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  • The Truth about Low Carb Dieting



    Low carbohydrate (LC) diets have been around for decades and encompass a range of popular diet regimes such as Atkins, Protein Power and Zone. The many proponents of these diets would have us believe that carbohydrates (carbs) are some form of toxin which should be restricted or in some cases avoided completely if weight loss is to be attained. For years their claims have percolated on researchers, not to mention dieters and while these diets gain popularity through their burly claims and success stories, they often fail to demonstrate (convincingly!) any long term effects.

    The past few decades have been enlightening in terms of scientific knowledge about low carb diets. However, despite a wealth of research in this topic area there remains much debate as to the efficacy of LC diets for safe and effective weight control. Here, I aim to allay the concerns that many people who seek to lose weight have about choosing a LC diet and provide information on whether or not a LC diet is necessary, sustainable and most importantly of all, safe.

    THE PRO’S OF LOW CARB DIETING

    IMPROVES HEALTH STATUS (1)
    Recent short-term and long-term randomised control trials (deemed the gold standard of research) have demonstrated that a LC diet offers an attractive dietary option with regard to weight loss, glucose and insulin response, and important cardiovascular risk markers in both normal subjects and those with metabolic and other health-related disorders. What is more, makers of cardiovascular disease i.e. serum levels of triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (that’s the bad cholesterol to you and me) and hypertension are all improved with a LC diet when compared with a diet low in fat.

    HELPS TO CONTROL INSULIN (2)
    The specific mechanism underpinning LC nutrition to weight loss and chronic disease rests on the ‘master weight loss hormone’ insulin. Now, I won’t bore you by going into the ‘nitty gritty’ science behind the hormonal response of insulin to carb feeding but what I will tell you is that insulin is the KEY to weight control. What is important to note is that by consuming carbohydrate you increase insulin levels in your blood, which holds particularly true when foods with a high glycemic index are consumed i.e. chocolate, sweets, white bread, white rice etc. Insulin moves glucose (sugar) from the blood into the muscles and fat cells for storage after which insulin levels drop significantly. This can trigger hunger pangs and make you feel hungry when your body doesn’t require food. Frequent insulin spikes are also heavily associated with insulin resistance and the development of type II diabetes mellitus. To add further insult to injury, insulin inhibits fat metabolism which means that by consuming carbs before exercise you will be burning those carbs and not fat if exercising for less than an hour at a low-moderate intensity (...please do not consume a sports drink while walking on a treadmill!). If considering a LC diet, opt for low-GI carbs for a sustained energy release and to keep hunger pangs at bay.

    REDUCE OUR APPETITE AND INCREASE OUR FEELINGS OF FULLNESS (3)
    It is well established that certain food types may stimulate eating whereas others help with feelings of fullness (known also as satiety). For example, protein generally increases satiety to a greater extent than carbs or fat and may facilitate a reduction in energy consumption. By reducing carb intake it is likely that our protein intake will increase which offers one potential avenue through which a LC diet aids in weight loss. However, a life-long high protein diet can increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis, a disease that leads to increased risk of fracture. Conversely, a diet too low in protein is also associated with osteoporosis. It is therefore important for you to be aware of your protein intake when on a LC diet.

    THE CONS OF LOW CARB DIETING

    ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE IS OFTEN COMPROMISED (4)
    Carbohydrates are the main fuel source for training and recovery. Consequently, LC diets are not ideal for optimal performance, particularly in improving endurance exercise, ‘stop and go’ high intensity sports such as team and racquet games and high intensity events lasting 2-7 minutes. For example, during a football (soccer) match, liver and muscle glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrate) has been purported to decrease by up to 85%. Inadequate carb intake before, during and after a match will leave the body constantly fatigued.

    Elite level athletes should follow a diet high in carbs in order to fuel their training and competition needs, allow for quick and efficient recovery and promote training adaptation Recreational and social athletes who are trying to lose weight would benefit from following a moderate carb approach to achieve their goals. Their carb requirements are usually much lower than elite level athletes so following a sensible eating plan that is low/moderate in fat and moderate in nutritious protein and carb is a good compromise for many athletes provided they include adequate carbs to match the intensity and volume of the exercise they participate in. Nonetheless, training in a LC state is a tactic often employed by sports teams and individuals in the off-season period when high training intensities (i.e. overload) are not the goal of the training period. In this instance, it would be worthwhile to consider taking a pre-workout supplement like Pulse V4 to offset some of the above mentioned performance issues. Pulse V4 contains a unique blend of performance boosting ingredients such as Caffeine, Creapure, AAKG, Beta Alanine, Citrulline Malate, Tyrosine, Taurine and Guarana which work synergistically to boost energy levels, increase focus and mental alertness, and delay the onset of fatigue; therefore enabling you to work harder, for longer in a low carb state. One specific ingredient that has taken the scientific world by storm in recent years is Beta Alanine with new scientific research being released regularly in support of its ability to increase muscular strength and power output and boost both muscular aerobic and anaerobic endurance. This can be taken alone or combined with other ingredients such as Pulse V4.

    INCREASED RISK OF INFECTION (5)
    When carb intake is low you are at a greater risk of infection. Inadequate intake of nutrients such as carbohydrate can compound the negative influence of heavy exertion (i.e. exercise, long shifts at work) on immunocompetence. Individuals wishing to partake in a LC diet may wish to supplement their diet with some immune boosting supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin A, echinacea, zinc and quercetin which may be effective in reducing infection risk. If fruit and vegetables are sparse in the diet, consider taking a multivitamin.

    ASSOCIATED WITH INADEQUATE FIBRE INTAKE
    Fibre helps your digestive system process food and absorb nutrients. It also helps lower blood cholesterol and maintain satiety. As carbohydrate foods like wholegrain breads and breakfast cereals and fruit are a good source of fibre, avoiding these foods can often mean you reduce your fibre intake to below recommended levels (the recommended intake of fibre for adults is 18g). To ensure adequate fibre intake the carbohydrates you eat should contain a source of fibre.

    ASSOCIATED WITH INCREASED SATURATED FAT INTAKE
    One persistent concern with LC diets is that the carbohydrate removed from the diet will be replaced with saturated fat. Eating a lot of saturated fat can increase the cholesterol in your blood. High levels of cholesterol are associated with a cluster or medical disorders such as heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis (narrowed arteries). However, the demonization of saturated fat has been questioned in recent years. For example, a recent meta-analysis, which pooled data from 21 studies and included nearly 348,000 adults, found no difference in the risks of heart disease and stroke between people with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat (6). Interestingly, new research shows that replacement of carbs with saturated fat is, if anything, beneficial for risk reduction. The effect of saturated fat is reliant upon the constituents of the diet and, in particular, the effects of carbs on insulin that shift metabolism toward fat usage. However, more research is required to substantiate this claim.

    NOT SUITABLE FOR SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
    Reducing carb intake may not be appropriate for specific populations: patients with insulin-dependent diabetes, thyroid effects, ketotic hypoglycaemia of childhood, inborn errors of metabolism, corticosteroid, or growth hormone deficiency, certain elderly populations and individuals who consume excess amounts of alcohol or aspirin. These individuals are advised to consult a medical doctor prior to the engagement of a low carbohydrate dietary regime.

    SUMMARY
    • LC diets have been associated with improvements in important health parameters such as cardiovascular disease and in assisting in the prevention of metabolic disorders i.e. type II diabetes mellitus.
    • LC diets can help to reduce appetite and maintain satiety. These effects are most likely due to an increase in protein intake and a reduction in the intake of carbs with a high glycemic index i.e. sugary foods like chocolate, sweets, cakes, white bread etc. which, of course, are non-essential components of anyone’s diet.
    • LC diets are associated with inadequate fibre intake and increased saturated fat intake - this can be problematic.
    • Caution is warranted to athletes (both elite and recreational) when considering a LC diet.
    • LC diets can increase risk of infection and compromise immunocompetence – particularly in the winter months.
    • LC diets may not be suitable for specific populations.

    REFERENCES:
    1. Hite, A. H., & Berkowitz, V. G. (2011). Low-carbohydrate diet review: Shifting the paradigm. Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 26, 300-308.
    2. Harrington, R. N. (2008). The role of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in adolescent obesity: A Review of the Literature. The Journal of School Nursing, 24, 3-12.
    3. Kushner, R, F., & Doerfler, B. (2008). Low-carbohydrate, high-protein Diets revisited. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, 24, 198-203.
    4. Ali, A., & Williams, C. (2009). Carbohydrate ingestion and soccer skill performance during prolonged intermittent exercise. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27, 1499-1508.
    5. Walsh, N. P., Gleeson, M., Pyne, D. B., Nieman, D. C., Dhabhar, F. S., Shephard, R. J. et al. (2011). Position statement part two: Maintaining immune health. EIR, 17, 64-103.
    6. Siri-Tarino, P. W., Sun Q., Hu, F. B., & Krauss, R. M. (2010). Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91, 535-546.

    LINKS:
    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21586415
    2. http://jsn.sagepub.com/content/24/1/3.short
    3. http://journals.lww.com/co-gastroent...isited.16.aspx
    4. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/1...40410903334772
    5. http://www.medizin.uni-tuebingen.de/...64/article.pdf
    6. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/91/3/535.short
    Comments 24 Comments
    1. tony4100's Avatar
      Increased risk of infection? Saturated fat intake can increase cholesterol in the blood?

      Although it does go on to say that thoughts on this are changing.
    1. Mowens800's Avatar
      This article was going well until 'the cons of low carb' section ruined it.
    1. NU_nutrition_TS's Avatar
      I suppose it was somewhat better than many such articles that appear but the part[s] that really irritated me were the lines:
      Quote Quote
      Inadequate intake of nutrients such as carbohydrate can compound the negative influence of heavy exertion (i.e. exercise, long shifts at work) on immunocompetence.
      Carbohydrate is somehow an essential nutrient? Some of the immune-boosting vitamins, mentioned after that, may indeed come along with carbohydrates (sugars and starches) in some foods but that does not make carbohydrates (in the form of said sugars and starches) essential immune-boosting nutrients! They must have missed the study which showed a wide selection of sugars and starches actually impair certain elements of the immune response! Also many of the vitamins and other nutrients mentioned come in much greater, bioavailable amounts in foods that are no/low carb!

      Many high-performance athletes (already eating a carb-heavy diet) suffer suppressed immunity - it is the constant physical stress they are under that is compromising immunity not the lack of dietary carbohydrates!

      Quote Quote
      Fibre helps your digestive system process food and absorb nutrients.
      Since most of the anti-nutrients (which bind and prevent absorption of key nutrients) in foods exist in the fibrous elements of those foods, this line is a bit of a logical non-sequitur!

      Quote Quote
      Reducing carb intake may not be appropriate for specific populations: patients with insulin-dependent diabetes...
      Another logical non-sequitur!
    1. chill9's Avatar
      What about the increased risk of infection NU?
    1. NU_nutrition_TS's Avatar
      Increased infection from what? Again, if you are constantly thrashing your body and lowering your immune response you will be at risk from increased infections but that has absolutely nothing to do with a low carbohydrate diet. I've not had an infection for the last several years while on a low carb diet and I am reasonably physically active (esp. with my job) - I just don't thrash it unnecessarily every waking moment!
    1. chill9's Avatar
      Thanks Nu. It just seemed such a ridiculous statement that I thought I might be missing something!
    1. tony4100's Avatar
      I think it has been written to sell supplements. (By a company that sells supplements, now theres a thing).
    1. chill9's Avatar
      I guess we'll do a Karl Pilkington and call 'spucatum tauri' on that one then!
    1. Jos's Avatar
      "high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (that’s the bad cholesterol to you and me)"

      Wat? I'll assume that's a typo and you meant low-density in keeping with mainstream hypothesis.

      Not that there is any such thing as good or bad cholesterol imo, (other than small particle LDL-B maybe..) both are needed.
    1. ben 21's Avatar
      At times like this i absolultley love this forum, it's the voice of reason everyone should hear!
    1. simplesoden's Avatar
      Quote Quote
      Originally Posted by NU_nutrition_TS View Post
      Increased infection from what? Again, if you are constantly thrashing your body and lowering your immune response you will be at risk from increased infections but that has absolutely nothing to do with a low carbohydrate diet. I've not had an infection for the last several years while on a low carb diet and I am reasonably physically active (esp. with my job) - I just don't thrash it unnecessarily every waking moment!
      If you read around the literature and have a look at a research group that started at the University of Birmingham and are now working from Loughborough university, headed by Michael Gleeson, who have been at the fore front of carbohydrates during exercise you may find a paper they have written on how low carbohydrate intake can lead to exercise induced immune depression. Here's a link to have a look for yourself.

      An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie

      I understand your views on articles being wrote on this site to sell products, but in a world where ridiculous claims are in magazines, newspapers, and on the internet, it's nice to see someone providing rational information on a 'hot topic' to do with nutrition. It may go against what works for you but we are all individuals and respond differently to different situations. If you are on a low-carbohydrate diet all year round, you may be missing out on some extra performance benefits that can be obtained from carbohydrate loading pre-event and during an event that’s if you partake in sporting events.
    1. badly_dubbed's Avatar
      he doesnt do sports
    1. Damian's Avatar
      I am totally with NU. Recently I've read a lot about low-carb and ketogenic diets (for those of you who are looking for great literature, try Jeff Voleks and Steve Phinneys "Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" respectively "Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance." Usually, a lot of studies are done within only a short period of time, in which individuals are put on a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Well, yeah, there are nitrogen losses (but just for a brief period like one week or so) and there is a performance loss, but the outcomes change significantly if you allow those individuals to get keto-adapted. No performace and nitrogen losses anymore (when eating isocaloric).

      Additionally: saturated fat intake is neccessary for ketogenic diets but thats okay, since metabolic pathways are altered, so that those fats become the preferred fuels. Saturated fats become a problem, if you eat them with a lot of carbohydrates. Fibre intake is another big misunderstood topic. Why? Because the late **** sapiens wasn't eating fibrous foodstuffs in ancient times (e.g. pre-agriculture era). In fact, our guts shrunk because our brains could grow (thanks to energy-dense foodstuff aka fat-n-protein).

      There is more to low-carbohydrate lifestyles than meets the eyes. And yeah: you can eat low-carb and still kick ass the gym. But you can eat high-carb and be a beast, too. If you're lean 'n mean in the first place and if you don't have any digestive problems, then there is no need to switch to an low-carbohydrate diet.

      Some interesting studies done on this field of low-carbohydrate eating:

      [1] Phinney, SD. / Bistrian, BR. / Evans, WJ. / Gervino, E. / Blackburn, GL. (1983): The human metabolic response to chronic ketosis without caloric restriction: preservation of submaximal exercise capability with reduced carbohydrate oxidation. In: Metabolism: 1983; 32 (8); S.769-776. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6865776follow .

      [2] Muoio, DM. / Leddy, JJ. / Horvath, PJ. / Award, AB. / Pendergast, DR. (1994): Effect of dietary fat on metabolic adjustments to maximal VO2 and endurance in runners. In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: 1994; 26 (1); S.81-88. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8133743follow .

      [3] Bjorntorp, P. (1991): Importance of fat as a support nutrient for energy: metabolism of athletes. In: Journal of Sports Sciences: 1991; 9 Spec. No; S. 71-76. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1895364follow .

      [4] Conlee, RK. / Hammer, RL. / Winder, WW. / Bracken, ML. / Nelson, AG. / Barnett, DW. (1990): Glycogen repletion and exercise endurance in rats adapted to a high fat diet. In: Metabolism: 1990; 39 (3); S.289-294. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2308519follow .

      [5] Guezennec, CY. (1992): Role of lipids on endurance capacity in man. In: International Journal of Sports and Medicine: 1992; 13 Suppl. 1; S.114-118. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1483746follow .

      [6] Phinney, SD. / Bistrian, BR. / Wolfe, RR. / Blackburn, GL. (1983): The human metabolic response to chronic ketosis without caloric restriction: physical and biochemical adaptation. In: Metabolism: 1983; 32 (8); S.757-768. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6865775follow .
    1. NU_nutrition_TS's Avatar
      Quote Quote
      Originally Posted by simplesoden View Post
      If you read around the literature and have a look at a research group that started at the University of Birmingham and are now working from Loughborough university, headed by Michael Gleeson, who have been at the fore front of carbohydrates during exercise you may find a paper they have written on how low carbohydrate intake can lead to exercise induced immune depression. Here's a link to have a look for yourself.

      An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie

      I understand your views on articles being wrote on this site to sell products, but in a world where ridiculous claims are in magazines, newspapers, and on the internet, it's nice to see someone providing rational information on a 'hot topic' to do with nutrition. It may go against what works for you but we are all individuals and respond differently to different situations. If you are on a low-carbohydrate diet all year round, you may be missing out on some extra performance benefits that can be obtained from carbohydrate loading pre-event and during an event that’s if you partake in sporting events.
      Since I cannot access the full-text I have to judge on the short abstract I can access at the link you provided and it appears to be the same [sort of] review/opinion piece that the author[s] of the MP article probably used as a reference. It states specific MICRO-nutrients are required to boost immune performance or, at least, prevent its impairment but provides no citation to an intervention that directly demonstrates that MACRO-nutrient carbohydrate has equivalent vital functions in immunity. I would further posit that, in a habitually high carbing athlete, a cut in carb intake merely equates to a drastic cut in calories overall (since they are indoctrinated to avoid replacing said carbs with fat) and that they are merely under-eating and cannot support a high level of physical activity and immune function on such a paucity of calories.

      Quote Quote
      Conversely, consuming 30–60 g carbohydrate · h−1 during sustained intensive exercise attenuates rises in stress hormones such as cortisol and appears to limit the degree of exercise-induced immune depression.
      The fact they say 'appears to' means they do not know for certain - they've made an observation, seen a statistical correlation but not proved any causation! The other telling phrase in the above quote is 'exercise-induced immune depression'; they acknowledge it is the exercise that induces the suppression of immunity not a low-carb diet in general!
    1. simplesoden's Avatar
      Damien the studies you have provided do not show up on the links you provided from pubmed. If our gut did shrink to allow our brains to develop, does that mean today, that people who consume high amounts of carbohydrates will be less intelligent than those who have a low-carbohydrate diet?

      Quote Quote
      Well, yeah, there are nitrogen losses (but just for a brief period like one week or so) and there is a performance loss, but the outcomes change significantly if you allow those individuals to get keto-adapted. No performace and nitrogen losses anymore (when eating isocaloric).
      From the statement above, are there not any studies lasting longer than a week? I haven't explored the world of ketogenic studies yet!! I can't disagree though that your body does adapt to the nutrients you put into it and your physiology adapts accordingly. Some low-carbohydrates studies I have seen indicate there is an increase in fat oxidation enzymes but at the same time there is usually an increase in RPE.

      I think this has got a little off topic, as we are talking about immune response in relation to a low-carbohydrate diet. The person who wrote the article, I believe was trying to make the point that strenuous exercise or long periods of exercise with a low-carbohydrate diet can alter immune response.

      Now we all have a stress hormone called cortisol, this hormone is responsible for a decrease in T-cell proliferation. T-cells play an integral role in our immune system, they are cells responsible for cell mediated immunity, and they recognise viral pathogens within the cells and eradicate them. So they are pretty important.

      So let’s say we need to compare a low vs high carbohydrate diet, which are equal in energy content, because as NU pointed out if we have a hypocaloric diet, then its virtually common sense that there will be a suppression in immune function. An early study by Gleeson indicates that a low-carbohydrate diet increases cortisol levels compared to a high-carbohydrate diet, and as I have stated this is related to the suppression of T-cell mediated immune function. Furthermore, when carbohydrates are consumed during exercise there is a less pronounced rise in cortisol levels compared to a placebo, with a greater suppression of cortisol after exercise.

      As you could not access the last link and you came to your conclusions through an abstract, here's a link of a recent review on immune function, endurance exercise, and nutritional interventions.

      Exercise-Induced Immunodepression in Endurance Athletes and Nutritional Intervention with Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat

      Please remember NU that we are discussing the effects of low-carbohydrate diet on immune function. If the article was called "the truth about high-fat diets" then we could start discussing that issue, but please let's try and stay on track about the point you made.

      Quote Quote
      Increased infection from what? Again, if you are constantly thrashing your body and lowering your immune response you will be at risk from increased infections but that has absolutely nothing to do with a low carbohydrate diet
      I believe the statement you made is probably out of opinion rather than any evidence you have collated. I am lucky enough to be involved in academia and we have to evidence statements we make. However, in forums people can voice their opinions without facts. If your hig-fat diet low-carbohydrate works for you that's great but please back your opinions up with some evidence when criticising facts that have been evidenced.
    1. NU_nutrition_TS's Avatar
      Quote Quote
      Originally Posted by simplesoden View Post
      Please remember NU that we are discussing the effects of low-carbohydrate diet on immune function. If the article was called "the truth about high-fat diets" then we could start discussing that issue, but please let's try and stay on track about the point you made.
      A proper low carb diet IS/should be a high fat diet - you cannot discuss the former without acknowledging the latter!

      So my point was that the immune response - like any other biological function - requires energy to function optimally. If available energy is being diverted to hard working muscles then it stands to reason some other function, like immunity, has to go without unless you provide additional energy - and that additional energy could just as easily come from fats as from carbs!

      You are merely belabouring the point (and citing references to it) that acute/chronic exercise depresses immune function and that a certain proportion of dietary carb ingested during that exercise APPEARS to attenuate that depression in immune response. This is not the same as saying a low carb diet, without the punishing exercise, causes a similar depression of immune response.

      Cortisol is a red herring in the argument. Cortisol secretion is lowered if you consume carbs because one of the functions of cortisol is to encourage the synthesis of glucose via gluconeogenesis. if you are eating it then you don't need to synthesise it and you don't need cortisol to signal it!
    1. Damian's Avatar
      You're right, I haven't covered the gut-brain-phenomenon on my last post, because it was just a side-story on the topic at hands. Look into the "Expenssive-Tissue"-Hypothesis for further information (or just click here). Those studies, done by Steve Phinney et al. cover usually periods, that are longer than 2 weeks, since their authors are aware of the keto-adaption-phenomenon.

      Just because our brains grew and our guts shrunk, I wasn't going to say, that those people, who eat carbohydrate-ladden meals nowadays are less intelligent. Take a look to ou close relatives, like gorillas and chimpanzees. They still have those large guts, which are specialized to digest fibrous foodstuffs. I don't want to talk anybody out of eating fiber, but you probably now, that a lot of folks tend to overdo it. They eat so much veggies that their digestives system gets overloaded. Now, too much of the good things in life is still to much.

      Yeah, cortisol IS surpressed when you eat a carbohydrate rich meal - common knowledge - but I don't think that this is bad per se. You need catabolic factors for anabolic impact. (Light and Shadow; Yin and Yang, Fire and Water etc.). Its hilarious when people get freaked out, because something tends to be "catabolic" (which just implies that tissue is broken down). Furthermore, there is a lot of talking going on about carbohydrate-induced inflammation. (click & click & click) And I personally think that this is way more important for longevity and health - something, a lot of people tend to ignore in the long run, 'cause they're just looking partially on the picture instead of focusing on the overall outcomes.

      But I have to admit: even low-carbohydrate / ketogenic approaches have their not-so-favourable effects. Thats true, but I guess thats a feature of extreme diets (very high carb and very high fat and very high protein - everything else low)
    1. simplesoden's Avatar
      Damien, I appreciate your replies as you document evidence to support your argument. If we were discussing longevity I would have to point out in the way of research done it caloric restriction and how different macromolecules can have differing effects on longevity. But may be that discussion can be had another day. By the way I was only stoking the fire/playing the devil’s advocate with my comment

      Quote Quote
      If our gut did shrink to allow our brains to develop, does that mean today, that people who consume high amounts of carbohydrates will be less intelligent than those who have a low-carbohydrate diet?
      As i stated my knowledge within this certain area is pretty limited!

      NU I find it a bit narrow minded that you consider a high-fat diet as the only alternative to a high-carbohydrate diet. In the gym I work in there are a number of members there who have high-protein diets and would turn their nose up at a high-fat diet. So to say

      Quote Quote
      A proper low carb diet IS/should be a high fat diet - you cannot discuss the former without acknowledging the latter!
      I feel you may not be able to see your hand in front of your face, your views may be that short sighted. I do not mean to be rude but you seem to believe in your way and your way only. The reason I added that review article is because it's an up to date review on the research that has been, and more research has been done around high v low carbohydrate during exercise. So as academics we can only comment on what has been researched, not what may work in theory? Under the fat section this is what was commented

      Quote Quote
      2.3.1. Dietary Fat Intake
      Few studies have evaluated the effects of a high-fat diet (40%–62% dietary fat/day) compared to a low-fat diet (15%–19% dietary fat/day) on several aspects of post-exercise immunity [124,125,126,127]. Mainly no significant differences between the high- and low-fat diets on post-exercise lymphocyte cell counts and lymphocyte subsets [126], neutrophils and other leukocyte subsets [124] and cytokine response [124,127] were found. However, significant higher pre- and post-exercise cortisol levels [125] and decreased NK cell activity in a fat-rich diet compared to a low-fat diet [126] were shown. Some investigators argued that training on a very low-fat diet (15% dietary fat/day) may lead to an increased pro-inflammatory cytokine production [124] or an overall compromised immune function due to a negative energy balance [125] and a possible deficiency of essential micronutrients (e.g., vitamin E) [32].
      So as you can see from the quote above there needs to be more research done in that area. With the carbohydrate section of that paper it supports the author of the article we are discussing about. Again he is addressing what he knows from the evidence he has collated, not what he thinks may happen, like you yourself are doing.

      I think you need to look at what the hormones are doing rather than where the energy is coming from because immunity does not work in the same way nutrition does, and it would be ignorant to think that it does.

      On the topic of this red herring of "cortisol", you can find in the literature in behavioural immunology studies with increased psychological stress from being bereaved or a care giver, increases cortisol secretion from the HPA axis, this leads to reduced antibody titters when having inoculations. Once again this brings us back to the type of immune response, with increased cortisol secretion leading to a more humoral response and away from cell mediated immunity. Making us less susceptible to dealing with foreign viruses that enter our body. This isn't to do with exercise or nutrient intake, just what high levels of cortisol are related to.

      As you stated

      Quote Quote
      Cortisol secretion is lowered if you consume carbs because one of the functions of cortisol is to encourage the synthesis of glucose via gluconeogenesis. if you are eating it then you don't need to synthesise it and you don't need cortisol to signal it!
      Doesn't that statement indicate that carbohydrates may be needed? Because f I can remember correctly gluconeogenesis is very expensive in the terms of energy used, off the top of my head it takes around 4-6 ATP to create 1-2 ATPs. So would it not be better to have a certain amount of glycogen stores within the muscles for when glycolysis has to occur, when fat cannot meet the demand for the energy needed.
    1. NU_nutrition_TS's Avatar
      It's not just me who considers a low carb diet should be a high fat one - that is a pretty much uniform opinion among those that know what they are talking about when it comes to low carb diets. Yes, you can have a low carb, low fat, high protein diet but I don't think it is ideal or healthy in the long run. I don't think excessively high protein intake is particularly healthy long-term, irrespective of the ratio of the other two macronutrients.

      And the fact that gluconeogenesis is an 'expensive' (as you put it) way of making glucose is the whole point...it is one of the factors that make a low carb diet a good one for fat loss.
    1. ben 21's Avatar
      You can follow a high protein, low fat diet, if you want to kill your sex drive.

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