Wednesday June 19, 12:47 pm Eastern Time
SOURCE: Atkins Health & Medical Information Services
Atkins Health & Medical Information Services Research Update
NEW YORK, June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Controlled carbohydrate nutritional practices are now more than ever being studied for efficacy and long-term safety as well as in connection with a variety of health and disease modalities. Certain studies are specifically focused on the outcomes that result from following the Atkins Nutritional Approach(TM) (ANA).
As an ongoing service from Atkins Health & Medical Information Services to practicing physicians and medical and lifestyle journalists, our communications department will be providing you with the latest developments in clinical research as they occur and are reported. If you would like any further information or access to our complete library of published controlled carbohydrate research, please contact Melissa Sodolski or Gina Mangiaracina at 212-714-0300 or msodolski~wwafsp.com. You can also find the complete library of published studies in The Science Behind Atkins section at http://www.atkinscenter.com.
SOME NEW OBSERVATIONS FROM THE FIELD
A number of researchers are beginning to see data that refines and clarifies our understanding of why and how the ANA works both in terms of weight loss and various improvements in a variety of health parameters, especially with regard to the cardiovascular system.
-- Increasingly, research on both the controlled carbohydrate and low-fat
fronts is showing that the solution to America's obesity epidemic is
to be found with individualized diets. The federal government's
singular support of low-fat nutrition has clearly failed the U.S.
population. Researchers are beginning to see that this failure stems
from a complex array of factors, including weight maintenance issues,
genetics and a flawed understanding of cholesterol.
-- In the 1980s, researchers identified "good" cholesterol (HDL) and
"bad" cholesterol (LDL). However, it now turns out that such
classifications are overly simplistic; several experts have begun to
break out subsets of both LDL and HDL, demonstrating that both
categories of cholesterol have helpful and harmful types. In fact,
one of the nation's leading nutrition experts, Ronald M. Krauss, M.D.,
University of California at Berkeley, has seen evidence that as much
as 40 percent of the U.S. population has a genetic predisposition to a
particular subset of "bad" LDL and that, when put on a low-fat diet,
these individuals find themselves at a greatly increased risk of
-- The vast majority of nutrition experts agree that the real challenge
in the war against obesity is not weight loss, but maintenance of a
healthy weight. One by one studies comparing low-fat and controlled
carbohydrate regimens show a significantly greater rate of long-term
compliance among the controlled carbohydrate subjects. Various
studies are presently exploring the possible reasons for this. But at
the end of the day, we may find overwhelming evidence that over the
long term many Americans find it easier to follow controlled
carbohydrate regimens than low-fat ones.
NEW NATIONAL WEIGHT-LOSS REGISTRY: CONTROLLED CARBOHYDRATE ASSESSMENT
REGISTRY BANK STUDY (CCARBS) BY THE ALBERT EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
New York City's Albert Einstein College of Medicine has initiated the first national Controlled Carbohydrate Assessment Registry Bank Study (CCARBS), which will track the food intake and weight patterns of individuals following a controlled carbohydrate lifestyle over a period of several years. The current National Weight Control Registry based at the University of Colorado has focused primarily on low-fat followers and has not captured a statistically significant representation of the millions of Americans following a controlled carbohydrate lifestyle. CCARBS will at long last fill in this gap in our knowledge and understanding of weight loss and long-term maintenance once a healthy weight is achieved.
Overall, the purpose of CCARBS is to create a registry of people who have used controlled carbohydrate diets to improve their health. Specifically, the researchers will follow long-term users of controlled carbohydrate diets (no more than 25 percent of calories) for four or more years. Among the variables of research interest are the details of their individualized eating patterns, physical activity patterns and health status. CCARBS data will also be used to study the lipid patterns of 60 participants. Because this is a registry rather than a study with a single hypothesis, once under way, CCARBS will open its cohort of participants to other qualified researchers who wish to study people on long-term controlled carbohydrate diets.
Interested individuals will be able to participate in the CCARBS through a Web site. The address will be made public this September.
Some data, however, is already available: In the summer of 2001, Albert Einstein College of Medicine began an on-line pilot registry of controlled carbohydrate followers. The registry surveyed 6,740 people, of whom 6,088 reported using a controlled carbohydrate diet. The results of this pilot study will be published shortly in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
DUKE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
A team of researchers at Duke University Medical Center has conducted an ongoing weight-loss study that entailed monitoring 50 subjects who were following the Atkins Nutritional Approach(TM). The individuals were monitored throughout the initial six-month period, with data that included results of laboratory tests, weight/waist measurements, diet composition, symptoms and side effects. The results, to be published within the next two months, will suggest that the ANA is not only effective in weight loss and management, but manifests significant improvement in a number of cardiovascular disease risk factors.
In addition to the ongoing weight-loss study, Duke researchers also performed a two-armed, randomized controlled trial to study 120 obese hyperlipidemic adults. The study compared the controlled carbohydrate Atkins Nutritional Approach(TM) to the American Heart Association (AHA) Step I diet advocated by many health professionals for cardiovascular health. In each arm of the study, 60 subjects were monitored for clinical values, side effects, body composition and bone-mineral density. Food records provided measures of caloric intake as well as carbohydrate, protein and fat intake. This comparative study demonstrated that subjects on a controlled carbohydrate eating program lost both more weight and more body fat than subjects following a low-fat diet. In addition, those subjects controlling their carbohydrate intake showed a decrease in triglycerides and total cholesterol as well as an increase in HDL "good" cholesterol levels. The full results of this research, including some groundbreaking data regarding our expanding knowledge on the role of cholesterol in heart disease, are soon to be published in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Medicine.
BETH ISRAEL DEACONESS HOSPITAL
A team of researchers at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, affiliated with Harvard University's School of Public Health, is conducting a pilot study to compare the weight loss and metabolism of two dietary principles for weight loss in otherwise healthy obese adults. The study will compare a low-fat diet to a controlled carbohydrate diet. Researchers will investigate differences in weight loss, blood lipid levels and glucose sensitivity among three different menu plans: two isocaloric reduced-calorie diets (one a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet and the other a reduced-calorie, controlled carbohydrate ketogenic diet) and a higher caloric, controlled carbohydrate ketogenic diet. All food, including snacks and beverages, will be provided to 45 moderately obese men and women (15 in each diet group) for three months. Outcome comparison measures will include weight loss, fat loss and risk factors of health (e.g., serum cholesterol and triglycerides). Subjects will also be monitored for adherence and any adverse events. Results are expected before the end of this year.
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
Contrary to their expectations that a controlled carbohydrate regimen would elevate risk factors for heart disease, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania (the principle investigator), the University of Colorado and Washington University found quite the contrary. At the annual meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity in February of 2002, Gary D. Foster, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, presented preliminary results of a randomized controlled trial of 120 obese men and women comparing the Atkins Nutritional Approach(TM) with a conventional low-fat, high-carbohydrate plan. Not only did the Atkins subjects lose considerably more weight than the low-fat group, their triglycerides dropped and their HDL "good" cholesterol increased. The low-fat followers experienced significant decreases in total cholesterol and LDL "bad" cholesterol, but no significant changes in triglycerides and HDL. Foster reported that these improvements continued after 26 weeks of following the ANA. Furthermore, he observed that compliance is consistently higher over time among controlled carbohydrate followers than among low-fat dieters.
For more information, go to www.medscape.com/viewarticle/418266_6.
THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
Researchers at the University of Connecticut have studied the effects of carbohydrate-restricted diets in which the primary fuel is fat by looking at the underlying physiology of ketosis and its influence on blood lipids, endocrine responses and body composition.
The first phase of the study involved measuring body composition, bone density and muscle mass of 12 lean, healthy adult males following a carbohydrate-restricted diet throughout a six-week period. During the second six-week phase, 12 obese but otherwise healthy adult males maintained a carbohydrate-restricted weight-loss program. Changes in metabolism were determined while subjects were in ketosis. Researchers compared data on the ketogenic process for the lean versus the obese subjects and measured the mechanisms involved in a high-fat eating regimen. These mechanisms included insulin, testosterone, human growth hormone and cortisol levels. Lean body mass and fat mass levels were monitored to determine if muscle mass was preserved and fat mobilized while individuals followed a high-fat eating program. These studies all showed successful benefits of controlled carbohydrate eating. The various outcomes of these studies led by Jeff Volek, Ph.D., have been published in the Journal of Nutrition (in press), Journal of the American College of Nutrition (2000) and Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental (2001).
1. Volek, J.S., A.L. Gomez, and W.J. Kraemer. Fasting and postprandial
lipoprotein responses to a low-carbohydrate diet supplemented with n-
3 fatty acids. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 19:383-
2. Sharman, M.J. W.J. Kraemer, D.M. Love, N.G. Avery, A.L. Gomez, T.P.
Scheett, and J.S. Volek. A ketogenic diet favorably affects serum
biomarkers for cardiovascular disease in normal-weight men. Journal
of Nutrition. (In Press).
3. Volek, J.S., M.J. Sharman, D.M. Love, N.G. Avery, A.L. Gomez, T.P.
Scheett, and W.J. Kraemer. Body composition and hormonal responses to
a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Metabolism: Clinical and
Experimental. (In Press).
SOURCE: Atkins Health & Medical Information Services