Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The positive effects of carbohydrate restriction

Regina Wilshire points to this new review article by a number of doctors who see a benefit to a low carbohydrate diet:

Dietary carbohydrate restriction in type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome: time for a critical appraisal

Full Text (pdf)


Current nutritional approaches to metabolism syndrome and type 2 diabetes generally rely on reductions in dietary fat. The success of such approaches has been limited and therapy more generally relies on pharmacology. The argument is made that a re-evaluation of the role of carbohydrate restriction, the historical and intuitive approach to the problem, may provide an alternative and possibly superior dietary strategy. The rationale is based on the accepted idea that carbohydrate restriction improves glycemic control and reduces insulin fluctuations which are primary targets. Experiments are summarized showing that carbohydrate-restricted diets are at least as effective for weight loss as low-fat diets and that substitution of fat for carbohydrate is generally beneficial for risk of cardiovascular disease. These positive effects of carbohydrate restriction do not require weight loss. Finally, the point is re-iterated that carbohydrate restriction improves all of the features of metabolic syndrome.

As explained by Regina, these doctors are

all members of the Nutrition & Metabolism Society, an organization committed to "providing research, information and education in the application of fundamental science to nutrition. The Society is particularly dedicated to the incorporation of biochemical metabolism to problems of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Looking around the website for the N & M Society there is quite a lot of interesting information, including a section on Diet and Strength Training, that readers of this blog might find useful.

For example, there is a review article (pdf) indicating that a very low carbohydrate diet may be

protective against muscle protein catabolism during energy restriction, provided that it contains adequate amounts of protein.

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