Monday, June 30, 2008

Are low carb diets inflammatory?

Inflammatory Response to a High-fat, Low-carbohydrate Weight Loss Diet: Effect of Antioxidants

I know that there are people out there reading this blog that are a lot more intelligent than me and also more familiar with science. However, here is how I read this research:

  • In a previous experiment these researchers found that a high fat low-carb diet was inflammatory;
  • They came up with the hypothesis that this inflammation was due to oxidative stress;
  • They decided to test this idea by putting some overweight people on a high fat / low carb and seeing what happened when some of them were given antioxidant supplements;
  • The diet worked in that the overweight people lost weight;
  • The antioxidant supplements did not make the diet more effective in terms of weight loss;
  • The diet caused a reduction of some but not all markers of inflammation;
  • A role for oxidative stress in causing inflammation was not confirmed.

So, a high fat diet can make you lose weight and reduces some markers of inflammation?

Of course the abstract alone only prompts more questions - it is not clear what the diet consisted of in terms of macro ratios or types of fat for example. Plus to lose weight you need to reduce calories of course.

I am also reminded of previous posts that questioned the value of antioxidant supplements, e.g.,

Antioxidants do more harm than good

A ketogenic diet can in itself be an antioxidant

1 comment:

donny said...

Naked mole rats have higher levels of oxidative stress than other rodents their size, but live much longer, as much as ten times longer. And there was that study in worms where blocking sugar metabolism increased their lifespans, but with lots of oxidative stress. They tried adding some kind of antioxidant, and it worked--but the extension in lifespan went away too.