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Low Carb Diet — Bad for the heart!

According to a report in the BBC*, “Low-carb diets ‘damage arteries.”  It seems a new study has just been released that says: “Low-carb slimming diets may clog arteries and increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.”  As many of you know, carbohydrate-restricting diets have become increasing popular, but the Beth Israel Insititute which is part of Harvard Medical School found such habits caused artery damage in tests on mice.  They had decided to investigate after hearing of reports of people on the diets suffering heart attacks.

The Studies Approach
Mice were fed three different diets – “a standard mouse type, a western diet which was high in fat, and a low-carb, high-protein version, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported.

The low-carb diet did not affect cholesterol levels, but there was a significant difference on the impact on atherosclerosis – the build-up of fatty plaque deposits in the arteries that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

After 12 weeks, the mice eating the low-carb diet had gained less weight, but developed 15% more atherosclerosis than those on the standard mice food. For the western diet group there was 9% more atherosclerosis.

The team could not be certain why the effect was seen, but thought low-carb diets may affect the way bone marrow cells effectively clean arteries of fatty deposits.

Lead researcher Anthony Rosenzweig said the findings were so concerning to him that he decided to come off the low-carb diet he was following.”

Joanne Murphy, from the Stroke Association, said: “We know that foods such as red meat and dairy products, which are high in protein, also contain high levels of saturated fat. These fats then cause the build up in the arteries.”  But she added the research was still at an early stage and she wanted to see more work done on the subject.

“Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, president, UK Faculty of Public Health, said: “This research helps to back up the basic message that our diet should contain more starchy carbohydrate, not less.”

“For long-term health at least one-third of what we eat should be bread, rice, potatoes, pasta or other starchy food.”

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Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/8218780.stm

Published: 2009/08/24 23:03:53 GMT

© BBC MMIX

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