Eating a Mostly Plant Based Diet Linked To Lower Risk of Heart Failure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Fresh Food” by Sonny Side Up! is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

Dr. Kyla M Lara
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

 

 

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This was the first study to evaluate whether dietary patterns of black and white adults living in the United States were associated with developing heart failure. We’re hearing a lot in the news about specific diets like low-fat, high protein, low carb, and other diets that decrease cardiovascular risk. We would love it, as physicians, if we could prescribe a specific diet to limit cardiovascular risk in our patients. I’m really excited about our study because instead of examining patterns of what we already know are healthy, we looked at foods people were regularly consuming in the United States and developed dietary patterns from this. This study is similar to other work we have done with stroke and heart attack.

We used data from the NIH funded REGARDS study, also known as the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke. More than 30,000 white and African-American adults were recruited from 2003-2007. From this group, we studied over 18,000 adults who successfully completed a dietary assessment called the Food Frequency Questionnaire. This was a really great group to study because people who live in this particular geographic area of the Southeastern United States, also known as the stroke belt, suffer from a higher risk of death from stroke. It’s extremely important for us to better understand the major risk factors that contribute to this and also cardiovascular disease.

We used statistical techniques to derive 5 dietary patterns based on the types of foods participants tended to eat.
• Convenience – Mexican and Chinese food, mixed dishes (both meat and bean)
• Sweets – added fats, bread, chocolate, desserts, sweet breakfast foods
• Southern – added fats, fried food, organ and processed meat, fatty milk
• Alcohol/Salads – beer, wine, liquor, green leafy vegetables, salad dressings, nuts and seeds, coffee
• Plant Based- fruit, vegetables, fruit juice, cereal, fish, poultry

Each participant received a score for each pattern that reflected how closely their diet resembled that dietary pattern. This approach reflects the real world and how people eat.

Over the 3135 days (8.6 years) of median follow up, 594 participants were hospitalized for incident HF. Greatest adherence to the plant-based dietary pattern during the study period was associated with a 28% risk reduction of developing heart failure.
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DASH Diet and Sodium Reduction Can Have Big Impact in Improving Blood Pressure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Instructor of Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School

Dr. Juraschek

Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD
Instructor of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The DASH-Sodium trial demonstrated that both the DASH diet and sodium restriction, individually and combined, lowered blood pressure in adults with pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension. Whether these effects varied by level of blood pressure prior to starting these interventions was unknown. In a secondary analysis of the original DASH diet it had been observed that the effects from DASH were greater among adults with higher blood pressure (systolic greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg) at baseline with the appearance of even greater effects among people with baseline systolic blood pressures above 150 mm Hg. However, this has never been shown. Furthermore, it was unknown whether sodium reduction followed a similar linear trend of greater effects among adults with more severely uncontrolled systolic blood pressure.

In our study, we found that effects were indeed greater in adults with a baseline systolic blood pressure of 150 mm Hg or greater. Furthermore, the combined systolic blood pressure-lowering effect from both interventions was as high was 20 mm Hg. This is a magnitude comparable if not greater than medications for lowering blood pressure.

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Intermittent Dieting May Result In Greater Weight Loss

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Nuala Byrne PhD Head of School | Health Sciences Faculty of Health University of Tasmania

Prof. Byrne

Professor Nuala Byrne PhD
Head of School | Health Sciences
Faculty of Health
University of Tasmania 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Calorie restriction (or cutting back on the energy we are eating) triggers powerful compensatory responses by our body’s metabolism – we might think of it as a “Famine Reaction”. Our body weight is regulated by a series of nervous system and hormone networks that act together to make sure we have enough energy to sustain life. When we eat more energy than our body needs to meet our daily metabolic requirements (positive energy balance), we are designed to store that excess energy; and we are very good at storing. We store this energy in the fat cells (adipocytes) as an emergency reserve for when we hit hard-times when food availability is scarce. The problem in today’s society is that most of us have a constant availability of energy-dense food; making it more common to be in energy excess.

When we have less calories being consumed than what we need to fuel all the body’s metabolic processes (negative energy balance), we convert the stored fat into usable energy, and consequently lose weight. While our body does sense the positive energy balance, it is designed to be more sensitive to gauging when we are in a negative energy balance. Our body senses the change in energy intake and the decreasing fat stores, and brings out the artillery to defend our energy stores – this is the Famine Reaction. Our body is constantly changing our physiology in response to challenges to the status quo; the body works constantly to keep the oxygen concentration in the blood at an optimal level, to keep a constant and optimal body temperature, and a constant and optimal amount of sugar in the blood. Our body’s regulatory systems also work hard to defend our energy stores if it senses we are continually in negative energy-balance (i.e., dieting). One major metabolic compensatory as part of the “Famine Reaction” is a decrease in the body’s resting metabolic rate (energy expended while at rest to maintain the basic functioning of our major organs). Given that resting metabolic rate is determined largely by body size and composition, it is expected to decrease with weight loss. However, during dieting, resting metabolic rate has been reported to decrease to a greater extent than that expected from changes in body composition, a phenomenon termed ‘adaptive thermogenesis’. This leads to markedly reduced efficiency of weight loss.

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Study Finds Diet Not Connected to GI Problems in Children With Autism

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Bradley James Ferguson, PhD University of Missouri School of Medicine

Dr. Ferguson

Bradley James Ferguson, PhD
University of Missouri School of Medicine 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and abdominal pain, but the cause of these GI issues is not currently known. Previous research from our laboratory showed a significant positive relationship between cortisol levels and GI problems, especially for constipation. However, it is possible that other factors such as diet may affect GI functioning, especially since many children have altered diets. This study examined 32 different nutrients in the children’s diets, as assessed by a food frequency questionnaire that assessed the participant’s diet over the past month, and how each nutrient was related to upper and lower GI tract symptom scores over the past month created from the Questionnaire on Pediatric Gastrointestinal Symptoms – Rome III. The results showed no significant relationships between any of the nutrients and GI symptoms, suggesting that diet was not associated with GI symptoms in this sample.

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Which Diet Is Best For You? It Depends On Your Genes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kaixiong (Calvin) Ye, PhD Post-doctoral Associate Dept. of Biological Statistics & Computational Biology Cornell University thaca, NY

Dr. Kaixong Ye

Kaixiong (Calvin) Ye, PhD
Post-doctoral Associate
Dept. of Biological Statistics & Computational Biology
Cornell University
thaca, NY

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are critical for human brain development, cognitive function, immune response, and cardiovascular health. Physiologically active forms of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, such as AA, EPA, and DHA, are readily available in meat and seafood, but are absent in most plant-based foods (e.g. fruits and vegetables). Instead, plant-based foods contain two precursor fatty acids, LA and ALA, which could be metabolized in our body and converted into physiologically active forms. Fatty acid desaturase (FADS) genes encode key enzymes for this biosynthesis.

We hypothesized that genetic variations in FADS genes that enhance the biosynthesis efficiency were adaptive to plant-based diets in traditional farming populations and thus became more frequent over time. Our study compiled a huge data set of genetic information (DNA) from both present-day and ancient individuals. For the first time, we examined the action of natural selection on humans for the past 30,000 years in Europe.

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Elegant Descriptions of Healthy Foods Encourages Consumption

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Bradley P. Turnwald

Bradley Turnwald

Bradley P. Turnwald MS
Stanford University, Department of Psychology
Stanford, California

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This study tested an intervention to encourage people to consume healthier foods. Encouraging healthy eating is difficult because many people think that healthy foods do not taste good, and most people prioritize taste over health when choosing what to eat. In fact, lab studies suggest that people rate foods as less tasty, less enjoyable, and less filling when they are labeled as healthy compared to when the same foods are not labeled as healthy. A recent study from the Stanford Mind & Body Lab published last month in Health Psychology showed that healthy foods are even described with less tasty, exciting, and indulgent descriptions compared to standard items on the menus of top-selling chain restaurants in America. This led us to ask the question, what if healthy foods were described with the tasty and indulgent descriptions that are typically reserved for the more classic, unhealthy foods?

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Calorie Restriction Extends Life Through Protein Regulation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

John C. Price, Ph.D Asst. Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry Brigham Young University Provo, Utah

Dr. John Price

John C. Price, Ph.D
Asst. Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Since 1930 it has been known that the rate of biological aging could be modified by the diet.  In mice for example if you let them eat as much as they want they will live almost 3 years.  Providing essentially the same diet but controlling the number of total calories, there is an almost linear increase in lifespan as you restrict calories.  The studies in mice and rats have been repeated hundreds of times since that time.  There have been a lot of somewhat conflictive observations, like increased formation of new mitochondria, and increased autophagy which targets organelles for degradation, during stable reduced calorie intake. This expectation, that a restricted diet with fewer calories available to the animal could support increased protein synthesis and degradation and result in increased lifespan, is what got us interested in studying Calorie Restriction.  So we measured the relative synthesis rates for several hundred proteins in 18 month old calorie restricted mice which were experiencing the benefits of improved health and lifespan.  We found overwhelmingly that the calorie restricted mice had reduced synthesis rates down to as low as 25% of the age matched control group.  This observation has now been independently confirmed by multiple groups.

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Government Endorsed DASH Diet Voted Best Overall

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Janet M. de Jesus, M.S., R.D. Program Officer, Implementation Science Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Janet de Jesus

Janet M. de Jesus, M.S., R.D.
Program Officer, Implementation Science
Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the DASH diet? What are the main components?

Response: The DASH eating plan was created for a clinical trial funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The goal of the original DASH trial was to test the eating plan compared to a typical American diet (at the time in the 1990s) on the effect of blood pressure.

The DASH eating plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It includes low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils, and nuts; and limits intake of sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages and high-fat meats. The eating plan is a good source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The DASH eating plan was shown to reduce blood pressure and improve lipid profiles.

A second DASH trial, “DASH-sodium,” showed that adding sodium reduction to the DASH eating plan reduced blood pressure even more.

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Low Carb Meals Reduce Insulin Resistance

MedicalResearch.com Interview with>
Katarina Borer, Ph.D. Professor
Po-Ju Lin,PhD
School of Kinesiology
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This study was part of the doctoral dissertation of Po-Ju Lin, who is now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Rochester. With this study, we wanted to answer three questions:

(1) Is daily carbohydrate load responsible for evening glucose intolerance and post-meal insulin resistance. (Evening glucose intolerance represents well-documented higher glucose and insulin responses in the evening than in the morning when the same quantity of glucose is eaten or infused intravenously) To answer this question we offered two daily meals containing about 800 Kcal and either 30% or 60% of carbohydrates.

(2) Will exercise before the meals improve glucose tolerance (glucose clearance from the blood and insulin response) after eating? (Exercise is a well-known means of increasing glucose uptake by the muscle and of increasing muscle sensitivity to insulin action for a number of hours after exercise). To answer this question we had the subjects exercise for two hours walking on a treadmill at 45% of their maximal aerobic effort one hour before each meal.

(3) Is the upper-intestinal hormone GIP involved in any effects associated with variation in dietary carbohydrate? (GIP or glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide, stimulates insulin secretion in advance of absorbed glucose).

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More People Without Celiac Disease Eating Gluten Free Diet

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brandon Hyunseok Kim, M.D., MPH Internal Medicine Resident Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Dr. Brandon Hyunseok Kim

Brandon Hyunseok Kim, M.D., MPH
Internal Medicine Resident
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The background of this study was to investigate the time trends in the prevalence of celiac disease and gluten-free diet in the United States using most recent 6-year National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey. Previous studies using narrow populations or old study period mainly before mid 2000s suggested increasing prevalence of celiac disease. At the same time, there is a current popular trend of people following gluten-free diets beyond what would be expected if it were solely due to the increasing prevalence of celiac disease.

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High Fat Diet Linked To Daytime Sleepiness and Increased Sleep Apnea

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yingting Cao PhD Candidate
Population Research and Outcome Studies
School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: As sleep complains have reached a public concern, increasing number studies have investigated it. Most studies focused on the adverse effect of short sleep or poor sleep quality on health but fewer looked it the other way around. Laboratory studies have suggested the potential role of diet in regulating sleep, however, it has not been confirmed in population studies. So, we examined whether dietary factors are associated with sleep in a large cohort of middle-aged and older men in Adelaide, focusing on their sleep, as well as general health including chronic conditions. In this particular paper, we focused on macronutrient intake (we focused on nutrients and food levels in other papers) and sleep.

The main finding was that comparing with the lowest 25% fat intake (mean 58g/d), people in the highest 25% of fat intake reported more daytime sleepiness and had increased number of sleep apnea during the night.

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Weight Loss and Exercise Improve Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction

Dalane W. Kitzman, M.D. Professor, Cardiology Sticht Center on Aging Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine Translational Science Institute Wake-Forest Baptist Health Winston-Salem, NC

Dr. Dalane Kitzman

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dalane W. Kitzman, M.D.

Professor, Cardiology
Sticht Center on Aging
Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine
Translational Science Institute
Wake-Forest Baptist Health
Winston-Salem, NC

Medical Research: What is the background of the research?

Dr. Kitzman: Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFPEF) is a relatively recently recognized disorder.  It used to be thought that it was rare.  However, we now realize that HFPEF is the dominant form of heart failure in America.  It is also the fastest growing cardiovascular disorder.  Interestingly, this disorder occurs almost exclusively among older persons, particularly women.  The need is great because outcomes in persons with HFPEF (death, rehospitalization, health care costs) are worsening.  This stands in contrast to most other cardiovascular disorders which are on the decline and / or are experiencing greatly improved outcomes.  Remarkably, all of the large studies that have used medications in HFPEF that seemed they should be ‘sure bets’ showed no benefit for their primary outcomes.  Thus, this is also the only major cardiovascular disorder where there is no proven medication treatment.  That means physicians take ‘educated guesses’ in choosing treatment for this large group of patients.

The main symptom in patients with chronic HFPEF is shortness of breath and and fatigue with exertion.  We showed in 2002 in JAMA that when we objectively measured this symptom with expired gas analysis (Peak VO2), this was as severely decreased in HFPEF as in patients with HFREF (severely reduced EF), the classic, well accepted form of heart failure.  That and other studies helped lead to acceptance of HFPEF as a true Heart Failure disorder.

We first showed 5 years ago that 4 months of exercise training improves peak VO2 and quality of life in patients with HFPEF.  In fact, exercise remains the only proven means to improve these patients’ chronic symptoms.

The goal of our study was to determine if weight loss diet also improved peak VO2 and quality of life in HFPEF patients, alone and in combination with exercise training.  This was based on the under-recognized fact that over 80% of Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction patients are overweight or obese.  It was already known that weight loss diet in other groups of older persons improves peak VO2 and quality of life.  And small studies of weight loss surgery in the other form of HF (HFREF) suggested that weight loss can improves symptoms, peak VO2, and quality of life.  However, there had never been a study of weight loss, by diet or other means, in HFPEF.  In fact, it had been thought, based on observational data, that weight loss diet might be contraindicated in HFPEF.

So we recruited 100 overweight / obese patients age 60 years and older with this disorder from our community; 80% were women.  The exercise was standard exercise training that we’d previously shown was effective.  The meals for the weight loss diet were prepared in our metabolic kitchen by a regisered dietition.  Patients made out menus selecting preferred foods.  Well balanced, healthy, nutritious, but very palatable.  The portions were controlled so that there was a 350 caloric deficit per day deficit, on average.  Pateints made their own breakfast with guidance, unlimited of certain fruits and vegetables, and occasional “free days”, such as for holidays.  Patients loved the meals and wanted to continue after the 5 month study.

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Researchers Call For OSHA to End “Forced Starvation” of Models

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
S. Bryn Austin, ScD, Professor
Dept. of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Director, Strategic Training Initiative
for the Prevention of Eating Disorders and
Katherine L. Record JD, MPH
Massachusetts Health Policy Commission
Boston 

Medical Research: What is the background for this editorial? What are the main concerns regarding thinness in ‘Paris’ models?

Response: The fashion industry has long been criticized for promoting unrealistic and patently unhealthy standards of thinness for girls and women. Furthermore, decades of psychological research have documented the pervasive and pernicious harm caused to body image and sense of self especially for adolescent girls during a most vulnerable time of development. What is often left out of the discussion, though, is the immediate and sometimes deadly harm caused to the girls and young women working as professional models as a result of what amounts to coerced starvation as a condition of employment. Most models begin working in the industry in their early or mid teens — in other words, as children. We must ask ourselves, what other industry or employer in the United States would ever be allowed by our government to foster practices of coerced starvation of American child labor?

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May Its the Diet, Not the Dieter?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Eran Elinav PhD
Immunology Department and
Prof. Eran Segal PhD
Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics,
Weizmann Institute of Science,
Rehovot , Israel

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: Obesity and diabetes are rising epidemics, affecting a significant portion of the world’s population. Blood glucose levels are a major contributor to these epidemics, as they are associated with obesity and with risk to develop diabetes. Normalizing blood glucose can have highly beneficial effects on the health of individuals. Therefore, we decided to study the factors that affect blood glucose. Among these factors are the macro- and micronutrient content of the meal, a person’s lifestyle, medical state, and their microbiome. We then started collecting from participants these exact parameters, and studied their effect on blood glucose. We managed to successfully predict the blood glucose response of many people to many meals and to assign for people beneficial diets based on this prediction.

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Very Low Calorie Diet Improved Some Parameters of Diabetes

Guofang Chen MD Endocrine and Diabetes Center Jiangsu Province Hospital on Integration of Chinese and Western Medicine Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Dr. Guofang Chen

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Guofang Chen MD
Endocrine and Diabetes Center
Jiangsu Province Hospital on Integration of Chinese and Western Medicine
Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Guofang Chen: With the high prevalence of diabetes in China (about 11.6% in adults from 2013 data), finding a way to improve remission of diabetes, and decrease the risk of developing diabetes, can be considered urgent. Very low calorie diet (VLCD) has been reported as a quick therapeutic tool to improve glucose control in obese type 2 diabetic patients. We investigated the effects of short-term Very low calorie diet in both lean and overweight/obese type 2 diabetic patients in China. We find that short-term VLCD effectively improved insulin sensitivity, beta-cell function, glucose control, and lipid profile in overweight/obese rather than lean patients with type 2 diabetes in China.

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Diets Rich in Vegetables May Reduce Heart Disease Risk Through Microbiome Changes

Prof. Danilo Ercolini, PhD Department of Agricultural Sciences University of Naples Federico II Portici - ItalyMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Danilo Ercolini, PhD
Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Naples Federico II
Portici – Italy

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Prof. Ercolini: There is a thick body of literature showing that diet can significantly impact the gut microbiota and metabolome.

In a recent study, negligible differences in gut microbiota and feca lshort-chain fatty acids (SCFA) were reported between habitual omnivores and vegans in the USA.

In addition, Mediterranean diet is a recognized healthy dietary pattern but has not previously been related to the composition of the gut microbiota and related metabolome. That’s the background in short.

Here we show how habitual vegetarian and vegan diets promote enrichment of fibre-degrading bacteria in the gut.

Subjects who consume a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit, legumes and vegetables have higher levels of fecal short chain fatty acids, regardless of the diet type.

Low adherence to the Mediterranean diet corresponds to an increase in urinary trimethylamine oxide levels, a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

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Study Finds Only Small Weight Loss Differences Between Brand Diet Plans

Bradley Johnston, PhD Scientist | Child Health Evaluative Sciences Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute Assistant Professor | Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics  McMaster University Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 0A4MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Bradley Johnston, PhD
Scientist | Child Health Evaluative Sciences
Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute
Assistant Professor | Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
McMaster University Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Johnston:

  • Our findings represent the first meta-analysis using advanced epidemiological methods to summarize popular branded diets for weight loss, trials having been investigated using randomized trial methodology.
  • Among the 48 original RCTs included in our NMA, low to moderate quality evidence showed that both low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets were associated with an approximate 8 kg weight loss at 6 months when compared to no diet. Approximately 1-2 kg of this effect was lost by 12-months.
  • Although statistical differences existed among several of the diet macronutrient classes, the differences were small and unlikely to be important to those seeking to lose weight.
  • Similarly, our results showed that although there are statistically significant differences between some of the brand named diets, these differences are small and not likely patient important.
  • In terms of potential effect modifiers, behavioural support was significant at 6-months (enhancing weight-loss by 3.23 kg) and exercise was significant at 12-months (enhancing weight loss by 2.13 kg)
  • Regarding our sensitivity analyses, Differences in weight loss were not clinically important based on risk of bias, missing data, baseline weight, gender, and those with and without specific health conditions
  • Overall, our findings suggest that patients may choose, among those associated with the largest weight loss, the diet that gives them the least challenges with adherence.

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Low Carb Diet Results In More Weight Loss, Better Lipid Control Than Low Fat Diet

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tian Hu, MD, MS Research Fellow
​Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
New Orleans, LA 70112

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Hu: Participants on the low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight than those on the low-fat diet at 3, 6, and 12 months. At 12 months, those in the low-carbohydrate group lost an average of almost 8 pounds more than those in the low-fat group.

Participants on the low-carbohydrate diet lost more fat mass and did not lose lean mass (muscle) compared to those on the low-fat diet.

Overall, bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) that is a predictor of risk for cardiovascular disease decreased on both diets, but good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) increased more in the low-carbohydrate group.

Physical activity was similar in the groups throughout the study, suggesting that the greater weight loss among participants in the low-carbohydrate group was not because they exercised more.

When we evaluated the black and white participants separately, the results were similar.

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Crowdsourcing App May Help Dieters Stay On Track

Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., M.S., R.D. Assistant Professor University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Discovery Columbia, SC 29208MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., M.S., R.D.
Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina
Arnold School of Public Health
Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Discovery
Columbia, SC 29208

 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Turner-McGrievy: This study assessed how closely crowdsourced ratings of foods and beverages contained in 450 pictures from the Eatery mobile app as rated by peer users using a simple “healthiness” scale were related to the ratings of the same pictures by trained observers. Our trained observers used a rating scale based on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines to assess the healthiness of the foods and beverages in each picture. Crowdsourcing uses the input of several users to provide feedback and information. We found that all three trained raters’ scores was highly correlated with the peer healthiness score for all the photos. In addition, we found that peer ratings were in the expected direction for both foods/beverages the Dietary Guidelines say to increase and ones to limit. Photos with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, nuts, and seeds were all associated with higher peer healthiness scores and processed, food from fast food restaurants, refined grains, red meat, cheese, savory snacks, sweets/desserts, and sugar sweetened beverages were associated with lower peer healthiness scores.
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Healthiest Diets May Be Most Expen$ive

Dr Michelle Morris Research Fellow Nutritional Epidemiology Group School of Food Science & Nutrition University of LeedsMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Michelle Morris
Research Fellow
Nutritional Epidemiology Group
School of Food Science & Nutrition
University of Leeds

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Morris: The healthiest diets consumed by UK Women are the most expensive. This study is UK centric, using dietary patterns consumed by UK women and scored for healthiness according to the UK Department of Health Eatwell Plate. Cost of diet was estimated using average prices taken from an evaluated UK food cost database.
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Intermittent vs Continous Dieting: Is One Better for Weight Loss?

Jennifer Keogh PhD, MSc, APD Associate Professor Dietetics and Nutrition Fellow of the South Australian Cardiovascular Research Development Program School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences University of South AustraliaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jennifer Keogh PhD, MSc, APD
Associate Professor Dietetics and Nutrition
Fellow of the South Australian Cardiovascular Research Development Program
School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences
University of South Australia

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Keogh: A variety of weight loss strategies are needed to help individuals lose weight and maintain weight loss.  In this study we investigated the effects on weight loss of an intermittent energy restricted diet using a ‘week-on, week-off’ strategy compared to a continuous energy restricted diet after 8 weeks and on maintenance of weight loss at 12 months in healthy overweight and obese women. Using a group setting participants were advised to reduce their energy intake to approximately 5500 kJ per day when restricting their intake. The diet plan used was based on the previously published CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet.
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Increasing Fruits & Vegetables In Diet May Not Lead To Weight Loss

Kathryn A. Kaiser, Ph.D. Department of Biostatistics Ryals Public Health Bldg, University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL 35294MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kathryn A. Kaiser, Ph.D.
Department of Biostatistics
Ryals Public Health Bldg,
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL 35294

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Kaiser: Recommendations to increase or home delivery of fruits and vegetables to increase intake results in no significant weight loss or gain in adults studied over 8-16 weeks.
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Preconception Maternal Diet Linked to Birth Outcomes

Jessica A. Grieger (BSc(hons), R Nutr, PhD) Post-doctoral research fellow Robinson Research Institute, University of AdelaideMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jessica A. Grieger (BSc(hons), R Nutr, PhD)
Post-doctoral research fellow
Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide

 

MedicalResearch:  What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Grieger: The study aimed to identify associations between maternal dietary patterns in the 12 months before conception on fetal growth and preterm delivery. We report that a one standard deviation increase in the scores on the high-protein/fruit pattern was associated with decreased likelihood for preterm birth, whereas a one standard deviation increase on the high-fat/sugar/takeaway pattern was associated with increased likelihood for preterm birth as well as shorter gestation and birth length.
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Increasing Fruit and Vegetables in Diet Decreases Risk of Early Death

Dr Oyinlola Oyebode Specialist Registrar in Public Health Dept of Epidemiology & Public Health University College London London WC1E 6BTMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Oyinlola Oyebode
Specialist Registrar in Public Health
Dept of Epidemiology & Public Health
University College London

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Oyebode: We found that the more fruit and vegetables consumed, the lower the risk of death from any cause, from cancer or from heart disease or stroke. We found that vegetables were better than fruit at equivalent amounts.
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Mother’s Diet and Preterm Delivery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Linda Englund-Ögge Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Institute of Clinical Sciences Sahlgrenska Academy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital Gothenburg, SwedenDr Linda Englund-Ögge
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Institute of Clinical Sciences
Sahlgrenska Academy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Gothenburg, Sweden

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Women adhering to a prudent* or a traditional** dietary pattern during pregnancy had a significantly reduced risk of preterm delivery, even after adjusting for a range of confounders. The prudent pattern was also significantly associated to lower risk in the nulliparous, in spontaneous and in late preterm delivery.

*, characterized by high intake of e.g. vegetables, fruit, whole grains and water to drink.

**, characterized by high intake of e.g. boiled potatoes, fish and cooked vegetables.
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Vegetarian Diet and Blood Pressure Lowering Effect

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yoko Yokoyama, Ph.D., M.P.H.
National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Osaka, Japan,

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Yokoyama: We found consistent evidence that a vegetarian diet has a significant blood-pressure-lowering effect, and this was clear both in observational studies of individuals who had chosen vegetarian diets on their own and in intervention trials in which people were asked to make diet changes.

Our meta-analysis included 32 observational studies and 7 controlled clinical trials. In the observational studies, vegetarian diets were associated with blood pressures that were about 7 mmHg lower systolic and 5 mmHg lower diastolic. In the clinical trials, the reductions were about 5 mmHg systolic and 2 mmHg diastolic. These are pooled averages, so for some individuals, particularly those with higher body weights or higher blood pressures at the beginning, the blood-pressure-lowering effects could be much greater.

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