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WHAT IS RAMADAN? — Live Younger
April 3, 2022



Ramadan. A month of great significance for the Muslims. An integral part of their religion and culture. A connection to their roots. A manifestation of their identity. A solemn bearer of their standards. A reminder of their values. And much, much more.



Fasting is what comes to mind when we hear the word Ramadan. But if you ask a Muslim, (he/she) will tell you that it is much more than that. Staying your hand from food and drink is what one believes fasting entails. Yet if you ask a Muslim, he will tell you it’s much more than that. He will tell you that staying his hand from food and drink is the easiest part of the fast. He will tell you that Fasting is for discipline and self-control. For keeping himself from indulgence in meaningless pleasure, from moral depravity, from lies and insults, from causing hurt or inflicting harm.

He will tell you that the month of Ramadan signifies not just fasting but rather a concentration of all of the values that Muslims hold dear. He will tell you it entails coming together as a community, as a family. He will speak to you of the general air of kindness that precipitates in the air when Ramadan begins. He will insist upon the selflessness in behavior, and the positivity in emotion that this month brings with it. He will not speak of the harshness of fasting from dawn to dusk. No. He will speak of its utility and its effects on his soul. He will speak of the calmness in the air and the sense of purpose that he feels. And if you let him talk about it, he will go on and on from dawn to dusk and still have more to tell. And if what he says is true then the Question arises; How?

How can a month of cultural and religious activity bring such a profound effect on an entire community? And why does it continue to do so year after year? What goes on under the surface that brings about this change? What are the under-currants and how do they flow? And most importantly, what does all of that have to do with Age-reversal?

I’ll try my best to answer these questions for you…

Let us begin with the concept of fasting for 30 days, from dawn to dusk. Let us examine the effects that such a profound change in routine brings upon the body, and through it on the mind. Because remember, as much as our mind controls our body, our body also controls our mind, for the health of the body affects the health of the mind.

Fasting, as should be obvious, creates a state of starvation. The body, after burning the small stores of carbohydrates, turns towards the stored fat. The fat becomes the principle source of energy for the body and that results in, you guessed it, weight loss. A meta-analysis of 35 studies has indicated that Muslim Ramadan fasting is associated with a significant weight loss in both men and women.¹

The process of autophagy is also important. It clears out the older cells, the damaged organelles, and replaces them with healthier parts that keep us functioning. ²

What a person eats during suhur (the pre-fast meal) and iftar (the breaking of the fast at dusk) is also significant when it comes to losing weight effectively in Ramadan. Apart from fasting, the nightly prayers of Qiyam-ul-lail or Taraweeh also provide some physical activity that is good for the body.

In short, Ramadan cuts down on the risk of obesity related diseases in practicing Muslims by cutting down the weight. That includes cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. ³

There are many other health benefits of Fasting. It has been proven to slow the progression of many diseases and even cure others that have no allopathic treatment. Diseases like asthma ⁴, rheumatic fever ⁵, psoriasis ⁶, arthritis, and even cancer ⁷ can be treated with fasting.

We have discussed before how the health of the body is merely a manifestation of the health of its individual cells. These cells age when confronted with disease and injury and subsequently become less efficient and less healthy. Keeping them disease free, therefore, is a significant step towards age-reversal and youth restoration. Ramadan can kick-start this very process in a variety of ways.


Ramadan is a holistic package of health and age reversal and affects not only the physical but also the mental aspect of our well-being. The mind controls the body and it’s important that it stays healthy.

Serotonin is what we call the happiness hormone, owing to its effect on alleviating depression and anxiety and replacing it with contentment. Fasting has been shown to increase the levels of serotonin in our brains. This brings about the sensation of calmness that a Muslim tells you about when you ask him about Ramadan.

An article published in the neurology international journal in 2017 has confirmed that the Muslim individuals who Fast in Ramadan have higher levels of serotonin and dopamine. The research has also indicated an increase in Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor levels that are directly linked to better neurological health.⁸

That’s not all though. I mentioned above how Ramadan entails coming together of communities and families. A 10 year prospective study by Rebecca J North et al. reports that “family social support, showed a substantial, positive association with concurrent happiness.” ⁹ This is one of hundreds of such studies that underscore the significance of stable family support in maintaining long term happiness. This is one aspect of Ramadan that is often overlooked.

The healing effect that all of this has on the brain goes on to relieve the body of many stresses that would in normal circumstances precipitate a dissent towards disease or illness. Keeping us from such a path, Ramadan takes Muslims towards the path of age-reversal and youth restoration. Read this article to understand the connection of the mind with the body.

Our mission at LiveYounger is to promote a healthy and youthful life that is fulfilling in every imaginable way. We believe in a holistic approach to health and wellbeing and we base it on research-backed understanding of the variable healing practices that are pursued all over the world.

The holistic package that Ramadan offers is something that satisfies most, if not all of the approaches to healthy living that we believe in. Therefore, we present it to you, as a relic of an age long past, preserved through the practice of generations, open for investigation and ready to be utilized!

To understand our vision, check out my book Lead A Horse To Water.


  1. Fernando, H. A., Zibellini, J. Harris, R. A. Seimon, R. V., & Sainsbury, A. (2019). Effect of Ramadan Fasting on Weight and Body Composition in Healthy Non-Athlete Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients 2019, Vol. 11, Page 478, 11(2), 478.
  2. Negrete-Hurtado, A. Overhoff, M., Bera S., De Bruyckere, E., Schätzmüller, K., Kye, M. J., … Kononenko, N. L. (2020). Autophagy lipidation machinery regulates axonal microtubule dynamics but is dispensable for survival of mammalian neurons. Nature Communications, 11(1).
  3. Gabel, K., Cienfuegos, S., Kalam, F., Ezpeleta, M., & Varady, K. A. (2021). Time-Restricted Eating to Improve Cardiovascular Health. Current Atherosclerosis Reports, 23(5), 22.
  4. Han, K., Nguyen, A., Traba, J., Yao, X., Kaler, M., Huffstutler, R. D., … Sack, M. N. (2018). A Pilot Study To Investigate the Immune-Modulatory Effects of Fasting in Steroid-Naive Mild Asthmatics. Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 201(5), 1382–1388.
  5. Skoldstam, L., & Magnusson, K. E. (1991). Fasting, intestinal permeability, and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America, 17(2), 363-371+xi.
  6. Adawi, M., Damiani, G., Bragazzi, N. L., Bridgewood, C., Pacifico, A., Conic, R. R. Z., … Watad, A. (2019). The Impact of Intermittent Fasting (Ramadan Fasting) on Psoriatic Arthritis Disease Activity, Enthesitis, and Dactylitis: A Multicentre Study. Nutrients, 11(3), 601.
  7. Lee, C., Raffaghello, L., Brandhorst, S., Safdie, F. M., Bianchi, G., Martin-Montalvo, A., … Longo, V. D. (2012). Fasting Cycles Retard Growth of Tumors and Sensitize a Range of Cancer Cell Types to Chemotherapy. Science Translational Medicine, 4(124), 124ra27.
  8. Bastani, A., Rajabi, S., & Kianimarkani, F. (2017). The Effects of Fasting During Ramadan on the Concentration of Serotonin, Dopamine, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Nerve Growth Factor. Neurology International, 9(2), 29–33.
  9. North, R. J., Holahan, C. J., Moos, R. H., & Cronkite, R. C. (2008). Family support, family income, and happiness: a 10-year perspective. Journal of Family Psychology : JFP : Journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43), 22(3), 475–483.

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