Skip to comments.Arterial Function Deteriorates on Atkins Diet
Posted on 09/05/2009 5:10:07 PM PDT by neverdem
BOSTON Proponents of the Atkins low-carbohydrate/high saturated fat diet say that you can have your steak and eat it, too, and still lose weight.
But the adverse metabolic consequences are too heavy a price to pay, Australian investigators reported at a symposium sponsored by the International Atherosclerosis Society.
After 1 year, overweight and obese patients randomly assigned to the Atkins diet or to a low-saturated-fat, high-carbohydrate diet lost similar amounts of weight. But patients on the Atkins diet had a deterioration in flow-mediated arterial dilatation, a marker for cardiovascular disease, and higher levels of LDL cholesterol than at baseline, reported Dr. Peter Clifton of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Adelaide, South Australia.
What I really want to know is, does the early elevation of HDL, which has been shown convincingly [with the Atkins diet], and lowering of triglycerides plus the lowering of blood pressure and glucose, outweigh the rise in LDL cholesterol that you see in some individuals in some studies? said Dr. Clifton.
He and colleagues analyzed the effects of two diets on flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), a measurement of the ability of blood vessels to dilate in response to increases in blood flow. FMD is reduced in both cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but whether it improves with significant weight loss is unclear; if so, it might be related to either decreases in glucose or in LDL, Dr. Clifton said.
The study's aim was to evaluate the effects on markers of endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease risk of a very-low-carbohydrate/high-saturated-fat diet, and an isocaloric high-carbohydrate/low-saturated-fat diet.
The outcomes were FMD and markers of endothelial dysfunction, including cellular adhesion molecules, inhibitors and promoters of fibrinolysis, adiponectin, glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein (CRP), lipids, and apolipoprotein B.
The study involved 70 men and women aged 16-60 years with body mass index between 27 and 40 kg/m2, and markers for the presence of the metabolic syndrome.
After 1 year, the 33 patients on the Atkins diet lost slightly more weight on average (14.5 kg), than did the 36 patients on the low-fat diet (11.5 kg), but this difference was not significant.
There was no diet-specific effect on blood pressure, glucose, insulin or CRP, but the Atkins diet was superior to the low-fat diet at decreasing triglycerides and increasing HDL. The Atkins diet also was associated with increases in LDL levels.
Overall, 49 patients (26 on the Atkins diet, 23 on the low-fat diet) underwent FMD assessment. Endothelial function decreased by almost half from baseline among patients in the Atkins diet, compared with no change among patients on the low-fat diet. Overall, FMD deteriorated after 12 months on a high-saturated-fat Atkins diet, despite their fantastic weight loss and improvement in all those other things, Dr. Clifton said. Solely because the LDL increased, it outweighed all the other measures of weight loss. The other measures of endothelial function that we took actually improved except ICAM-1 on the Atkins diet, so there seems to be a separation of endothelial functions as expressed by nitric oxide and these other endothelial markers.
This really calls into question that fantastic elevation of HDL [with the Atkins diet] as being a good thing or having anything much to do with cardiovascular health, he added.
Dr. Clifton disclosed that he has coauthored diet books, but they do not include the information he presented.
The meat-heavy Atkins diet increased both HDL and LDL cholesterol.
A diet high in non root vegetables and high quality protein is probably the best diet you can eat. Paleolithic is the way to go.
Unless the study makes some effort to differentiate in terms of genetic isolates and so forth the results are always highly questionable.
They’re saying that unlimited red meat, cheese, butter, and eggs are bad for your arteries? Who knew?
Next, they’ll say that smoking is bad for your lungs, and a fifth of Scotch a day is bad for your liver.
Will it never end?
Did they check what effect the high-carb low-fat diet had on the samples blood sugar processing?
You can still do low-fat on Atkins. They aren’t mutually exclusive.
“There was no diet-specific effect on glucose, insulin ”
This is odd. Isn’t lowering glucose and insulin the point and the base of the mechanism by which low carb diets work?
I used to work with a guy who did Atkins as part of a group. There was only one member of the group who did not lose significant weight. Turned out she was eating a stick of butter, rolled in cinnamon, every night for ‘dessert’.
Thanks, lysie. I’d like to know more about the test and I’d like to see it repeated by other labs several more times. So far, and I was checked out thoroughly last summer, there has been absolutely no adverse results and with the additional benefit of not gaining weight.
I didn’t start losing weight, however, until I began the B12 injections.
The only diet that works is the GOYAADMEL dIet.
That would be the get off you ass and do more, eat less diet.
I’m beginning to believe the ONLY way to lose weight is with the lap band or gastric bypass surgery.
EVERY time I run into someone who’s lost weight that’s how they did it...
Well...I’m about to have all my cholesterols tested...and I’ve been on a pretty much Paleolithic diet for about 2 months.....and I have a genetic LDL issue....(small, dense, non-buyoant ldl).....I am NOT hungry eating this way, and I lost weight...BUT, I only eat GRASS Fed meat, whenever possible.
Just more BS trying to make sure we all turn into vegetarians. Millions of people have lost weight with the Atkins diet and I would be that they didn’t have any higher incident of heart disease than people who didn’t. Why didn’t they do a 5 year study of people who lost weight on the diet and see what the incident rate of heart attacks were compared to a control group?
No, it's by moderating swings in glucose and insulin levels. No spikes in blood sugar caused by sugars and low "roughage" carbs. No "downs" after the insulin kicks in.
Anyone who only loses 30 pounds IN A YEAR on the Atkins diet ain’t doing it right. And it is probably is what is skewing their cholesterol results.
Gosh, who could have ever predicted or even imagined that a "diet" consisting mainly of meat, eggs, and full-fat dairy products could have adverse effects on the arteries.
Woody Allen was right in Sleeper.
‘They didnt realize that the healthiest foods include steak, cream pies, and hot fudge. Tobacco is also vindicated.’
20 - 25% difference in the weight loss! It may amount to less than 7 pounds, but if the stats were on the other side, I'm sure they would be touting the **huge** statistical difference.
I am not super smart on this, but I’ve read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, which is very, very convincing about the mechanisms of obesity, weight loss, and carbohydrate metabolism.
I may be off a little, but what I have gotten out of that is that high carbohydrate intake drives insulin levels up which deposits fat into fat cells. Low carbohydrate intake keeps insulin levels low, and fat is mobilized out of fat cells as fuel. Chronically high carbohydrate intake will make you fat. Chronically low carbohydrate intake will make you lose weight. This why on an Atkins diet weight can be lost even at high caloric intake and satiety, while weight is often not lost or even is gained on diets which are lower in calories but higher in carbohydrates and on which people are hungry all the time.
This is not necessarily inconsistent with what you said.
induction, See here
The Atkins diet consists of four phases:
ongoing weight loss,
I tried it once, years ago. Lost weight fast, but had no energy. It wasn’t worth it.
I really like butter...
I highly recommend anyone trying an Atkin’s tyle diet read a book called “Protein Power” by Drs. Eades and Eades. It will give you an incredibly clear explanation of why and How the Low carb diet works on a metabolic level, including its manipulation of micro-hormones known as eicosaniods, and how to deal with the problem of increased arachidonic acid (found in red meat) how it likely is causing the effect described in this study, and how to easily replace it with healthier Alpha-lionlenic acid (through a marinade of all things)
Properly done, the Low Carb diet will likely cause you not only to lose weight (personally I lost 100lbs in less than six months and about 80 of it in three months) but it will decrease your blood pressure chemically (mine went from my natural 180/100 to 135/80-the same effect I got with a daily three drug cocktail of Diovan 160, Hctz 25, and Toporol 50) Increase your HDL and and lower Your LDL (by turning on a switch that causes your body to scour cholesterol from your blood stream rather than manufacturing it cellularly) and Opening up your airways (after two weeks on the diet I was able to double the length and intensity of my daily aerobic exercise—my father was able to go from daily use of an asthma inhaler to once a week or less)
Bottom line is this: The Low carb diet works spectacularly, and the Modern medical establishment’s stupid focus on low-fat diets is traceable to a poltical campaign by one crusading senator with no formal medical training in the 1970’s (name escapes me right now) NOT science.
EAT LESS AND EXERCISE.
I had the impression that was at least part of it. I'm wondering if it is too low carb, then maybe your body goes into gluconeogenesis, i.e. making more glucose.
Your brain only works on glucose, IIRC. It may send signals, basically feed me, that we don't have any clues about yet, that control the plasma glucose concentration.
“Im beginning to believe the ONLY way to lose weight is with the lap band or gastric bypass surgery.
EVERY time I run into someone whos lost weight thats how they did it...”
You obviously don’t meet people that get significant aerobic exercize, watch calories, etc.
IOW your contacts want an solution for their inability to control their behaior.
Exercize is one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle.
Yoo hoo - -over here.
Anyone who is facing kidney failure from diabetes cannot use the Atkins diet. The by-products of protein metabolism (such as ammonia), which are produced by the liver, will overload and finish off the kidneys.
I lost 40 lbs on Atkins. It stays off as long as I stick to it. The diet does not consist of eating as much meat, eggs and fully-fat dairy products as you like. I had never eaten as many vegetables before I started Atkins. If you do it correctly, the meat and dairy products are portion controlled. When I'm sticking to it, I have more energy than when I fall back into my carb addiction ways of eating.
Indeed it's not. And what you say is the "theory". I lost about 40-50 lbs, needing to lose 100 more, and stabilized. Lately I've gone off the wagon and gained back 10-20 lbs. You get really, really hungry for bread. :(.
I lost over 20 lbs this year. For every ten days, I spend 4 days doing anaerobic exercise and 4 days using an eliptical.
I’m curious to know what the B-12 injections do to help lose weight. Are they administered by a doc or do you do them yourself? Thanks for the info.
The woman who is the moderator of the low carb diet forum at about.com has a rebuttal to this study. She makes some valid points about the flaws in this study.
At junkfoodscience blog at blogspot, Sandy cites some research that says that no diet in particular has ever been shown to be effective for diabetics long term.
There is so much more that is not known about diabetes than is known - you have to approach all claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. I wish there were some absolute answers.
Don't count on it. One of my neighbors had the procedure done at great expense and is still obese. If someone is determined to be fat, she's going to be fat even if she has to inhale the food through her nose.
You have to exercise to lose weight. Few people who lose weight are willing to impose the self-discipline on themselves to exercise three times a day to keep that metabolic rate up. They try to cut back on calories and diet in different ways, and it doesn't work. They should all go on South Beach (a modified version of Atkins) and exercise more, through aerobic, weight-training, and sport exercise (two of those three on each day, plus a long walk, hike, bike-ride, horseback ride, or swim).
I could be all wrong about this, but I think that the B12 speeds up my metabolism. It is the only noticeable difference in my habits but I have lost perhaps 30 pounds since the end of March. I was 180 then. I haven’t weighed myself since but my clothes are much looser.
I began the injections because it is suspected I have a pernicious anemia or some type of B12 deficiency. I have been anemic and I’ve been very tired as well as showing a lot of other symptoms. As a guess, and in consultation with a nurse, I began with 1mg injections a day.
I immediately saw (immediately meaning within a week!) a lessening of the symptoms, most notably the “fungus-in-the-brain” feeling and the bouts of dizziness. So, I increased the dosage. At one point I’ve injected as much as 6 mg. a day. That was at the end of May and through the middle of June. I had a set-back from two bouts of malaria. Malaria parasites eat up red blood cells and they just had a feast on all my young tender cells!
I’m sorry. This is a long answer to your short question.
I do inject myself. I had been shown how to inject waaaaaay back in ‘93 and I watched a video on the internet about it in April as a refresher. I’ve been injecting since about my third day on the treatment. I didn’t have energy enough to track down a nurse every day.
I am fortunate that I live in a country where I can purchase many drugs that I need easily. B12 is one. In the US you must have a doctor’s prescription and sometimes docs are hard to convince. Unfortunately, living next to the jungle as I do, sometimes supplies run out. I’ve had to scale back my injections and ration what I have. I have an order coming from Jakarta and it should be here in a week. I honestly do not know what I’d do if I lived in the states. Something expensive, I bet.
Atkins still died, and was overweight to boot.
FWIW, I have lost my weight w/o exercise. Basically, I don’t have enough energy yet to exercise. My caloric intake per day is about 600 to 1000 calories a day. Pre-B12 I had no weight loss. Post-B12, the weight is finally coming off.
I just recently added some responsibilities which tire me out significantly. If I had not added those, I would probably be swimming again.
Not everyone is able to exercise, but they can still lose weight.
IANAD, but I suspect you’re wrong. It’s the high glucose levels which play havoc with the kidneys, and reducing them is more important than eating less protein.
Do you really think so with the extreme genetic modification going on? Aren’t you concerned about those extra bits of DNA mucking up your own? At least if you are eating animal meat, the animal can only be somewhat genetically modified without killing it. No such thing as non GM food, while they may not have used GM seed, pollination takes care of that.
Interesting. Thanks for the ping.