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Low-Carb Diets Can Help Reverse Metabolic Syndrome; Study Explores Why

Posted Dec 18 2008 7:35pm


Researchers know that low-carb diets could help people with metabolic syndrome, which is a collection of risk factors that put you at risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Now, scientists are getting insights as to why cutting back on carbs works.

Thanks to HealthDay News and Medline, we learned about a new study (albeit small) in the The Journal of Nutrition, which showed that low-carb diets can help reverse metabolic syndrome by improving the hormone signaling involved in obesity and creating a sense of fullness.

University of Pennsylvania researchers, led by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Matthew R. Hayes, Ph.D., are encouraged by their results to improve metabolic syndrome, which is marked by risk factors such as excessive abdominal fat; low levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol); and insulin resistance or glucose intolerance.

Interestingly, although the 20 participants in the study didn't strictly follow recommendations to consume 10 percent of their calories from carbohydrates during the first two weeks (they took in 25 percent instead) and 27 percent from carbs during the 10-week remainder (they consumed 35 percent), they still reaped benefits.

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