Utah's low prevalence of heart disease may not only be due to its low smoking rate. It might be closely related to the age-old and particularly common religious practice of fasting.
And the benefits don't stop with heart disease. New research at Intermountain Medical Center's Heart Institute is pointing to abstinence from food as a way to derail the potentially debilitating track of diabetes.
"Fasting has the potential to become an important diabetes intervention," said Benjamin Horne, Intermountain's director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology. He recently led a study involving 12 Utah participants at risk for diabetes who were asked to fast 24 hours a week for six weeks.