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Effect of carbohydrate restriction-induced weight loss on aortic pulse wave velocity in overweight men and women

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Increased aortic stiffness, measured by carotid-to-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV), is an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease, and past data have shown that low-fat and low-energy diets, fed for 8–24 weeks, lower PWV. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a reduction in PWV would be achieved by dietary carbohydrate (CHO) restriction, shown to bring about weight loss over a shorter timeframe. Men (n = 10, age: 41.8 ± 10.2 years, BMI: 34.2 ± 3.0 kg/m2 (mean ± SD)) and women (n = 10, age: 38.6 ± 6.1 years, BMI: 33.5 ± 3.8 kg/m2) with characteristics of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome consumed a structured, CHO-restricted diet for 4 weeks (energy deficit, 645 kcal/day). For the whole group, subjects lost 5.4% ± 0.5% (P < 0.001) of body weight and experienced significant reductions in blood pressure (6%–8%), plasma insulin (34%), and triglycerides (34%). PWV was reduced by 6% ± 2% (7.1 ± 0.2 m/s to 6.7 ± 0.2 m/s, P = 0.008) and surprisingly, in women, it fell significantly (from 7.2 ± 0.3 m/s to 6.3 ± 0.3 m/s, P = 0.028), while no changes were observed in men (7.2 ± 0.3 vs. 7.0 ± 0.3 m/s, P = 0.144). This is the first study to demonstrate that weight loss can improve PWV in as little as 4 weeks and that dietary CHO restriction may be an effective treatment for reducing aortic stiffness in women. Future studies are needed to establish the mechanisms by which dietary CHO restriction may confer more cardiovascular benefits to women than to men.
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Keywords: carbohydrate metabolism; insulin resistance; insulinorésistance; metabolism; métabolisme; métabolisme des sucres; perte de poids; pulse wave velocity; vitesse de l’onde de pouls; weight loss

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA. 2: Division of Endocrinology, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65212, USA. 3: Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., Denver, CO 80202, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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