Lose Weight, regardless of Diet Intervention, can Shrink the Plague in Carotid Artery

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A study published in the March issue of the Circulation indicated that people who lost weight by one of the three diets 1) low fat, 2) Mediterranean or 3) low carbohydrate can have the plagues in their carotid artery (the big artery that goes to the brain) reduced.

In a randomized trial conducted over two years, investigators looked at the impact of the above 3 diets on the shrinkage and progression of carotid plague in 140 overweight or obese people with type 2 diabetes or established coronary heart disease.

Over the 2 years, the investigators found that all 3 diets were equally effective at promoting weight lost and blood pressure reduction. Furthermore, the diets also resulted in diminishing the vessel-wall volumes and reducing the plague in the carotid artery. The reduction in plagues was believed to be due to the reduction in blood pressure associated with weight loss.

Since the presence of plagues in the carotid artery suggests atherosclerotic disease, this study also suggests that diet intervention can reduce the risk of atherosclerotic disease.

Shai I. et. al. Dietary intervention to reverse carotid atherosclerosis. Circulation 2010; DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.879254.  Available at http://circ.ahajournals.org

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