Objective: To characterize acute (postprandial) and chronic (after a 6-month period of weight loss) effects of a low-carbohydrate vs. a low-fat diet on subclinical markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Design: At baseline and 6 months, measures of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM) and soluble E-selectin were obtained from archived samples (n = 51) of participants randomized in a clinical trial comparing a low-carbohydrate and a low-fat diet. In a subset of participants (n = 27), postprandial measures of these markers were obtained 3 h after a low-carbohydrate or low-fat liquid meal. Endothelial function was also measured by reactive hyperemic peripheral arterial tonometry during the meal test. Paired t tests and unpaired t tests compared within- and between-group changes.
Results: There were no significant differences observed in postprandial measures of inflammation or endothelial function. After 6 months, CRP (mean ± S.E.) decreased in the low-fat arm from 4.0 ± 0.77 to 3.0 ± 0.77 (P = .01). In the low-carbohydrate arm, sICAM decreased from 234 ± 22 to 199 ± 23 (P = .001), and soluble E-selectin decreased from 93 ± 10 to 82 ± 10 (P = .05.) A significant correlation between change in high-density lipoprotein and change in soluble E-selectin (r = -0.33, P = .04) and with the change in ICAM (r = -0.43, P = .01) was observed.
Conclusions: Low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets both have beneficial effects on CVD markers. There may be different mechanisms through which weight loss with these diets potentially reduces CVD risk.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00795691.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.