Low Carb Diet and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

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Atherogenic Dyslipidemia: Cardiovascular Risk and Dietary Intervention

"Low-carbohydrate diets appear to have beneficial lipoprotein effects in individuals with atherogenic dyslipidemia, compared to high-carbohydrate diets, whereas the content of total fat or saturated fat in the diet appears to have little effect."

Full Text: Musunuru, Kiran, Atherogenic Dyslipidemia: Cardiovascular Risk and Dietary Intervention. Lipids October 2010, Volume 45, Issue 10, pp 907-914


Effects of dietary carbohydrate restriction vs low-fat diet on flow-mediated dilation.

"After 12 weeks, peak flow-mediated dilation at 3 hours increased from 5.1% to 6.5% in the CRD group and decreased from 7.9% to 5.2% in the LFD group (P = .004). These findings show that a 12-week low-carbohydrate diet improves postprandial vascular function more than a LFD in individuals with atherogenic dyslipidemia."

Abstract: Volek et al, Effects of dietary carbohydrate restriction vs low-fat diet on flow-mediated dilation. Metabolism. 2009 Jul 24. [Epub ahead of print]


Long-term consumption of a carbohydrate-restricted diet does not induce deleterious metabolic effects.

"These results indicate that long-term (>1 year) compliance with a low-CHO high-fat "optimal diet" does not induce deleterious metabolic effects and does not increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, as evidenced by maintenance of adequate glycemic control and relatively low values for conventional cardiovascular risk factors."

Abstract: Grieb et al, Long-term consumption of a carbohydrate-restricted diet does not induce deleterious metabolic effects. Nutr Res. 2008 Dec;28(12):825-33.


Effects of weight loss from a very-low-carbohydrate diet on endothelial function and markers of cardiovascular disease risk in subjects with abdominal obesity

"An LC does not impair FMD. We observed beneficial effects of both diets on most of the CVD risk factors measured."

Abstract: Keogh J et al, Effects of weight loss from a very-low-carbohydrate diet on endothelial function and markers of cardiovascular disease risk in subjects with abdominal obesity. AJCN, Vol. 87, No. 3, 567-576, March 2008


Restoration of coronary endothelial function in obese Zucker rats by a low-carbohydrate diet

"In conclusion, obesity-induced impairment in endothelium-dependent vasodilation of coronary arterioles can be dramatically improved with a low-carbohydrate diet most likely through the production of a hyperpolarizing factor independent of NO."

Abstract: Focardi M, Dick GM, Picchi A, Zhang C, Chilian WM. Restoration of coronary endothelial function in obese Zucker rats by a low-carbohydrate diet. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 292: H2093-H2099, 2007.


Long term effects of ketogenic diet in obese subjects with high cholesterol level

"The body weight and body mass index of both groups decreased significantly (P

Full Text (PDF): Dashti et al, Long term effects of ketogenic diet in obese subjects with high cholesterol level. Mol Cell Biochem. 2006 Jun;286(1-2):1-9. Epub 2006 Apr 21.


Effects of a carbohydrate-restricted diet on emerging plasma markers for cardiovascular disease

"An important finding was that carbohydrate restriction resulted in a spontaneous decrease in caloric intake and subsequent weight loss and improvement in several risk factors for cardiovascular disease in the majority of subjects. Thus, it can be concluded that a diet approach based on carbohydrate restriction provides an acceptable and effective model diet to combat obesity and related metabolic disorders."

Full Text: Wood et al, Effects of a carbohydrate-restricted diet on emerging plasma markers for cardiovascular disease. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006 May 4;3:19.


Low Carbohydrate Diets Improve Atherogenic Dyslipidemia Even in the Absence of Weight Loss

"A recent report of Krauss et al. (AJCN, 2006) separates the effects of weight loss and carbohydrate restriction. They clearly confirm that carbohydrate restriction leads to an improvement in atherogenic lipid states in the absence of weight loss or in the presence of higher saturated fat. In distinction, low fat diets seem to require weight loss for effective improvement in atherogenic dyslipidemia."

Full Text: Richard D Feinman and Jeff S Volek, Low Carbohydrate Diets Improve Atherogenic Dyslipidemia Even in the Absence of Weight Loss, Nutrition & Metabolism 2006, 3:24 doi:10.1186/1743-7075-3-24


Comparison of isocaloric very low carbohydrate/high saturated fat and high carbohydrate/low saturated fat diets on body composition and cardiovascular risk

"Isocaloric VLCARB results in similar fat loss than diets low in saturated fat, but are more effective in improving triacylglycerols, HDL-C, fasting and post prandial glucose and insulin concentrations. VLCARB may be useful in the short-term management of subjects with insulin resistance and hypertriacylglycerolemia."

Full Text: Noakes et al, Comparison of isocaloric very low carbohydrate/high saturated fat and high carbohydrate/low saturated fat diets on body composition and cardiovascular risk. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006 Jan 11;3:7.


Cardiovascular and Hormonal Aspects of Very-Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diets (Review)

"Our work over the last 5 years has indicated that short-term VLCKDs are associated with improvements in a number of cardiovascular disease risk factors, in particular, those associated with the metabolic syndrome. These have included favorable affects on whole body and central fat loss, fasting and postprandial TAGs, HDL-C, LDL-C subclass distribution, and insulin resistance, suggesting that carbohydrate restriction could be a viable approach for preventing and treating the metabolic syndrome. We are currently pursuing the effects of VLCKDs on many standard and novel risk factors for cardiovascular disease in men and women with the metabolic syndrome in our laboratory."

Full Text: Jeff S. Volek and Matthew J. Sharman, Cardiovascular and Hormonal Aspects of Very-Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diets, Obesity Research 12:115S-123S (2004)


Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients

"The present study shows the beneficial effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. It significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients. Furthermore, it decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL cholesterol. Administering a ketogenic diet for a relatively longer period of time did not produce any significant side effects in the patients. Therefore, the present study confirms that it is safe to use a ketogenic diet for a longer period of time than previously demonstrated."

Abstract: Dashti et al, Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Clinical Cardiology, 2004, 9(3), pages 200-205.


A low-carbohydrate diet in overweight patients undergoing stable statin therapy raises high-density lipoprotein and lowers triglycerides substantially

"The 38 patients were followed for a average of 11.8 months (range 6-22 months). Average body mass index declined from 33.5 kg/m2 before to 27.9 kg/m2 at the end of the study. Weight loss averaged 31 lbs (range 16-107 lbs). Triglyceride levels were lowered by 29.5%, HDL raised by 17.6%, and cholesterol decreased by 8.4%. The cholesterol/ HDL ratio changed from 5.31 to 3.78 and LDL cholesterol decreased by 5%."

Abstract: GANN Dietmar, A low-carbohydrate diet in overweight patients undergoing stable statin therapy raises high-density lipoprotein and lowers triglycerides substantially. Clinical cardiology. 2004, vol. 27, no10, pp. 563-564


A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Obesity

"In contrast, the low-carbohydrate diet was associated with greater decreases in serum triglycerides and greater increases in HDL cholesterol than was the conventional diet, and the levels of both are also important risk factors for coronary heart disease.31,32,33 The magnitude of these changes approximates that obtained with pharmacologic treatments, such as derivatives of fibric acid and niacin.31 Although part of this benefit may be due to the greater weight loss with the low-carbohydrate diet, the changes are greater than those expected from a moderate weight loss alone.30 Therefore, it is likely that the macronutrient composition of the diet contributed to the improvement in the HDL cholesterol-triglyceride axis. High-carbohydrate, low-fat diets decrease HDL cholesterol concentrations and increase serum triglyceride concentrations,34,35,36,37 whereas low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets decrease triglyceride concentrations16,27,37 and increase HDL cholesterol concentrations.15 Moreover, replacing dietary polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat with carbohydrate is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, as predicted by changes in triglyceride and HDL cholesterol concentrations.38"

Full Text: Foster et al, A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Obesity. N Engl J Med. 2003 May 22;348(21):2082-90.