Low-carb diets are all the rage nowadays, promising a number of health benefits from weight loss to blood sugar control etc. A new study has now shown that low-carbohydrate diets may have benefits for people who are at risk of developing Type-2 diabetes, even if there is no weight loss. The study indicated that low-carb diets may help reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome, even if they don't lose any weight by following these diets. The study was conducted by researchers at the Ohio State University in the United States of America, with the purpose of knowing what happens to obese patients of metabolic syndrome, if they follow a diet that restricts consumption of carbohydrates.
The study titled, "Dietary carbohydrate restriction improves metabolic syndrome independent of weight loss" was published in JCI (Journal of Clinical Investigation). Metabolic syndrome patients are at elevated risk of diabetes and it is also linked with obesity and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. For the study, researchers looked at 16 men and women with metabolic syndrome- a cluster of factors which exposes people to higher risks of heart diseases and stroke. High BP, blood sugar and increased body fat, high levels of triglycerides and low levels of good cholesterol, are just some of the factors that may contribute to metabolic syndrome.
For the study, the participants followed a low carb diet, which was designed in a way to reduce carb intake, while keeping the number of calories consistent, so as to not affect the participants' weights. After four weeks of following a low-carb diet, the researchers observed a reduction in symptoms of metabolic syndrome in half the participants. The journal study report said, "Despite maintaining body mass, low-carbohydrate (LC) intake enhanced fat oxidation and was more effective in reversing MetS, especially high triglycerides, low HDL-C, and the small LDL subclass phenotype.
Carbohydrate restriction also improved abnormal fatty acid composition, an emerging MetS feature. Despite containing 2.5 times more saturated fat than the high-carbohydrate diet, an LC diet decreased plasma total saturated fat and palmitoleate and increased arachidonate."