Just losing weight often means improvements in health, especially in terms of reducing risk of cardio-vascular disease. It doesn’t matter which weight loss method we use – losing weight is a great thing for health, period.
Weight loss and vascular stiffness
However, the more efficient the weight loss, the better. So a group of American scientists wondered how a low carb diet would affect the vascular stiffness. They measured the aortic stiffness by carotid-to-femoral pulse wave velocity. The pulse wave velocity is inversely proportional to the vascular stiffness – the lower the value the better the vascular health. One of the factors affecting the vascular stiffness is also progressing age – even in healthy individuals.
The main question was: could a reduction of the pulse wave velocity be achieved by a carb restricted diet, previously shown to bring about weight loss in a shorter time compared to other weight loss strategies.
The study design and findings
20 men and women with insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome participated in a 4 weeks study. They consumed a low calorie carb restricted diet. In average the group lost 5.4% weight, experienced significant reductions in blood pressure (6-8%), blood insulin and triglycerides (both 34%). Aortic stiffness, as marked by pulse wave velocity, also decreased. The pulse wave velocity reduction in average was 6%, but the surprising observation that it fell with women (from 7.2 to 6.3 m/s) and not with men (Syed-Abdul et al., 2018). This surely calls for more research 😊
SYED-ABDUL, M.M. et al. 2018. Effect of carbohydrate restriction-induced weight loss on aortic pulse wave velocity in overweight men and women. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, DOI: 10.1139/apnm-2018-0113
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