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People with metabolic syndrome may benefit considerably by eating a low carbohydrate diet. According to an article on the Los Angeles Times website, these folks will lose weight, and their blood sugar and hormone levels will become more stabilized.
Dr. Stephen Phinney, nutritional biochemist and an emeritus professor of UC Davis led a team of researchers in a study involving 40 men and women who were overweight or obese, having metabolic syndrome.
Half of the participants followed a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. The other half followed a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet.
Even though the low-carbohydrate group ate a high amount of saturated fat, their triglyceride levels dropped by 50 percent after twelve weeks, and their HDL (good) cholesterol levels went up by 15 percent.
The low-fat group on the other hand found that their triglyceride levels only decreased by 20 percent. Their HDL cholesterol levels did not change at all.
An article on the ABC News website reported on research led by Matthew R. Hayes, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, found that a low-carbohydrate diet helps to correct hormonal messaging which contributed to obesity. It also leaves people feeling full longer which helps control food intake.
In the study, 20 men and women who had metabolic syndrome ate a low-carbohydrate diet. They lost about 10 pounds of body fat in the three months duration of the study. Perhaps more importantly when the study ended, about half of the participants showed no signs of metabolic syndrome.
Fasting and post-meal blood levels of hormones such as cholecystokinin (CCK), insulin and leptin were monitored. Insulin and leptin levels were reduced after the first two weeks.
After the three months, both insulin and leptin rose again, but while insulin levels reverted to their original levels, the leptin did not rise that high.
Hayes cautioned that this was a small study, and more research would be necessary.