Actually, it is not just low carb diets. The researchers looked at 3 different diets:
Researchers studied 140 people (88 percent men, average age 51, Body Mass Index 30.4) who were randomly assigned to a low-carbohydrate, low fat or Mediterranean diet as part of the Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial-carotid (DIRECT) study.What doesn't really hit the headlines is that while each of the diets was effective in reversing the atherosclerosis process, the low carb diet was the most effective in terms of its favorable effects on lipids in the blood.
Even the BBC note:
"Some people suggest that low-carbohydrate diets are more likely to clog arteries, but we did not see that."
Sounds like something for Dr Davies
Here is the study abstract:
Dietary Intervention to Reverse Carotid Atherosclerosis.
BACKGROUND: -It is currently unknown whether dietary weight loss interventions can induce regression of carotid atherosclerosis. Methods and Results-In a 2-year Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial-Carotid (DIRECT-Carotid) study, participants were randomized to low-fat, Mediterranean, or low-carbohydrate diets and were followed for changes in carotid artery intima-media thickness, measured with standard B-mode ultrasound, and carotid vessel wall volume (VWV), measured with carotid 3D ultrasound. Of 140 complete images of participants (aged 51 years; body mass index, 30 kg/m(2); 88% men), higher baseline carotid VWV was associated with increased intima-media thickness, age, male sex, baseline weight, blood pressure, and insulin levels (P<0.05 for all). After 2 years of dietary intervention, we observed a significant 5% regression in mean carotid VWV (-58.1 mm(3;) 95% confidence interval, -81.0 to -35.1 mm(3); P<0.001), with no differences in the low-fat, Mediterranean, or low-carbohydrate groups (-60.69 mm(3), -37.69 mm(3), -84.33 mm(3), respectively; P=0.28). Mean change in intima-media thickness was -1.1% (P=0.18). A reduction in the ratio of apolipoprotein B100 to apolipoprotein A1 was observed in the low-carbohydrate compared with the low-fat group (P=0.001). Participants who exhibited carotid VWV regression (mean decrease, -128.0 mm(3); 95% confidence interval, -148.1 to -107.9 mm(3)) compared with participants who exhibited progression (mean increase, +89.6 mm(3); 95% confidence interval, +66.6 to +112.6 mm(3)) had achieved greater weight loss (-5.3 versus -3.2 kg; P=0.03), greater decreases in systolic blood pressure (-6.8 versus -1.1 mm Hg; P=0.009) and total homocysteine (-0.06 versus +1.44 mumol/L; P=0.04), and a higher increase of apolipoprotein A1 (+0.05 versus -0.00 g/L; P=0.06). In multivariate regression models, only the decrease in systolic blood pressure remained a significant independent modifiable predictor of subsequent greater regression in both carotid VWV (beta=0.23; P=0.01) and intima-media thickness (beta=0.28; P=0.008) levels. Conclusions-Two-year weight loss diets can induce a significant regression of measurable carotid VWV. The effect is similar in low-fat, Mediterranean, or low-carbohydrate strategies and appears to be mediated mainly by the weight loss-induced decline in blood pressure.