Low-carb, high-protein diets may play a role in a cascade of events that can result in higher incidences of cardiovascular disease, a new study suggests.
The study, published in the online version of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), explains that mice placed on modified diets which were lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein showed a marked increase in the buildup of plaques on their arteries, known as atherosclerosis, which is a leading cause of heart attack and stroke. In addition, these mice had an impaired ability to form new blood vessels in damaged, oxygen-starved tissues, such as those found in heart attack patients.
The exact mechanism by which these types of diets affect the heart and blood vessels is not yet known. The findings are rather unusual being that the mice in the study actually lost weight (and indeed most individuals do) and their cholesterol levels were not changed on this diet. The results are striking, nonetheless, but more investigation is necessary.
To find out more, check out the full details in the article called "Low-carb Diets Linked To Atherosclerosis And Impaired Blood Vessel Growth" from ScienceDaily (August 25, 2009)