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Study Of Obese Diabetics Explains Why Low-carb Diets Produce Fast Results
Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2005
Results of a new study shows why the pounds melt so quickly on low-carb diets.
A new study by Temple University School of Medicine researchers has shown why the pounds melt so quickly on low-carbohydrate diets, and it's not related to water, metabolism or boredom. The research was conducted in a group of obese patients with type 2 diabetes who followed the Atkins diet.
According to lead researcher, Guenther Boden, M.D.,
Almost 80 percent of diabetics are overweight or obese, compounding health risks such as heart disease and stroke. Boden wanted to examine how low-carbohydrate diets, which have been shown to produce rapid weight loss, affected weight, appetite and blood sugar in obese diabetics.
He discovered that study subjects did not eat less because they were bored with the food selection, and their weight loss was not attributable to water loss, two common speculations about low-carb diets. Further, weight loss could not be explained by a change in metabolism, another popular misconception.
This is the only study of the Atkins diet to have been conducted in the strictly controlled environment of a clinical research center where every calorie eaten and spent was measured.
After a week of typical eating, ten obese patients with type 2 diabetes followed the Atkins diet for two weeks, with carbohydrates limited to 20 grams per day and unlimited protein and fat.
"When we took away the carbohydrates, the patients spontaneously reduced their daily energy consumption by 1,000 calories a day. Although they could have, they did not compensate by eating more proteins and fats and they weren't bored with the food choices. In fact, they loved the diet. The carbohydrates were clearly stimulating their excessive appetites," said Boden.
All patients stayed in the hospital for the length of the study to insure exact measurements of calorie intake and expenditure. In other studies of the Atkins diet, subjects were at home and reported their own diet and exercise, making it difficult to ensure accuracy.
In addition to the calorie reduction and weight loss, subjects experienced markedly improved glucose levels and insulin sensitivity, as well as lower triglycerides and cholesterol.
Treatment for diabetes centers on closely monitoring sugar levels, diet and medication. Weight loss can often reduce or eliminate the need for medication, including insulin.
Boden warns that the long term effects of low-carbohydrate diets are not known. Whether other types of diets would have a similar impact also remains to be investigated.
Source: Diabetes In Control.com:
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