(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Going low carb to lose weight? New research
shows you may be jeopardizing your heart health by trading in carbohydrates
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have come across
a significant link between low-carbohydrate/high protein diets and plaque
buildup in the heart's arteries, or atherosclerosis.
After twelve weeks, mice that were fed a low-carb diet (12 percent
carbohydrate; 43 percent fat; 45 percent protein; and .15 percent
cholesterol) gained 28 percent less weight than the other mice but exhibited
6.5 percent more atherosclerosis. The research also shows the same low-carb/high-protein
diet led to an impaired ability for the body to form new healthy blood
vessels in tissues that are deprived of blood flow, similar to what might
occur during a heart attack.
The study also shows that some of the standard precursors of cardiovascular
risk, like cholesterol, were unchanged when feeding animals the same low-carb/high-protein
"We … tend to rely on easily measured serum markers [such as cholesterol],
which have been surprisingly reassuring in individuals on
low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets, who do typically lose weight," lead
author Anthony Rosenzweig, M.D., director of cardiovascular research in
BIDMC's Cardiovascular Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard
Medical School, was quoted as saying, "But our research suggests that, at
least in animals, these diets could be having adverse cardiovascular effects
that are not reflected in simple serum markers."
Dr. Rosenzweig and his team also found the impaired ability to form new
healthy blood vessels in tissues that are deprived of blood flow is
associated with a decrease in vascular progenitor cells, which may play a
key role in protecting and maintaining a healthy vascular system.
SOURCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 24, 2009