies in recent literature refer to the effects of nutrition and religious fasting on blood coagulation. Nevertheless, the influence of Orthodox Christian fasting on blood coagulation has not yet been studied. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the 48 days that Orthodox Christians fast prior to Easter affects blood coagulation. Materials and Methods: The studied sample consisted of 41 volunteers, aged 20-55 years, who fasted and abstained from animal products for 48 days. For each participant, blood samples were collected in sodium citrate tubes before and after the fasting period. Prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), fibrinogen concentration, and the activity of coagulation factor VII (FVII) were measured with an automated coagulation analyzer. Data was analyzed using SPSS v.21 software for Windows. Normality of continuous data was determined. In order to compare the results before and after the fast t-test was applied. A p value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: At the end of the 48 day fasting period, a statistically significant decrease in APTT (p < 0.001) and FVII activity (p = 0.001) were noted. In contrast, PT increase and fibrinogen concentration decrease were observed, but neither change was statistically significant (p = 0.577 and p = 0.096, respectively). Conclusions: It is possible that blood coagulation is not affected by Orthodox Christian fasting, as the balance between the exogenous and the endogenous coagulation pathways does not change. This fact can be attributed to two possible mechanisms: a) low consumption of animal fatty acids has beneficial effects on the exogenous coagulation pathway, b) the endogenous coagulation pathway appears to show greater activation post-fasting, even the lower fibrinogen levels. The mechanism of this activation is still unknown and needs to be elucidated.
Key words: Orthodox Christian fasting, religious fasting, coagulation, hemostasis

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