Friday, March 23, 2018 by Frances Bloomfield
Lemon, honey, and fasting: For some people, these words will look anything but connected, but these three, when combined, have been touted to be effective for weight loss, alcoholic liver disorders, and many other health conditions. Their short-term effects on lipid profile and body composition, however, are less known. Researchers from the SDM College of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences, Ujire and Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana have taken it upon themselves to uncover those effects — which they eventually discovered to be very promising.
For their study, published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, the team recruited 50 healthy individuals (32 females and 18 males) between 18 to 29 years of age. Before the participants went through the four-day fast, their body compositions and lipid profiles were assessed. Body composition is the ratio of body fat and fat-free mass, or lean tissue. The lipid profile is a medical screening tool for lipid (e.g., cholesterol and triglycerides) abnormalities.
As part of the experiment, the participants were gathered into a hall between 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and tasked with avoiding their daily routines for the duration of the fast. Each participant was given a 300 ml serving of lemon-honey juice (half a lemon and teaspoon of honey mixed with 290 ml of water) four times each day. The researchers allowed the participants to drink water whenever they were thirsty. Rigorous physical activity was discouraged to prevent hypoglycemia.
The participants were given more food one day after the four-day fast. In the morning, they received 300-milliliter glasses of sweet lime juice. Their afternoon meal was a 200-gram serving of papaya for each one. The final meal of the day was a “raw diet,” which consisted of 50 g of sprouts, a 100-gram fruit salad serving, and 100 g of raw vegetables. The participants returned to their normal diets and routines the day after.
Following the fast, the researchers measured the participants’ body compositions and lipid profiles. Of the 50 participants, six dropped out before completing the fast. Data gathered from the 44 remaining volunteers yielded highly positive results.
The researchers took note of “significant reductions” to the participants’ weight, body mass index (BMI), fat mass, fat-free mass, muscle mass, total body water, and total serum triglycerides. Further analysis revealed that only the female participants had undergone notable changes in all of these categories. The male participants only experienced losses in their weights, BMI, fat-free mass, and muscle mass, though the data suggested that the male participants had the potential to go through reductions in their fat mass and total serum triglycerides. (Related: A Woman Drank Honey Lemon Water for 1 Year – This Is What Happened)
Based on their findings, the researchers believed that these various changes were due to the combination of fasting and lemon-honey juice. The lack of food meant that muscle tissues and body fluids were utilized for energy production This, in turn, lead to the drops in fat-free mass, which includes muscle mass and total body water. Fats were used as well, as evidenced by the losses in fat mass and the lower total serum triglycerides. Moreover, the changes to the participants’ weights and BMI was credited primarily to the vitamin C content in lemon-honey juice.
As such, the researchers stated that a four-day fast with lemon-honey juice was a good way to positively change the body compositions and lipid profiles of healthy individuals.
To make this drink, all that’s needed is half a lemon, a teaspoon of honey, and hot water.
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