Experts warn against recommending low-carbohydrate diets


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Experts have sounded an alarm over the use of low-carbohydrate diets (LCDs) after new research suggested LCDs could be linked with an increased mortality risk. 

As part of the study, researchers examined the relationship between LCDs, with total and cause-specific mortality among 24,825 participants of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) during 1999 to 2010. 

They found that compared to participants with the highest carbohydrate consumption, those with the lowest intake had a 32 per cent higher risk of all-cause mortality, a 50 per cent increased risk of cardiovascular mortality, a 51 per cent increased risk of cerebrovascular mortality and a 36 per cent increased risk of cancer mortality. 

The researchers also carried out a separate meta-analysis of seven prospective cohort studies with 447,506 participants which similarly identified increased risks in total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality with low compared to high carbohydrate diets. 

“Given the fact that LCDs may be unsafe, it would be preferable not to currently recommend these diets. Further studies to clarify the mechanisms involved in these associations and to support our findings are eagerly awaited,” the authors said.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress.