Dr Sufyan Ibrahim, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Zaria, has said fasting is one of the medical remedies for the control of borderline type-2 diabetics and other ailments.
Ibrahim made this known during Ramadan Lecture organised by Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria ABUTH Chapter in Zaria on Thursday.
Ibrahim, who was also Amir of the association, described the one month fasting observed by Muslims during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar as a period of health enhancement.
He explained that glucose is the primary source of energy, within a few hours of fasting the glucose would be used up and the body would use fatty acid which is metabolised in the liver to form Ketone bodies.
He added that Ketone bodies are not just fuel used during periods of fasting; but are potent in signaling molecules with major effects on cell and organ functions.
He said ketone bodies are the efficient fuels for the brain and organs in the body where it regulates a lot of metabolic pathways that help increase sensitivities of cells to insulin for diabetic patients.
“Most of the things we have in type two diabetic patients is that their cells were not utilizing the insulin that is available in their system thereby making their cells resistant to insulin.
“Even though the body produces enough insulin the cells cannot use it appropriately.
“Ramadan fasting helps to make their cells to be more sensitive to insulin; it also enable glucose to go into the body and allow the cells to function appropriately,’’ he said.
Ibrahim said that fasting also helps diabetic patients to lose weight, adding that a lot of weight on its own is way of increasing cellular sensitivity to insulin.
He, therefore, advised diabetic patients who are already on drugs to take their drugs regularly.
Ibrahim said that apart from ameliorating insulin resistance and obesity; fasting reduces the occurrence of spontaneous tumors during normal aging and suppresses the growth of many types of induced tumours.
Earlier, Malam Abdulazeez Hassan, the Amir of the association said the lecture was aimed at sensitising the public on the benefits of Ramadan and its obligations.
He said the association had also concluded plans to reach out to the needy such as orphans and other less-privileged with some palliatives to enable them have a hitch-free exercise.