Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study: Low-Carb Diet More Effective Than Low-Fat Diet

18.05.2004


People who followed a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet lost more weight than people on a low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-calorie diet during a six-month comparison study at Duke University Medical Center. However, the researchers caution that people with medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure should not start the diet without close medical supervision.


William Yancy, M.D.
PHOTO CREDIT: Duke University Medical Center



"This diet can be quite powerful," said lead researcher Will Yancy, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center and a research associate at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, N.C. "We found that the low-carb diet was more effective for weight loss," Yancy added. "The weight loss surprised me, to be honest with you. We also found cholesterol levels seemed to improve more on a low-carb diet compared to a low-fat diet."

The study is the first randomized, controlled trial of an Atkins-style diet approach, which includes vitamin and nutritional supplements. Along with losing an average of 26 pounds, dieters assigned to the low-carbohydrate plan lost more body fat, and lowered their triglyceride levels and raised their HDL, or good cholesterol, more than the low-fat dieters. The low-fat dieters lost an average of 14 pounds. Though the low-fat diet group lowered their total cholesterol more than the low-carb dieters, the latter group nearly halved their triglycerides and their HDL jumped five points. The low-carbohydrate group reported more adverse physical effects, such as constipation and headaches, but fewer people dropped out of the low-carbohydrate diet than the low-fat diet.


The results appear in the May 18, 2004, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. The research was funded by an unrestricted grant from the Robert C. Atkins Foundation. The study authors have no financial interest in Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.

The study builds on earlier results by the Duke University Medical Center researchers showing a low-carbohydrate diet can lead to weight loss -- the first study of the low carbohydrate diet since 1980. Yancy and co-investigator Eric Westman, M.D., are currently testing whether a low-carbohydrate diet can help diabetics control their blood sugar levels.

Despite the considerable weight loss experienced by the low-carbohydrate dieters, Yancy does not recommend an Atkins-style plan for patients attempting to lose weight for the first time.

"Over six months the diet appears relatively safe, but we need to study the safety for longer durations," Yancy said. He also cautioned that the diet could present certain health risks, such as elevations in LDL cholesterol levels, bone loss, or kidney stones. This and other recent studies of the low-carbohydrate diet have not demonstrated that these health risks occur over short durations, but they might occur in people on the diet for long-term. It is especially important that people on diuretic or diabetes medications be monitored by a doctor because the low-carbohydrate diet affects hydration and blood sugar levels, Yancy said.

The 120 study participants were randomly assigned to either the low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet or the low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-calorie diet. All were between 18 and 65 years old and in generally good health, with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 60, indicating obesity, and a total cholesterol level of more than 200 mg/dL. None had tried dieting or weight loss pills in the previous six months.

The low-carbohydrate group was permitted daily unlimited amounts of animal foods (meat, fowl, fish and shellfish); unlimited eggs; 4 oz. of hard cheese; two cups of salad vegetables such as lettuce, spinach or celery; and one cup of low-carbohydrate vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower or squash. They also received daily nutritional supplements recommended by Atkins -- a multivitamin, essential oils, a diet formulation and chromium picolinate. There were no restrictions on total calories, but carbohydrates were kept below 20 grams per day at the start of the diet.

The low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-calorie group followed a diet consisting of less than 30 percent of daily caloric intake from fat; less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat; and less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily. They were also advised to cut back on calories. The recommended daily calorie level was 500 to 1,000 calories less than the participant’s maintenance diet -- the calories needed to maintain current weight.

Study participants were encouraged to exercise 30 minutes at least three times per week, but no formal exercise program was provided. Both sets of dieters had group meetings at an outpatient research clinic regularly for six months.

Others members of the Duke research team were Maren Olsen, Ph.D.; John Guyton, M.D.; Ronna Bakst, R.D.; and Eric Westman, M.D., who was co-principal investigator for the study. The researchers maintained exclusive control of all data and analyses.

Becky Oskin | dukemed news
Further information:
http://dukemednews.org/news/article.php?id=7598

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>