ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year
CANCER
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
More Cancer Tests Mean More False-Positive Results
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
EYE CARE, VISION
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Natural Therapies for Menopause
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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