Monday, August 29, 2011

Rethinking the Atkins diet

In diet studies, big question goes unexplored
My Turn

August 23, 2010|By Bob Kaplan, Special to the Los Angeles Times

After losing weight and keeping it off on the Atkins diet, it seems odd that no one wants to find out why this higher-calorie option appears to be more effective.

Researchers (funded by the National Institutes of Health) randomized half their subjects to a diet that limited both calories and fat — women ate no more than 1,500 calories a day; men no more than 1,800. The other half were told to avoid carbohydrate-rich foods, as I've been doing for 15 years, but could eat all the protein and fat they wanted.

The study's authors concluded both diets were equally effective for weight loss, and that is how the press reported it. But the low-carb diet also was associated with better heart health.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The people on the low-fat, low-calorie diet were enduring what nutritionists used to call "semi-starvation diets." They were presumably being deprived of the pleasure of satiation and expected to go at least a little bit hungry every day. Yet the diet that allowed for gluttony was just as effective, and healthier, than the diet that implied temperance, moderation and self-restraint.

The study raises two important questions about our national problems with weight: First, why would a diet unrestricted in calories produce the same amount of weight loss as a diet that requires, in effect, a lifetime of semi-starvation and the one we've been told to live by throughout the obesity epidemic: eat fruits and vegetables and whole grains and low-fat dairy products, just eat significantly less of them?

Can a High-Fat Diet Beat Cancer? Time Magazine

Can a High-Fat Diet Beat Cancer?
By Richard Friebe

The theory is simple: If most aggressive cancers rely on the fermentation of sugar for growing and dividing, then take away the sugar and they should stop spreading. Meanwhile, normal body and brain cells should be able to handle the sugar starvation; they can switch to generating energy from fatty molecules called ketone bodies — the body's main source of energy on a fat-rich diet — an ability that some or most fast-growing and invasive cancers seem to lack.

The Würzburg trial, funded by the Otzberg, Germany–based diet food company Tavartis, which supplies the researchers with food packages, is still in its early, difficult stages. "One big problem we have," says Schmidt, sitting uncomfortably on a small, wooden chair in the crammed tea kitchen of Kämmerer's lab, "is that we are only allowed to enroll patients who have completely run out of all other therapeutic options." That means that most people in the study are faring very badly to begin with. All have exhausted traditional treatments, such as surgery, radiation and chemo, and even some alternative ones like hyperthermia and autohemotherapy. Patients in the study have pancreatic tumors and aggressive brain tumors called glioblastomas, among other cancers; participants are recruited primarily because their tumors show high glucose metabolism in PET scans.

Four of the patients were so ill, they died within the first week of the study. Others, says Schmidt, dropped out because they found it hard to stick to the no-sweets diet: "We didn't expect this to be such a big problem, but a considerable number of patients left the study because they were unable or unwilling to renounce soft drinks, chocolate and so on."

The good news is that for five patients who were able to endure three months of carb-free eating, the results were positive: the patients stayed alive, their physical condition stabilized or improved and their tumors slowed or stopped growing, or shrunk. These early findings have elicited "very positive reactions and an increased interest from colleagues," Kämmerer says, while cautioning that the results are preliminary and that the study was not designed to test efficacy, but to identify side effects and determine the safety of the diet-based approach.

Low-salt diet increases insulin resistance in healthy subjects

Low-salt diet increases insulin resistance in healthy subjects

Low-salt diet was significantly associated with higher homeostasis model assessment index independent of age, sex, blood pressure, body mass index, serum sodium and potassium, serum angiotensin II, plasma renin activity, serum and urine aldosterone, and urine epinephrine and norepinephrine. Low-salt diet is associated with an increase in IR. The impact of our findings on the pathogenesis of diabetes and cardiovascular disease needs further investigation.

Eat your salt without fear!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Nutrition and Alzheimer's disease: The detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet

Nutrition and Alzheimer's disease: The detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet

Alzheimer's disease is a devastating disease whose recent increase in incidence rates has broad implications
for rising health care costs. Huge amounts of research money are currently being in seeking the
underlying cause, with corresponding progress in understanding the disease progression. In this paper, we
highlight how an excess of dietary carbohydrates, particularly fructose, alongside a relative deficiency in
dietary fats and cholesterol, may lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease. A first step in the
pathophysiology of the disease is represented by advanced glycation end-products in crucial plasma proteins
concerned with fat, cholesterol, and oxygen transport. This leads to cholesterol deficiency in neurons, which
significantly impairs their ability to function. Over time, a cascade response leads to impaired glutamate
signaling, increased oxidative damage, mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction, increased risk to microbial
infection, and, ultimately, apoptosis. Other neurodegenerative diseases share many properties with
Alzheimer's disease, and may also be due in large part to this same underlying cause.
© 2011 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Comparing Effects of a Low-energy Diet and a High-protein Low-fat Diet on Sexual and Endothelial Function, Urinary Tract Symptoms, and Inflammation

Comparing Effects of a Low-energy Diet and a High-protein Low-fat Diet on Sexual and Endothelial Function, Urinary Tract Symptoms, and Inflammation in Obese Diabetic Men

Introduction.  Abdominal obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus are associated with sexual and endothelial dysfunction, lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), and chronic systemic inflammation.

Conclusions.  Diet-induced weight loss induces rapid improvement of sexual, urinary, and endothelial function in obese diabetic men. A high-protein, carbohydrate-reduced, low-fat diet also reduces systemic inflammation and sustains these beneficial effects to 1 year.

Effect of short-term low- and high-fat diets on low-density lipoprotein particle size in normolipidemic subjects

The high-fat diet was also associated with a significant increase in LDL particle size (255.0 vs 255.9 Å; P = .01) and a significant decrease in the proportion of small LDL particle (<255.0 Å) (50.7% vs 44.6%, P = .01). As compared with a low-fat diet, the cholesterol-raising effect of a high-fat diet is associated with the formation of large LDL particles after only 3 days of feeding.

(larger particles are much healthier for you, and come about after only days on a low carb diet)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Remission of diabetes in a week using low carb

Low calorie, low carb diet leads to remission of type 2 diabetes within a week.