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Very low-carbohydrate diet associated with increased mortality : Lancet


Very low-carbohydrate diet associated with increased mortality : Lancet

Both high and low percentage of carbohydrate diets were associated with increased mortality, with minimal risk observed at 50–55% carbohydrate intake, according to the findings of a study published in the journal The Lancet Public Health. These findings reflect a U-shaped relationship between carbohydrate intake and mortality. This is alarming for those who have parted from bread, rice, and potatoes for weight loss or for some other reasons.

Researchers have found that eating a moderate amount of carbohydrates is best for your long life. Less than 40% or more than 70% of calories from carbohydrates can shorten life expectancy.

Sara B Seidelmann and his associates conducted a study to investigate the association between carbohydrate intake and mortality.

The researchers found significant differences in mean residual lifespan based on carbohydrate intake They estimated that a 50-year-old participant with intake of less than 30% of energy from carbohydrate would have a projected life expectancy of 29·1 years, compared with 33·1 years for a participant who consumed 50–55% of energy from carbohydrate (difference 4·0 years).

Similarly, the authors estimated that a 50-year-old participant with high carbohydrate intake (>65% of energy from carbohydrate) would have a projected life expectancy of 32·0 years, compared with 33·1 years for a participant who consumed 50–55% of energy from carbohydrate (difference 1·1 years).

According to the researchers low carbohydrate dietary patterns favouring animal-derived protein and fat sources, such as lamb, beef, pork, and chicken, were associated with higher mortality, whereas those that favoured plant-derived protein and fat intake, from sources such as vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, and whole-grain bread, were associated with lower mortality, suggesting that the source of food notably modifies the association between carbohydrate intake and mortality.

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The range of carbohydrate intake differs by geographical and socioeconomic factors. The percentage of energy from carbohydrates have been lower in North American and European cohort studies (mean values generally ≤50%) than in Asian or multinational cohorts, which are largely comprised of low-income and middle-income countries (mean values >60%).

The authors have provided probable explanations for their main findings:

  • Long-term effects of a low carbohydrate diet with typically low plant and increased animal protein and fat consumption have been hypothesized to stimulate inflammatory pathways, biological aging, and oxidative stress.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, high carbohydrate diets, which are common in Asian and less economically advantaged nations, tend to be high in refined carbohydrates, such as white rice; these types of diets might reflect poor food quality and confer a chronically high glycaemic load that can lead to negative metabolic consequences.

“Our findings suggest a negative long-term association between life expectancy and both low carbohydrate and high carbohydrate diets when food sources are not taken into account. These data also provide further evidence that animal-based low carbohydrate diets should be discouraged. Alternatively, when restricting carbohydrate intake, replacement of carbohydrates with predominantly plant-based fats and proteins could be considered as a long-term approach to promote healthy aging,”write the authors.

For more reference log on to https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30135-X

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Vinay Singh

Vinay Singh

Vinay Singh joined Medical Dialogue as Desk Editor in 2018. He covers the medical speciality news in different medical categories including Medical guidelines, updates from Medical Journals and Case Reports. He completed his graduation in Biotechnology from AAIDU and did his MBA from IILM Gurgaon. He can be contacted at editorial@medicaldialogues.in . Contact no. 011-43720751
Source: With inputs from the journal The Lancet Public Health

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