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Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 7978-7994; doi:10.3390/nu7095377

The Effects of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet vs. a Low-Fat Diet on Novel Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2000, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
2
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 S 2nd Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
3
Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 100 South Los Robles, 2nd Floor, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA
4
Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2001, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 July 2015 / Revised: 7 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 17 September 2015
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Abstract

Increasing evidence supports a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss and improvement in traditional cardiovascular disease (CVD) markers. Effects on novel CVD markers remain unclear. We examined the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet (<40 g/day; n = 75) versus a low-fat diet (<30% kcal/day from total fat, <7% saturated fat; n = 73) on biomarkers representing inflammation, adipocyte dysfunction, and endothelial dysfunction in a 12 month clinical trial among 148 obese adults free of diabetes and CVD. Participants met with a study dietitian on a periodic basis and each diet group received the same behavioral curriculum which included dietary instruction and supportive counseling. Eighty percent of participants completed the intervention. At 12 months, participants on the low-carbohydrate diet had significantly greater increases in adiponectin (mean difference in change, 1336 ng/mL (95% CI, 342 to 2330 ng/mL); p = 0.009) and greater decreases in intercellular adhesion molecule-1 concentrations (−16.8 ng/mL (−32.0 to −1.6 ng/mL); p = 0.031) than those on the low-fat diet. Changes in other novel CVD markers were not significantly different between groups. In conclusion, despite the differences in weight changes on diets, a low-carbohydrate diet resulted in similar or greater improvement in inflammation, adipocyte dysfunction, and endothelial dysfunction than a standard low-fat diet among obese persons. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary carbohydrate; clinical trial; nutrition; obesity; inflammation; endothelial dysfunction; adipocytokines dietary carbohydrate; clinical trial; nutrition; obesity; inflammation; endothelial dysfunction; adipocytokines
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hu, T.; Yao, L.; Reynolds, K.; Whelton, P.K.; Niu, T.; Li, S.; He, J.; Bazzano, L.A. The Effects of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet vs. a Low-Fat Diet on Novel Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2015, 7, 7978-7994.

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