NEW: A Ketogenic Diet Favorably Affects Serum Biomarkers for Cardiovascular Disease in Normal-Weight Men

Matthew J. Sharman, William J. Kraemer, Dawn M. Love, Neva G. Avery, Ana L. Gómez, Timothy P. Scheett, Jeff S. Volek


https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/132/7/1879/4687418?login=true


PURPOSE:

To our knowledge this is the first study to document the effects of a ketogenic diet on fasting and postprandial CVD biomarkers independent of weight loss.


Very low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets are popular, yet little is known regarding the effects on serum biomarkers for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study examined the effects of a 6-wk ketogenic diet on fasting and postprandial (after eating) serum biomarkers in 20 normal-weight, normolipidemic men.


Twelve men switched from their habitual diet (17% protein, 47% carbohydrate and 32% fat) to a ketogenic diet (30% protein, 8% carbohydrate and 61% fat) and eight control subjects consumed their habitual diet for 6 wk.


Fasting blood lipids, insulin, LDL particle size, oxidized LDL, and postprandial triacylglycerol (TAG) and insulin responses to a fat-rich meal were determined before and after treatment.


CONCLUSIONS:

Significant decreases in fasting serum TAG (−33%), postprandial lipemia after a fat-rich meal (−29%), and fasting serum insulin concentrations (−34%) after men consumed the ketogenic diet.


Fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol and oxidized LDL were unaffected and HDL cholesterol tended to increase with the ketogenic diet (+11.5%; P = 0.066).


In subjects with a predominance of small LDL particles pattern B, there were significant increases in mean and peak LDL particle diameter and the percentage of LDL-1 after the ketogenic diet.


There were no significant changes in blood lipids in the control group.


The results suggest that a short-term ketogenic diet does not have a deleterious effect on CVD risk profile and may improve the lipid disorders characteristic of atherogenic dyslipidemia.


IN PLAIN ENGLISH:

Low carb diets – and higher fat and protein intake, believe it or not – may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.