Low carb lives on - at least for scientists

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Diabetes

The low carb boom may be over for businesses but some scientists
remain convinced that it is a benefit approach to several health
conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

This coming weekend Nutritional and Metabolic Aspects of Carbohydrate Restriction will take place in New York, examining the role of carbohydrates in the human body - from cell function to blood sugar control.

Critics of the approach have said that the approach puts followers at a higher risk of clogged arteries and heart attack in the long-term.

Atkins Nutritionals, one of the main proponents of the low carb lifestyle, filed for bankruptcy last year. It emerged last week with a new mission: to promote 'tasty, portable nutrition'.

Fads aside, the advocates attending the conference are more interested low carb from a disease management viewpoint, however, rather than a general approach to nutrition.

"Some of the clinical results, particularly in diabetes, are quite remarkable,"​ said conference organizer Richard Feinman, professor of biochemistry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Amongst the research to be presented at the conference is a study investigating the carbohydrate-controlled diet in managing blood sugar levels in type-2 diabetics, which observed that patients were able to reduce or eliminate medication.

Mary Vernon, president of the American Society for Bariatric Physicians and co-author of the Atkins Diabetes Revolution said she believes that cutting out carbs could even reverse the type-2 diabetes trend in the US.

"Thanks to the low carb approach we've seen many patients reduce or completely eliminate drug therapy,"​ she said, adding that patients should be given a choice of a non-pharmacological approach.

Other papers to be presented cover the role of carbohydrate control in metabolic syndrome, a precursor of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and in cardio risk factors like low HDL cholesterol and small LDL lipoprotein pattern.

However recent research from the University of Oxford observed that high fat-low carb diets appear to negatively impact the heart's energy stores, even when the diet is followed for a short time.

The research was presented at the American Heart Association conference in November.

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