The Effects of Low Carbohydrate Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors


The Authors


F. L. Santos
S. S. Esteves
A. da Costa Pereira
W. S. Yancy Jr
J. P. L. Nunes


A systematic review and meta-analysis were carried out to study the effects of low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors (search performed on PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Scopus databases). A total of 23 reports, corresponding to 17 clinical inves- tigations, were identified as meeting the pre-specified criteria. Meta-analysis carried out on data obtained in 1,141 obese patients, showed the LCD to be associated with significant decreases in body weight (-7.04 kg [95% CI -7.20/ -6.88]), body mass index (-2.09 kg m-2 [95% CI -2.15/-2.04]), abdominal circumference (-5.74cm [95% CI -6.07/-5.41]), systolic blood pressure (-4.81 mm Hg [95% CI -5.33/-4.29]), diastolic blood pressure (-3.10 mm Hg [95% CI -3.45/-2.74]), plasma triglycerides (-29.71 mg dL-1 [95% CI -31.99/ -27.44]), fasting plasma glucose (-1.05 mg dL-1 [95% CI -1.67/-0.44]), glycated haemoglobin (-0.21% [95% CI -0.24/-0.18]), plasma insulin (-2.24 micro IU mL-1 [95% CI -2.65/-1.82]) and plasma C-reactive protein, as well as an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (1.73 mg dL-1 [95%CI 1.44/ 2.01]). Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and creatinine did not change signifi- cantly, whereas limited data exist concerning plasma uric acid. LCD was shown to have favourable effects on body weight and major cardio- vascular risk factors; however the effects on long-term health are unknown.


July 11, 2012

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