Part of an ongoing series on how to use supplement and behavior-based plans to treat common maladies. To read the detailed plan, order supplements, or download the patient resource sheets, go here to create a free patient account at Fullscript by entering your name and email address: Dr. Mark McDonald’s Fullscript dispensary

Today the American Heart Association made a shocking announcement: An observational study just found that those who practice intermittent fasting (restricting eating to a specific period of time, such as eight hours per day) have a 91% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Wow! [Here is the research poster, for those who wish to look it over.]

Yet no one need stop fasting.

Behind the terrifying headline, there is little reason to reconsider the practice of skipping breakfast every day.

First, the research study design is observational. Despite following 20,000 people for over a decade, the study relied on self-report through dietary surveys provided by the participants themselves. Self-report of anything, especially what one eats, is notoriously unreliable, if for no other reason than people have poor memories when it comes to what they ate the day before.

Second, there are no real controls in the study. The two groups compared are those who reported practicing intermittent fasting and those who did not. No one was randomly assigned to a group. Diet information was obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a survey given to 5,000 people a year about eating and dietary habits. Were those who reported practicing intermittent fasting more likely to be overweight and diabetic, or less likely to exercise regularly than those who reported not fasting at all? No one knows.

Third, even the study’s authors noted no causation could be proven between the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in one group and the practice of intermittent fasting. “The long-term health effects of time-restricted eating, including risk of death from any cause or cardiovascular disease, are unknown.” The correlation is certainly striking, but, without causation, it means very little.

I have written about the proven benefits of intermittent fasting. They include weight loss, blood sugar regulation, and improved concentration and energy. I have practiced it for nearly two years and can attest to those benefits. No one diet is for everyone, but intermittent fasting is one of the easiest and most effective dietary methods of improving general health that I am aware of.

Cardiovascular disease, like nearly all disease, is caused by inflammation. Managing inflammation is key to protecting one’s health and reducing the risk of disease and injury. Reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and exercising regularly are all practices that minimize inflammatory processes. Diet is also essential—eliminating added sugars, limiting simple carbohydrates and seed oils, and avoiding processed or artificial foods is a practice everyone should follow.

Supplements can assist as well. They do a much better job than prescription drugs in reducing inflammatory processes safely. Below is a link to my inflammation supplement plan I provide my patients. I am now sharing it with my Substack subscribers. To access the plan, you must first create a free patient account at Fullscript by entering your name and email address: Dr. Mark McDonald’s Fullscript dispensary Watch a one-minute video on how to create an account below.

Inflammation Supplement Plan