Objective: Various studies have convincingly shown the beneficial effect of ketogenic diet (in which the daily consumption of carbohydrate is less than 20 grams, regardless of fat, protein and caloric intake) in reducing weight in obese subjects. However, its long term effect on obese subjects with high total cholesterol (as compared to obese subjects with normal cholesterol level is lacking. It is believed that ketogenic diet may have adverse effect on the lipid profile. Therefore, in this study the effect of ketogenic diet in obese subjects with high cholesterol level above 6 mmol/L is compared to those with normocholesterolemia for a period of 56 weeks.
Materials and methods: In this study, 66 healthy obese subjects with body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, having high cholesterol level (Group I; n = 35) and those subjects with normal cholesterol level (Group II; n = 31) were selected. The body weight, body mass index, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, urea, creatinine, glucose and triglycerides were determined before and after the administration of the ketogenic diet. Changes in these parameters were monitored at 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48 and 56 weeks of the treatment.
Results: The body weight and body mass index of both groups decreased significantly (P < 0.0001). The level of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose level decreased significantly (P < 0.0001), whereas HDL cholesterol increased significantly (P < 0.0001) after the treatment in both groups.
Conclusion: This study shows the beneficial effects of ketogenic diet following its long term administration in obese subjects with a high level of total cholesterol. Moreover, this study demonstrates that low carbohydrate diet is safe to use for a longer period of time in obese subjects with a high total cholesterol level and those with normocholesterolemia.