Arab Weather - We welcome the month of Ramadan this year for the second time in a row in exceptional circumstances that the world is experiencing with the spread of the Corona virus epidemic, and the pandemic may have made Ramadan very important this year because of the effects of fasting on the immune system and all body systems, and there are many frequently asked questions about whether Fasting reduces physical strength, weak immunity and increases the possibility of infection with the virus, so can fasting weaken our immune system?
On the authority of Abu Umamah, may God be pleased with him, he said: I came to the Messenger of God, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, and said: Tell me about something that I take on your behalf, and he said: ( You have to fast, for there is no likeness for him ). Here, the eloquence and grandeur of the Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, say that fasting is unparalleled in the absolute.
And the scholar Ibn al-Qayyim, may God have mercy on him, says : Fasting has a wondrous effect in preserving the external limbs of a person and preserving his inner strengths, as it preserves the heart and all the prey, and returns it as the day it was born .
There are different types of fasting, but we will talk here about Islamic fasting As in the month of Ramadan.
There are many studies conducted on the effect of Ramadan fasting on the immune system, which showed several benefits of fasting on the immune system, including:
1. Rejuvenate the immune system: Fasting for at least 3 days helps the body to start producing new white blood cells, which boosts the immune system to fight infection. Where fasting forces the body to consume the stores of glucose and fats, and a large amount of white blood cells are broken down, as a result of these changes the stem cells regenerate the cells of the immune system.
2 . Reducing chronic inflammation: Fasting reduces chronic inflammatory symptoms that occur in the body. The promising results of studies have shown that inflammatory cytokines, markers of oxidative stress and reactive protein decrease during Ramadan , which reduces inflammation.
This is important in the case of infection with the Coronavirus , as the body uses the "cytokine storms" mechanism to fight the virus, which produces large quantities of inflammatory cytokines, in addition to anti-virus chemicals.
A cytokine storm triggers an uncontrollable inflammatory response in the patient causing the body's immune system to attack the body, causing diseases such as respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome ( ARDS ), multiple organ failure, shock, and even death.
So fasting positively affects the strengthening of the immune system and the renewal of white blood cells, and in reducing the inflammation produced by the immune system, but the extent of the effect of fasting on the immune system depends on the nature of the food and drinks that the fasting person consumes during the period that extends between breakfast and the pre-dawn meal. Following the healthy rules of the fasting person and eating balanced meals , the fasting hours will positively affect his body, and this is represented in losing excess weight , and reducing chronic inflammation in the body, in addition to improving insulin resistance and blood sugar level, thus improving immunity .
It is important for the fasting person to avoid excessive caloric consumption, eat meals that contain many colorful vegetables and fruits, in addition to unrefined carbohydrates, healthy proteins, dairy products and low-fat cheeses, and to consume an adequate amount of water of not less than two liters per day .
But if the fasting person smokes during the breakfast hours, drinks a lot of soft drinks and sugary juices, and eats a large amount of fatty foods, sugars and sweets, then this behavior will certainly prevent any positive effect of fasting hours on a person's health or immunity .