Saturday, October 16, 2010

Low Carbohydrate Diets Finding Great Success

Spent part of the morning reviewing 20 years of journal articles on the "Science of Dietary Carbohydrates, Glucose and Insulin."  Fascinating reading. It is interesting that prior to the advent of insulin as a treatment for diabetes, the most common treatment from 1915-1920 used by William Osler for diabetes was significant carbohydrate restriction.
In 1999 a study was published in Pediatrics looking at twelve obese teenage boys.  They were randomly fed low glycemic equal calorie meals followed by high glycemic index meals or vise-versa.  The fascinating result was that when fed following a low glycemic meal, the boys at 81% more if the meal was high in glycemic index.  The fascinating factor is that their insulin levels were much higher which would correlate with notable weight gain and cholesterol rise based on other research.
Another study completed in 2005 helps to quash safety concerns about low carbohydrate diets and shows them to be just as effective in weight loss and more effective in lowering triglycerides, raising HDL in patients with type II diabetes then low fat diets.
My patient's in the office have had tremendous success with low carbohydrate dietary changes over the last 12 months. Every patient in my practice following a very low carbohydrate diet has drastically improved their cardiovascular risk, lipid profile, and significantly reduced their weight. In those patient with type II diabetes, they have additionally had significant improvement in their blood sugar control, average blood sugars (HbA1c) and there triglycerides (on of the lipid measures placing these patients at risk for heart disease). This correlates closely with recent studies reflecting similar results in the medical literature.  It is essential, however, to be monitored regularly on these types of diets, as rapid and significant metabolic changes can and do occur. Medications, blood pressure, and blood sugar control need to be closely monitored when following a low carbohydrate diet. Close follow up with your physician is highly recommended.

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