(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Researchers have found a low-carbohydrate diet helps people lose weight as effectively as a popular weight loss drug, and trumps the drug at lowering cholesterol.
Researchers of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center have shown low-carb diets are more successful in lowering blood pressure than the weight-loss drug orlistat.
“If people have high blood pressure and a weight problem, a low-carbohydrate diet might be a better option than a weight loss medication,” lead study author William S. Yancy, Jr., M.D., was quoted as saying.
The study included 146 overweight participants who had typically associated health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and arthritis. Over the year-long study, patients improved their cholesterol and glucose levels and lost an average of almost 10 percent of their body weight.
Most importantly, almost half of the participants who followed the low-carb diet decreased or discontinued their high blood pressure medication compared to 21 percent of the orlistat plus low-fat diet group.
“I expected the weight loss to be considerable with both therapies, but we were surprised to see blood pressure improve so much more with the low-carbohydrate diet than with orlistat,” Dr. Yancy said.
SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine, January 25, 2010