In episode 79 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses:
Cardiovascular illness and heart disease remain the number one killer in the US population and the Western World. A significant goal of the medical community continues to be to reduce the risks that lead to heart disease, cardiovascular illness, and stroke. The results of a study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, point to a low-carbohydrate diet as being beneficial to reduce independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and diabetes.
It was only a four-week study, which means that in a very short time, the low-carbohydrate diet considerably altered independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. DR. CHAD LARSON
One of the most significant independent predictors of heart disease is arterial stiffness or aorta stiffness. It is evaluated by measuring the pulse wave velocity of the arteries. If the pulse wave goes down, you have improved the flexibility of the blood vessels. The more flexibility you have in the arteries; the more you decrease the chance for heart disease, plaquing, and hardening of the arteries.
Researchers wanted to examine if a low-carbohydrate diet affected pulse wave velocity and body weight. They chose participants with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, which are pre-diabetic situations. The participants had metabolic syndrome as characterized by four things; high triglycerides, their metabolic glucose metabolism was off, a low HDL, and waist circumference of more than 40 for men, 35 for women. Having those factors puts a person at high risk for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
In just four weeks researchers found that putting the participants on a low-carbohydrate diet produced a significant improvement in arterial flexibility and pulse weight velocity, but only for the women participants. So, it was conclusive that women enjoy the benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet.
In men, the pulse weight velocity did not improve, but their weight improved significantly more than women. It was only a four-week study, which means that in a very short time, the low-carbohydrate diet considerably altered independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Men who lost weight lowered their risk factor for obesity, which can lead to heart disease and cardiovascular illness. Women had a pulse wave improvement that increased the flexibility of their arteries.
All of the participants lost weight with the average being about five pounds. When it came to men, the average loss was closer to seven pounds. If the length of the study had been longer, it would be exciting to see how changing to a low-carbohydrate diet can decrease the risk factors that people have for heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes over the long-term.