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Special Issue "Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Weight Loss: Is There a Benefit?"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jennifer Keogh

Fellow South Australian Cardiovascular Research Development Program, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61-8-8302-2579
Interests: prevention and management of chronic disease using dietary change to achieve health benefits in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease; diet and endothelial function, including sodium, potassium and saturated fat; intermittent energy restriction as a strategy for weight loss in people with and without diabetes
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Peter Clifton

Principal Research Fellow National Health and Medical Research Council, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: obesity; lipids; diabetes; heart disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Controversy still surrounds the optimal macronutrient composition for weight loss in people with and without diabetes. A recent meta-analysis of studies recommending a diet with a higher protein and lower carbohydrate for weight loss or weight maintenance reported better weight and fat loss of approximately 0.4 kg for both. Other benefits reported were lower fasting triglyceride and insulin concentrations. In a meta-analysis of studies of very low carbohydrate diets, greater weight loss was seen than on a low fat diet. However, a low carbohydrate diet high in saturated fat has been shown to increase LDL-cholesterol and impair endothelial function despite substantial weight loss. A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies in people with diabetes showed that low-carbohydrate, low-glycaemic index, Mediterranean, and high-protein diets all had greater improvement in glycaemic control compared to control diets with the low-carbohydrate and Mediterranean diets achieving more weight loss.

Dr. Jennifer Keogh
Dr. Peter Clifton
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • Weight loss
  • Low carbohydrate diet
  • Low fat diet
  • High-protein diet

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Low Carbohydrate Diets on Fertility Hormones and Outcomes in Overweight and Obese Women: A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2017, 9(3), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9030204
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (405 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
(1) Background: Medical interventions including assisted reproductive technologies have improved fertility outcomes for many sub-fertile couples. Increasing research interest has investigated the effect of low carbohydrate diets, with or without energy restriction. We aimed to systematically review the published literature to determine the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Medical interventions including assisted reproductive technologies have improved fertility outcomes for many sub-fertile couples. Increasing research interest has investigated the effect of low carbohydrate diets, with or without energy restriction. We aimed to systematically review the published literature to determine the extent to which low carbohydrate diets can affect fertility outcomes; (2) Methods: The review protocol was registered prospectively with Prospective Register for Systematic Reviews (registration number CRD42016042669) and followed Preferred Reporting Items For Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Infertile women were the population of interest, the intervention was low carbohydrate diets (less than 45% total energy from carbohydrates), compared to usual diet (with or without co-treatments). Four databases were searched from date of commencement until April 2016; a supplementary Google scholar search was also undertaken. Title and abstract, then full text review, were undertaken independently and in duplicate. Reference lists of included studies and relevant systematic reviews were checked to ensure that all relevant studies were identified for inclusion. Quality assessment was undertaken independently by both authors using the Quality Criteria Checklist for Primary Research. Outcome measures were improved fertility outcomes defined by an improvement in reproductive hormones, ovulation rates and/or pregnancy rates; (3) Results: Seven studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in the evidence synthesis. Interventions were diverse and included a combination of low carbohydrate diets with energy deficit or other co-treatments. Study quality was rated as positive for six studies, suggesting a low risk of bias, with one study rated as neutral. Of the six studies which reported changes in reproductive hormones, five reported significant improvements post intervention; (4) Conclusion: The findings of these studies suggest that low carbohydrate diets warrant further research to determine their effect. These randomised controlled trials should consider the effect of carbohydrates (with or without energy deficit) on hormonal and fertility outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Weight Loss: Is There a Benefit?)
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Open AccessArticle Calorie Restricted High Protein Diets Downregulate Lipogenesis and Lower Intrahepatic Triglyceride Concentrations in Male Rats
Nutrients 2016, 8(9), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8090571
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 6 September 2016 / Accepted: 12 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this investigation was to assess the influence of calorie restriction (CR) alone, higher-protein/lower-carbohydrate intake alone, and combined CR higher-protein/lower-carbohydrate intake on glucose homeostasis, hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL), and intrahepatic triglycerides. Twelve-week old male Sprague Dawley rats consumed ad libitum [...] Read more.
The purpose of this investigation was to assess the influence of calorie restriction (CR) alone, higher-protein/lower-carbohydrate intake alone, and combined CR higher-protein/lower-carbohydrate intake on glucose homeostasis, hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL), and intrahepatic triglycerides. Twelve-week old male Sprague Dawley rats consumed ad libitum (AL) or CR (40% restriction), adequate (10%), or high (32%) protein (PRO) milk-based diets for 16 weeks. Metabolic profiles were assessed in serum, and intrahepatic triglyceride concentrations and molecular markers of de novo lipogenesis were determined in liver. Independent of calorie intake, 32% PRO tended to result in lower homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values compared to 10% PRO, while insulin and homeostatic model assessment of β-cell function (HOMA-β) values were lower in CR than AL, regardless of protein intake. Intrahepatic triglyceride concentrations were 27.4 ± 4.5 and 11.7 ± 4.5 µmol·g−1 lower (p < 0.05) in CR and 32% PRO compared to AL and 10% PRO, respectively. Gene expression of fatty acid synthase (FASN), stearoyl-CoA destaurase-1 (SCD1) and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase, isozyme 4 (PDK4) were 45% ± 1%, 23% ± 1%, and 57% ± 1% lower (p < 0.05), respectively, in CR than AL, regardless of protein intake. Total protein of FASN and SCD were 50% ± 1% and 26% ± 1% lower (p < 0.05) in 32% PRO compared to 10% PRO, independent of calorie intake. Results from this investigation provide evidence that the metabolic health benefits associated with CR—specifically reduction in intrahepatic triglyceride content—may be enhanced by consuming a higher-protein/lower-carbohydrate diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Weight Loss: Is There a Benefit?)
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Open AccessArticle Protein-Pacing Caloric-Restriction Enhances Body Composition Similarly in Obese Men and Women during Weight Loss and Sustains Efficacy during Long-Term Weight Maintenance
Nutrients 2016, 8(8), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8080476
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 21 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 30 July 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (948 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Short-Term protein-pacing (P; ~6 meals/day, >30% protein/day) and caloric restriction (CR, ~25% energy deficit) improves total (TBF), abdominal (ABF) and visceral (VAT) fat loss, energy expenditure, and biomarkers compared to heart healthy (HH) recommendations (3 meals/day, 15% protein/day) in obese adults. Less is [...] Read more.
Short-Term protein-pacing (P; ~6 meals/day, >30% protein/day) and caloric restriction (CR, ~25% energy deficit) improves total (TBF), abdominal (ABF) and visceral (VAT) fat loss, energy expenditure, and biomarkers compared to heart healthy (HH) recommendations (3 meals/day, 15% protein/day) in obese adults. Less is known whether obese men and women respond similarly to P-CR during weight loss (WL) and whether a modified P-CR (mP-CR) is more efficacious than a HH diet during long-term (52 week) weight maintenance (WM). The purposes of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of: (1) P-CR on TBF, ABF, resting metabolic rate (RMR), and biomarkers between obese men and women during WL (weeks 0–12); and (2) mP-CR compared to a HH diet during WM (weeks 13–64). During WL, men (n = 21) and women (n = 19) were assessed for TBF, ABF, VAT, RMR, and biomarkers at weeks 0 (pre) and 12 (post). Men and women had similar reductions (p < 0.01) in weight (10%), TBF (19%), ABF (25%), VAT (33%), glucose (7%–12%), insulin (40%), leptin (>50%) and increase in % lean body mass (9%). RMR (kcals/kg bodyweight) was unchanged and respiratory quotient decreased 9%. Twenty-four subjects (mP-CR, n = 10; HH, n = 14) completed WM. mP-CR regained significantly less body weight (6%), TBF (12%), and ABF (17%) compared to HH (p < 0.05). Our results demonstrate P-CR enhances weight loss, body composition and biomarkers, and maintains these changes for 52-weeks compared to a traditional HH diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Weight Loss: Is There a Benefit?)
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Review

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Open AccessReview The Effectiveness of Different Diet Strategies to Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk in Youth
Nutrients 2016, 8(8), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8080486
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents has become a prominent clinical issue in recent decades. Increasing numbers of young people have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, particularly obesity, indicating the need for effective type 2 diabetes prevention strategies. The aim of [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents has become a prominent clinical issue in recent decades. Increasing numbers of young people have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, particularly obesity, indicating the need for effective type 2 diabetes prevention strategies. The aim of this review was to identify specific dietary strategies that optimize improvements in risk factors for type 2 diabetes in youth and hence reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes development. Our review of the current literature indicates that dietary interventions lead to weight loss when intervention adherence is high. However, in addition to weight loss, a diet that is reduced in carbohydrates may optimize improvements in other type 2 diabetes risk factors, including insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. While further research is needed to confirm this finding, reduced carbohydrate diets may include a very low-carbohydrate diet, a very low-energy diet, a lower-glycemic-index diet, and/or an intermittent fasting diet. This array of dietary strategies provides a suite of intervention options for clinicians to recommend to young people at risk of type 2 diabetes. However, these findings are in contrast to current guidelines for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in adults which recommends a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Weight Loss: Is There a Benefit?)
Open AccessReview The Effects of Low-Carbohydrate Diets on Psychosocial Outcomes in Obesity/Overweight: A Systematic Review of Randomized, Controlled Studies
Nutrients 2016, 8(7), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8070402
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 15 June 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 29 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (384 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Little is known about the relative psychosocial effects of carbohydrate reduction in comparison to other weight-loss diets in subjects receiving treatment for obesity/overweight. We, therefore, set out to conduct a systematic review of the psychosocial outcomes of such patients, treated by means [...] Read more.
Background: Little is known about the relative psychosocial effects of carbohydrate reduction in comparison to other weight-loss diets in subjects receiving treatment for obesity/overweight. We, therefore, set out to conduct a systematic review of the psychosocial outcomes of such patients, treated by means of either a low-carbohydrate diet or an isocaloric diet of other macronutrient composition. Methods: Literature searches, study selection, method development, and quality appraisal were performed independently by two authors, and data were synthesized using a narrative approach, in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Results: Eight randomized controlled studies met the inclusion criteria, and their subsequent analysis revealed that improvements in psychological and social outcomes do occur during short- and long-term weight loss programmes, but that low-carbohydrate diets have no greater effect on psychosocial outcomes when compared to diets of different macronutrient composition at either short- or long-term follow-up (one-year). However, the lack of studies with longer duration follow-up, and the absence of data in the adolescent population limit the generalizability of our findings. Conclusion: The short- and long-term improvements in psychosocial outcomes seen in patients undergoing weight-loss treatment appear to be independent of the macronutrient composition of their diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Weight Loss: Is There a Benefit?)
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