Research

Low carbohydrate diet versus low fat diet

Am J Epidemiol. 2012 Oct 1;176 Suppl 7:S44-54. doi: 10.1093/aje/kws264.

Effects of low-carbohydrate diets versus low-fat diets on metabolic risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials.

Hu T, Mills KT, Yao L, Demanelis K, Eloustaz M, Yancy WS Jr, Kelly TN, He J, Bazzano LA.
Source
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.

Abstract

The effects of low-carbohydrate diets (≤45% of energy from carbohydrates) versus low-fat diets (≤30% of energy from fat) on metabolic risk factors were compared in a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Twenty-three trials from multiple countries with a total of 2,788 participants met the predetermined eligibility criteria (from January 1, 1966 to June 20, 2011) and were included in the analyses. Data abstraction was conducted in duplicate by independent investigators. Both low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets lowered weight and improved metabolic risk factors. Compared with participants on low-fat diets, persons on low-carbohydrate diets experienced a slightly but statistically significantly lower reduction in total cholesterol (2.7 mg/dL; 95% confidence interval: 0.8, 4.6), and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (3.7 mg/dL; 95% confidence interval: 1.0, 6.4), but a greater increase in high density lipoprotein cholesterol (3.3 mg/dL; 95% confidence interval: 1.9, 4.7) and a greater decrease in triglycerides (-14.0 mg/dL; 95% confidence interval: -19.4, -8.7). Reductions in body weight, waist circumference and other metabolic risk factors were not significantly different between the 2 diets. These findings suggest that low-carbohydrate diets are at least as effective as low-fat diets at reducing weight and improving metabolic risk factors. Low-carbohydrate diets could be recommended to obese persons with abnormal metabolic risk factors for the purpose of weight loss. Studies demonstrating long-term effects of low-carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular events were warranted.

Omega-3 supplements and Telomere Lengthening

Omega-3 fatty acids, oxidative stress, and leukocyte telomere length: A randomized controlled trial.

Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Epel ES, Belury MA, Andridge R, Lin J, Glaser R, Malarkey WB, Hwang BS, Blackburn E.

Source
Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract
Shorter telomeres have been associated with poor health behaviors, age-related diseases, and early mortality. Telomere length is regulated by the enzyme telomerase, and is linked to exposure to proinflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress. In our recent randomized controlled trial, omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation lowered the concentration of serum proinflammatory cytokines.

This study assessed whether n-3 PUFA supplementation also affected leukocyte telomere length, telomerase, and oxidative stress. In addition to testing for group differences, changes in the continuous n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio were assessed to account for individual differences in adherence, absorption, and metabolism.

The double-blind four-month trial included 106 healthy sedentary overweight middle-aged and older adults who received (1) 2.5g/day n-3 PUFAs, (2) l.25g/day n-3 PUFAs, or (3) placebo capsules that mirrored the proportions of fatty acids in the typical American diet.

Supplementation significantly lowered oxidative stress as measured by F2-isoprostanes (p=0.02). The estimated geometric mean log-F2-isoprostanes values were 15% lower in the two supplemented groups compared to placebo. Although group differences for telomerase and telomere length were nonsignificant, changes in the n-6:n-3 PUFA plasma ratios helped clarify the intervention's impact: telomere length increased with decreasing n-6:n-3 ratios, p=0.02. The data suggest that lower n-6:n-3 PUFA ratios can impact cell aging.

The triad of inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune cell aging represents important pre-disease mechanisms that may be ameliorated through nutritional interventions. This translational research broadens our understanding of the potential impact of the n-6:n-3 PUFA balance. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00385723.

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