Mormons have less heart disease - something doctors have long chalked up to their religion's ban on smoking. New research suggests that another of their "clean living" habits also may be helping their hearts: fasting for one day each month.
A study in Utah, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is based, found that people who skipped meals once a month were about 40 percent less likely to be diagnosed with clogged arteries than those who did not regularly fast.
People did not have to "get religion" to benefit: non-Mormons who regularly took breaks from food also were less likely to have clogged arteries, scientists found.
They concede that their study is far from proof that periodic fasting is good for anyone, but said the benefit they observed poses a theory that deserves further testing.
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