Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Jenny Kluznik, MPH, PA-C


Background: In recent years, fasting has gained popularity among athletes, clinicians, nutritionists, and the general public in hopes that lifestyle modifications improve physical health, mental well-being and the quality of life. Although this seems like a new trend, fasting has been practiced for centuries. The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate fasting and how this practice may benefit physical health and mental well-being in the 21st century. Methods: A database search was carried out using Elsevier, PubMed, and ScienceDirect. The search terms/keywords used were “aging,” “Alzheimer’s disease,” “cognition,” “cognitive disorders,” “dementia,” “effects on memory,” “fasting,” “intermittent fasting,” “learning,” “metabolism,” “multiple sclerosis,” “prolonged fasting,” and “time-restricted feeding.” Results: Analysis of the articles indicates dietary approaches have a significant effect on the control and treatment of many health conditions, including diabetes mellitus, mood disorders, and obesity, among others. Conclusion: Fasting has shown a similar response to manufactured drugs for the management and treatment of health-related conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, without the adverse effects sometimes caused by medications. Therefore, fasting could potentially ameliorate the health condition of highly motivated adults. However, the effects and safety of fasting cannot be generalized to every patient population, and the practicality of fasting is difficult to accomplish by many people. Continued research on the effects of fasting on the body and mind are needed to obtain a better understanding of this practice and the potential risks and benefits to human health.


SC 11.PAS.2020.Morales.M