Beneficial effect of low carbohydrate in low calorie diets on visceral fat reduction in type 2 diabetic patients with obesity

Center of Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolism, Sakura Hospital, School of Medicine, Toho University, 564-1 Shimoshizu, Sakura-City, Chiba 285-0841, Japan.
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice (Impact Factor: 2.54). 09/2004; 65(3):235-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.diabres.2004.01.008
Source: PubMed


The adequate composition of carbohydrate and fat in low calorie diets for type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with obesity is not fully established. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of low carbohydrate diet on glucose and lipid metabolism, especially on visceral fat accumulation, and comparing that of a high carbohydrate diet. Obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus were randomly assigned to take a low calorie and low carbohydrate diet (n = 11, 1000 kcal per day, protein:carbohydrate:fat = 25:40:35) or a low calorie and high carbohydrate diet (n = 11, 1000 kcal per day, protein:carbohydrate:fat = 25:65:10) for 4 weeks. Similar decreases in body weight and serum glucose levels were observed in both groups. Fasting serum insulin levels were reduced in the low carbohydrate diet group compared to the high carbohydrate diet group (-30% versus -10%, P < 0.05). Total serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels decreased in both groups, but were not significantly different from each other. High-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) increased in the low carbohydrate diet group but not in the high carbohydrate diet group (+15% versus 0%, P < 0.01). There was a larger decrease in visceral fat area measured by computed tomography in the low carbohydrate diet group compared to the high carbohydrate diet group (-40 cm(2) versus -10 cm(2), P < 0.05). The ratio of visceral fat area to subcutaneous fat area did not change in the high carbohydrate diet group (from 0.70 to 0.68), but it decreased significantly in the low carbohydrate diet group (from 0.69 to 0.47, P < 0.005). These results suggest that, when restrict diet was made isocaloric, a low calorie/low carbohydrate diet might be more effective treatment for a reduction of visceral fat, improved insulin sensitivity and increased in HDL-C levels than low calorie/high carbohydrate diet in obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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