Can short term starvation be a reason for mineral imbalance in healthy women?

Wojciak, Rafal W.
March 2014
Trace Elements & Electrolytes;2014 1st Quarter, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p33
Academic Journal
Objective: More than 50% of women are dissatisfied with their body shape and are of the opinion that they are too large or obese and look for a simple method of reducing body weight, such as short-term fasting. It is still unknown how reducing the calorie intake in the diet by excluding or limiting the fat or/and sugar sources, without taking care of mineral sources, may influence on trace elements changes in the body. Methods: The study describes the effect of 1- and 2-days food restrictions (every 8th day within the 48-day period) on the concentrations of the calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper in the serum, hair, and urine of46 (23 in each group) healthy volunteer women aged 25.5 ± 3.0. The study's influence on body mass, BMI and body fat, as well as energy and mineral intake by the subjects was also assessed. Results: The intake of energy and the minerals by the women was lower than recommended levels, but was typical. The body mass and the body mass index were lower after the study than before. However, the fat content did not change. There were no changes in the serum, hair, and urine calcium concentrations and hair and urine magnesium levels in women starved 1- or 2-days. The changes in zinc and copper levels in hair and urine in the women who used the 1 -day starvation technique were not observed. The statistically significant lower levels of serum zinc and magnesium in 1 -day starving women, and hair and serum zinc and serum magnesium in women starved 2 days were observed after the study as well as before, although the copper concentrations were higher in these tissues. Conclusions: The results of the current study suggest that short-term starvation significantly decreases the mineral concentration in tissues of young women, although their negative or positive effects are still unclear.


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