ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Bone Loss Stable on Restricted Calorie Diet
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
CANCER
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
CAREGIVING
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Blueberry Drink Protects Mice From Obesity, Diabetes
Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Radiation Exposure Linked to Aggressive Thyroid Cancers
EYE CARE, VISION
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
FITNESS
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take
Hand-Washing Habits Still Need Improvement: Survey Says
Stressed and Exhausted: An Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
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Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier

(HealthDay News) -- To get down to a healthy weight, obese and overweight people often struggle to cut their daily caloric intake by a necessary 15 percent to 40 percent.

But new research suggests that a twist on alternate-day fasting may make dieting easier to tolerate and boost heart health to boot.

"This diet has been around about 20 years, but its effect on weight loss hadn't really been studied," Krista Varady, an assistant professor of kinesiology and nutrition who led a research team at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a news release. The study authors reported their findings in the Nov. 1 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers tracked 16 obese people -- 12 women and four men -- for 10 weeks. All were aged 35 to 65 and weighed at least 211 pounds.

For the first two weeks, the study participants didn't do anything out of the ordinary. From the third through sixth weeks, they ate normal meals one day and then ate much less on the alternate days: what the researchers called the equivalent of a three-course lunch. Each meal provided 20 percent to 25 percent of the daily energy they needed.

Over the last four weeks, the participants essentially chose the food they wanted to eat, but they were guided by dieticians about their options.

"We wanted to see if they could actually do it by themselves -- because what's the point of studying this diet if you have to feed people meals prepared at metabolic kitchens all the time?" Varady said.

The subjects lost between 10 and 30 pounds, well beyond the expected loss of 5 pounds on average. The study participants also managed to lower their blood pressure, cholesterol levels and heart rate.

"It takes about two weeks to adjust to the diet, after which people don't feel hungry on the fast day," Varady said "We need to find out how long they can stay on this diet -- and if they go off it, do they automatically regain the weight?"

SOURCES: University of Illinois at Chicago, news release, Nov. 4, 2009 Published on: November 11, 2009