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RESEARCH UPDATE – Third Quarter of 2014

October 1, 2014

Here are the latest developments in clinical research on controlled-carbohydrate nutritional practices and the Atkins Diet’s reduced carbohydrate way of eating. I’ve summarized some excellent recent research studies, how they relate to Atkins and what it means to you.

Dietary Carbohydrate Restriction as the First Approach in Diabetes Management. Critical Review and Evidence Base
Authors: Richard David Feinman, PhD, Wendy Knapp Pogozelski, PhD, Arne Astrup, MD, Richard K. Bernstein, MD, Eugene J. Fine, MD, Eric C. Westman, MD, MHS, Anthony Accurso, MD, Lynda Frasetto, MD, Samy McFarlane, MD, Jörgen Vesti Nielsen, MD, Thure Krarup, MD, Barbara A. Gower, PhD, Laura Saslow, PhD, Karl S. Roth, MD, Mary C. Vernon, MD, Jeff S. Volek, RD, PhD, Gilbert B. Wilshire, MD, Annika Dahlqvist, MD, Ralf Sundberg, MD, Ann Childers, MD, Katharine Morrison, MD, Anssi H. Manninen, MHS, Hussein Dashti, MD, Richard J. Wood, PhD, Jay Wortman, MD, Nicolai Worm, PhD

Nutrition, July 15, 2014; http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(14)00332-3/abstract

BACKGROUND:

Current low-fat dietary recommendations have been shown to be ineffective in controlling the diabetes epidemic. Commonly prescribed diabetic medications have significant side effects. Additionally, there has been more science demonstrating the success of low-carbohydrate diets in the treatment of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. For these reasons, there is an urgent need to review and revise dietary guidelines.

METHODS:

The authors present 12 points of evidence supporting the use of low-carb diets as the first approach to treating Type-2 diabetes and Type-1 diabetes (in conjunction with medications). They represent the best-documented, least controversial results.

CONCLUSIONS:

The 12 points of evidence are based on published clinical and experimental studies and the experience of the authors. The points are supported by established principles in biochemistry and physiology and emphasize that the benefits of treating diabetes and metabolic syndrome with a low-carb diet are immediate and documented.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

Low-carb diets may be effective in treating diabetes and metabolic syndrome and dietary guidelines should be re-evaluated to reflect this.


A Very Low-Carbohydrate, Low-Saturated Fat Diet for Type-2 Diabetes Management: A Randomized Trial

Authors: Jeannie Tay, Natalie D. Luscombe-Marsh, Campbell H. Thompson, Manny Noakes, Jon D. Buckley, Gary A. Wittert, William S. Yancy Jr., and Grant D. Brinkworth

Diabetes Care, July 28, 2014; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25071075

BACKGROUND:

There has been much debate over whether a low-carbohydrate diet or low-fat diet is more effective dietary at managing Type-2 diabetes.

METHODS:

In this randomized control trial, 155 obese, Type-2 diabetic adults were randomly selected to follow either a low-carb/low-saturated fat or a high-carb/low-fat diet.

CONCLUSIONS:

Both diets achieved substantial improvements for several clinical glycemic control and cardiovascular disease risk markers, but were greater with the low-carb diet. Also, the need for blood-sugar-lowering medications was less with the low-carb diet.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

This suggests that a low-carb diet with low saturated fat may be an effective at managing for Type-2 diabetes.


Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets
Authors: Lydia A. Bazzano; Tian Hu; Kristi Reynolds; Lu Yao; Calynn Bunol; Yanxi Liu; Chung-Shiuan Chen; Michael J. Klag; Paul K. Whelton; and Jiang He

Annals of Internal Medicine, September 3, 2014;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25178568
BACKGROUND:

Low-carbohydrate diets are popular for weight loss, but their cardiovascular effects have not been well studied, particularly in diverse populations.

METHODS:

In this randomized, control trial, 148 men and women without cardiovascular disease and diabetes were randomly selected to follow either a low-carbohydrate diet or a low-fat diet. Both groups received dietary counseling at regular intervals throughout the trial.

CONCLUSION:

The low-carb diet was more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction than the low-fat diet.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

Once again, this is another study that shows that decreasing your carbohydrate intake may help you lose weight and lower your risk of heart disease.


Comparison of Weight Loss Among Named Diet Programs in Overweight and Obese Adults

Authors: Bradley C. Johnston, PhD; Steve Kanters, MSc; Kristofer Bandayrel, MPH; PingWu, MBBS, MSc; Faysal Naji, BHSc; Reed A. Siemieniuk, MD; Geoff D. C. Ball, RD, PhD; JasonW. Busse, DC, PhD; Kristian Thorlund, PhD; Gordon Guyatt, MD, MSc; Jeroen P. Jansen, PhD; Edward J. Mills, PhD, MSc

JAMA, September 3, 2014; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25182101

BACKGROUND:

Many claims have been made regarding the superiority of one diet or another for inducing weight loss. Which diet is the best remains unclear.

METHODS:

In this meta-analysis, researchers reviewed six electronic databases: AMED, CDSR, CENTRAL, CINAHL, EMBASE, and MEDLINE from inception of each database to April 2014. Overweight or obese adults (body mass index ≥25) were randomly selected to follow a popular self-administered named diet and they reported weight or body mass index data at after three months or longer.

CONCLUSION:

Significant weight loss was observed with any low-carb or low-fat diet. Weight loss differences between individual named diets were small.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

The diet that works best for weight loss is the diet that you are able to stick to so that you can maintain your weight loss and permanently change your eating habits.

Insulin, Carbohydrate Restriction, Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer

Authors: Eugene J. Fine and Richard David Feinman

Expert Rev. Endocrinol. Metab.

BACKGROUND:

The authors propose that dietary carbohydrate restriction, particularly ketogenic diets, may provide benefit as a therapeutic or preventive strategy in cancer, alone or in combination with medication.

METHODS:

Authors review the literature, and developed their argument from several points of evidence:

  • There is a close association between cancer and both diabetes and obesity.
  • Extensive evidence shows that low-carb diets are the most effective dietary treatment of Type-2 diabetes and dietary adjunct in Type 1.
  • Such diets also target all the markers of metabolic syndrome.
  • Finally, de facto reduction in carb intake likely contributes to total dietary restriction, which is effective in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

CONCLUSION:

The authors suggest more research is needed to explore the connection between carbohydrate restriction for treating and preventing cancer, in combination with medication.

WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU?

Doctors should consider low-carb diets, in conjunction with traditional treatments, as a possible treatment of cancer.

Register with Atkins today for additional tips, low carb recipes, and ideas on how to overcome your weight loss plateau.

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