British Journal of Nutrition

Human and Clinical Nutrition

Improvements in LDL particle size and distribution by short-term alternate day modified fasting in obese adults

Krista A. Varadya1 c1, Surabhi Bhutania1, Monica C. Klempela1 and Benoît Lamarchea2

a1 Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1919 West Taylor Street, Room 506F, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

a2 Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods Institute, University of Laval, Sainte-Foy, QC, Canada


Alternate day modified fasting (ADMF) beneficially modulates several indicators of CHD risk, but its effects on LDL particle size have never been tested. Accordingly, we examined the effects of ADMF on LDL particle size and distribution in obese adults. Sixteen obese subjects participated in a 10-week trial with three consecutive phases: (1) 2-week control phase; (2) 4-week ADMF controlled feeding phase; (3) 4-week ADMF self-selected feeding phase. After 8 weeks of diet, body weight and waist circumference were reduced (P < 0·05) by 5·6 (sem 0·9) kg and 4·0 (sem 0·9) cm, respectively. LDL-cholesterol and TAG concentrations decreased (P < 0·05) by 25 (sem 10) % and 32 (sem 6) %, respectively. Peak LDL particle size increased (P < 0·05) from 266 (sem 1) to 268 (sem 1) Å. Additionally, the proportion of small LDL particles decreased (P < 0·05) from 13 (sem 2) % to 9 (sem 3) %, while the proportion of large LDL particles increased (P < 0·05) from 68 (sem 4) % to 76 (sem 4) % post-treatment. These findings suggest that ADMF is an effective diet strategy for increasing LDL particle size and decreasing the proportion of small, dense LDL particles in obese adults.

(Received April 13 2010)

(Revised June 02 2010)

(Accepted August 25 2010)

(Online publication September 30 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: K. A. Varady, fax +1 312 413 0319, email


Abbreviations: ADM, alternate day modified fasting; ER, energy restriction