Effects of a Low Carb Diet and Whey Proteins on Anthropometric, Hematochemical, and Cardiovascular Parameters in Subjects with Obesity

Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2020;20(10):1719-1725. doi: 10.2174/1871530320666200610143724.


Background: The best way to lose body weight, without using drugs and/or suffering hunger and stress, has not yet been defined. The present study tested a low carbohydrate diet, enriched with proteins, in subjects with overweight and obesity.

Methods: The study enrolled 22 uncomplicated overweight and obese subjects. Several parameters were examined before and after 6 weeks of a low-carbohydrate diet, enriched with 18 g of whey proteins. Anthropometric (body mass index, waist circumference) variables, fasting hormones (insulin, TSH, FT3, FT4), and metabolic (glucose, prealbumin, and lipid levels) parameters were measured. 25- OH-vitamin D (25 (OH) D), parathyroid hormone (PTH) and osteocalcin, were also quantified. Body composition parameters (fat mass, fat-free mass, body cell mass, total body water) were measured by electrical bioimpedance analysis. As cardiovascular parameters, blood pressure, endothelium flowmediated dilation (FMD), and common carotid artery intima-media thickness were also measured.

Results: The low-carbohydrate diet integrated with proteins induced a significant decrease in body weight (P < 0.001), waist circumference (P < 0.001), fat mass (P < 0.001), diastolic blood pressure (P < 0.01), triglycerides (P < 0.001), total cholesterol (P < 0.001), pre-albumin (P < 0.001), insulin (P < 0.001), HOMAIR (P < 0.001), FT3 (P < 0.05), and c-IMT (P < 0.001), and a significant increase in FMD (P < 0.001) and 25 (OH) D (P < 0.001) was also observed.

Conclusion: All these results suggest that a short-term non-prescriptive low carbohydrate diet, enriched with whey proteins, may be a good way to start losing fat mass and increase health.

Keywords: Low carbohydrate diet; endothelium; intima-media thickness; obesity; overweight; whey proteins.

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular System / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasodilation
  • Weight Loss*
  • Whey Proteins / administration & dosage*


  • Biomarkers
  • Whey Proteins