Introduction: Fasting with a variety of effects and benefits is one of the most important Islamic practices and Muslims for a month doing it. Fasting has many spiritual, educational, social and physical aspects which was not investigated and only its physical aspect was considered in the current study. Islamic traditions have increasingly mentioned the role of the fasting in health and treatment of physical suffering. The Prophet has said "Fasting is the health factor". Medical science and nutrition have confirmed the impact of fasting on human’s health and discussed on this issue.
Methods: This review study was performed through searching some sites like Google scholar, SID, Iranmedex, Pub Med with keywords of fasting, dietary restriction, Ramadan, fasting and cancer, molecular changes, food restriction, intermittent fasting and energy restriction and finally, 20 related articles were evaluated.
Findings: Fasting has been performed for thousands of years, but recently, some studies have been done on its role and impact on immune system cells by reducing oxidative damage and inflammation, regulating energy metabolism and sustaining the protection of body cells. Dietary restriction increases the longevity in some eukaryotic cells via a change in metabolism and in others, it may prevent diabetes, cancer and heart and nervous system disease. In humans, fasting can help to reduce the blood pressure, obesity, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Conclusion: Fasting has potential in delaying aging and help to prevent and treat disease by minimizing its side effects through appropriate diet.