Until now, it was uncertain whether intermittent fasting had any impact on female hormones, despite its effectiveness for weight loss.
The University of Illinois Chicago conducted a study on 23 women who were pre- and postmenopausal. The study examined the hormonal effects of following the "warrior diet."
On the warrior diet, you can only eat during a 4 or 6-hour window each day and must stick to just water for the other 18-20 hours.
After 8 weeks, they discovered the following results:
No changes in testosterone or Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) levels were observed in women pre or post - menopause.
Estrogen and progesterone levels were not tested in premenopausal women, however, there were no changes found in postmenopausal women's levels.
Both pre- and postmenopausal women experienced a 14% drop in their DHEA levels - a hormone made by the adrenals that turns into testosterone.
Women who followed the warrior diet saw improvements in both their weight and insulin sensitivity.
In women, intermittent fasting could lead to a decrease in DHEA levels, which is a hormone critical to fertility and serves as a precursor to other hormones after menopause.
We must evaluate the advantages and disadvantages for each person individually since there isn't a universal solution. Also, I'll continually monitor the latest research (so you don't have to!)
To receive a customized approach for managing your hormones and weight, please make an appointment for a consultation!
Faiza Kalam, Rand T. Akasheh, Sofia Cienfuegos, et al. Effect of time‐restricted eating on sex hormone levels in premenopausal and postmenopausal females. Obesity, 2022. [link]