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Identifier 000436802
Title The effects of fasting of the Christian Orthodox Church on bone development and osteoporosis
Alternative Title Οι επιπτώσεις της νηστείας της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας στην οστική ανάπτυξη και οστεοπόρωση
Author Ροδοπαίος, Νικόλαος
Thesis advisor Λασιθιωτάκης, Κωνσταντίνος
Reviewer Γαλανάκης, Εμμανουήλ
Καφάτος, Αντώνιος
Καραντάνας, Απόστολος
Καλαϊτζάκης, Ευάγγελος
Μπερτσιάς, Γεώργιος
Περδικογιάννη, Χρυσούλα
Abstract This study is the first to attempt to examine the effects of periodic vegetarianism, through the fasting of Orthodox Church, on bone growth, osteoporosis, bone fractures and bone health in general. It is also the first study to investigate lifelong nutrition through the multi-year use of fasting (at least 10 years) according to the Rules of the Orthodox Church and is the largest sample population to date (400 people) dealing with the issue of fasting of the Orthodox Church. The low intake of calcium and dairy products observed during fasting periods for an average of 178 (± 19) days a year, does not seem to compromise bone health in older individuals, men and postmenopausal women. Also, young people (18-35 years old) who have been fasting since childhood did not have a problem with height or any of the bone health indicators in adulthood. Therefore, periodic abstinence from dairy products and, in general, animal products for decades, even starting in childhood, does not endanger bone health. The periodic restriction of the dietary intake of products of animal origin to a slightly hypothermic diet that characterizes the fast of the Orthodox Church has been combined with increased consumption of plant foods, with a wide variety, which seems to beneficially affect musculoskeletal metabolism, perhaps better than complementary nutrition. Despite having lower protein intakes, men and women who had been periodically avoiding animal source foods for a median of 15 years did not differ in bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mass (BMC) or prevalence of bone fracture from controls with no food restrictions. BMD and BMC exhibited only weak (if any) correlations with consumption of protein-rich foods. Thus, continuous protein intake for a along time seems to play a minor (if any) role in bone health. It was found that the individuals following a religious lifestyle had lower vitamin D intake, lower sunlight exposure and, at times, lower serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration than controls, although these differences did not impact bone health. These finding of the present study may prove useful in designing healthy diets for people who wish, or need, to have limited intake of animal and dairy foods. Future studies could employ assessment of fasters during periods of fasting and periods of no food restriction (in addition to the moderate-fasting period chosen in the present study) for a more accurate characterization of the relation between nutrient intake and bone health.
Language English
Subject Νηστεία Ορθόδοξης Εκκλήσίας
Issue date 2021-03-29
Collection   School/Department--School of Medicine--Department of Medicine--Doctoral theses
  Type of Work--Doctoral theses
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