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Substantial and Sustained Improvements in Blood Pressure, Weight and Lipid Profiles from a Carbohydrate Restricted Diet: An Observational Study of Insulin Resistant Patients in Primary Care

1
General Practice, Norwood Surgery, Southport PR9 7EG, UK
2
Department of Cardiology, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science, Liverpool L7 8XP, UK
3
Independent Researcher, Data and Research Analyst, London, UK
4
Department of Cardiology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G4 0SF, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2680; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152680
Received: 12 June 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 22 July 2019 / Published: 26 July 2019
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Abstract

Hypertension is the second biggest known global risk factor for disease after poor diet; perhaps lifestyle interventions are underutilized? In a previous small pilot study, it was found that a low carbohydrate diet was associated with significant improvements in blood pressure, weight, ‘deprescribing’ of medications and lipid profiles. We were interested to investigate if these results would be replicated in a larger study based in ‘real world’ GP practice. 154 patients with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance were recruited into an observational cohort study in primary care. The effects of a low carbohydrate diet sustained for an average of two years (interquartile range 10–32 months) on cardiovascular risk factors were examined. Results demonstrate significant and substantial reductions in blood pressure (mean reduction of systolic BP 10.9 mmHg (interquartile range 0–22 mmHg) (p < 0.0001), mean reduction in diastolic BP 6.3 mmHg (interquartile range 0–12.8 mmHg) (p < 0.0001) and mean weight reduction of 9.5 Kg (interquartile range 5–13 Kg) (p < 0.0001) together with marked improvement in lipid profiles. This occurred despite a 20% reduction in anti-hypertensive medications. This novel and potentially highly effective dietary modification, done very cheaply alongside routine care, offers hope that should be tested in a large prospective trial. View Full-Text
Keywords: hypertension; low carbohydrate diet; sodium; essential hypertension; lifestyle medicine; obesity; deprescribing; salt hypertension; low carbohydrate diet; sodium; essential hypertension; lifestyle medicine; obesity; deprescribing; salt
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Unwin, D.J.; Tobin, S.D.; Murray, S.W.; Delon, C.; Brady, A.J. Substantial and Sustained Improvements in Blood Pressure, Weight and Lipid Profiles from a Carbohydrate Restricted Diet: An Observational Study of Insulin Resistant Patients in Primary Care. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2680.

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