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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135

Abstract

NOAKES, T D. Low-carbohydrate and high-fat intake can manage obesity and associated conditions: Occasional survey. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2013, vol.103, n.11, pp. 826-830. ISSN 2078-5135.

This study analyses 127 communications from individuals self-reporting their weight change following adoption of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) eating plan. Total combined self-reported weight loss was 1 900 kg (range 5 kg gain to 84 kg loss). The mean ± standard deviation weight loss of 15 (±12) kg is among the largest yet described. Sixteen subjects reported the LCHF 'cured' (i.e. medications no longer required) one or more of their medical conditions, most commonly type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (n=14), hypertension (n=8) and hypercholesterolaemia (n=7). Another 9 subjects with either type 1 diabetes mellitus or T2DM reduced medications as did 7 patients with hypertension; 8 no longer suffered from irritable bowel syndrome. These data show that significant and rapid weight loss is possible on an unsupervised eating plan that severely restricts daily carbohydrate intake to approximately <75 g/day. Better weight loss on a carbohydrate-restricted LCHF eating plan than on an iso-caloric high-carbohydrate, low-fat (HCLF) diet is well described in the literature, probably due to a paradoxical reduction of hunger by carbohydrate restriction. A randomised controlled clinical trial is urgently required to disprove the hypothesis that the LCHF eating plan can reverse cases of T2DM, metabolic syndrome and hypertension without pharmacotherapy.

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