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Keto News & Notes

all you keto followers out there here’s another one to take a look at. To cut, its the best weapon in our arsenal in my opinion.

Medscape Medical News Low-Carb Diet Reduced Weight by 10% in 6-Month Study

Laurie Barclay, MD

July 19, 2002 — At six months, a low-carbohydrate diet resulted in 10% reduction in body weight and significant improvement in lipid profile, as described in the July issue of the American Journal of Medicine.
“While we’re impressed with the weight loss of this diet, we still are not sure about the safety of it,” lead author Eric C. Westman, MD, MHS, of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, says in a news release. “More studies need to be done in order to be confident about the long-term safety of this type of diet.”

Westman’s group placed 51 overweight or obese healthy volunteers who wanted to lose weight on a very low carbohydrate diet (<25 g/d) with no limit on caloric intake. Subjects also received nutritional supplementation, recommendations about exercise, and participation in group meetings.

Subjects “could eat an unlimited amount of meat and eggs, as well as two cups of salad and one cup of low-carbohydrate vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower a day,” Westman says.

In 41 subjects (80%) who attended visits through six months, mean (±SD) body weight decreased 10.3%±5.9% (P<.001) from baseline to six months. This equalled a reduction in body weight of 9.0±5.3 kg and body mass index of 3.2±1.9 kg/m2. Mean percentage of body weight that was fat decreased 2.9%±3.2% from baseline over six months (P<.001).

Serum total cholesterol level decreased 11±26 mg/dL (P=.006), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level decreased 10±25 mg/dL (P=.01), triglyceride level decreased 56±45 mg/dL (P<.001), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level increased 10±8 mg/dL (P<.001), and the cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio decreased 0.9±0.6 units (P<.001).

“We were somewhat surprised to find that patients’ blood lipid profiles improved, even though there was much more fat in the diet,” Westman says. “We had thought the fat in the diet would increase the cholesterol.”

The mean serum bicarbonate level decreased 2±2.4 mmol/L (P<.001) and blood urea nitrogen level increased 2±4 mg/dL (P<.001). All participants developed ketonuria at a level comparable to that of a nondieting person fasting for two days, according to Westman.

“This is a finding that we need to learn more about,” he says. “The level of ketones present was not terribly high, but we don’t know if this is safe or harmful to one’s health over a long period of time.”

Although this study lasted longer and had more participants than prior studies, limitations include uncontrolled design, dropout of 20% of subjects, and enrollment of only healthy volunteers, warranting caution in generalizing to people with illness.

“If someone has a medical problem or is taking medications, they should only do this diet under the supervision of a health care provider,” Westman says.

Am J Med. 2002;113:30-36

Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

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