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Study: Low-carb diet linked to increased cortisol & inflammation

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  • Study: Low-carb diet linked to increased cortisol & inflammation

    Although participants burned the most energy on the low-carb diet, researchers found that it came at a cost of "increases in cortisol, a stress hormone, and a measure of inflammation called CRP, which can raise the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.


    JAMA Network | JAMA | Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance

  • #2
    The majority of the confidence intervals cross. That means that this study is meaningless due to being underpowered (too few participiants) and should never have been published. The study can't tell you anything about anything. It is the same as knowing nothing.
    “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
    Blogging at http://loafingcactus.com

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    • #3
      This is a good analysis of that particular study:

      Good science, bad interpretation « The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D. The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D.

      Peter does a good job breaking it down (not debunking it mind you).
      Last edited by Neckhammer; 06-20-2013, 06:38 AM.

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      • #4
        There is some truth to this, Low Carb dieting does increase cortisol levels in some people. It happened to Robb Wolf he developed adrenal fatigue at least twice before he figured it out.
        My book Fix Your Gut is available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Fix-Your-Gut-D...s=fix+your+gut. The book price is $7.99.

        I also offer coaching: http://fixyourgut.com/fixyourgut-coaching/.

        www.fixyourgut.com
        Twitter: @fixyourgutjb

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        • #5
          I'm low carb - but not all the time. And my cortisol AFAIK is great. No symptoms. If you're afraid of VLC, or just like to mimick seasonal variety, or fruit and chocolate, etc, just cycle carbs in once in awhile.
          Crohn's, doing SCD

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          • #6
            Come on fellas. We all know that low carb done the wrong way (high protein, no carb refeeds) will raise cortisol and adrenalin.

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            • #7
              I don't know that. Never had my cortisol checked. So, technically I don't know it's not true, either way. But I am asymptomatic, even after weeks and weeks of VLC.
              Crohn's, doing SCD

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              • #8
                I'm pretty happy on VLC. Had a few cheats but very small in carb terms. Probably 20g a day or less. Don't feel any issues with cortisol and I can work for 10 hours at a stretch without fatigue. Sleeping very well as always. Just have so much more endurance, mentally and physically.

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                • #9
                  Adrenal Fatigue - This is the Real Deal
                  My Training and Adrenal fatigue
                  My book Fix Your Gut is available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Fix-Your-Gut-D...s=fix+your+gut. The book price is $7.99.

                  I also offer coaching: http://fixyourgut.com/fixyourgut-coaching/.

                  www.fixyourgut.com
                  Twitter: @fixyourgutjb

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                  • #10
                    In some people that have already had adrenal fatigue and went on VLC, their adrenal fatigue gets worse. Or people who live high stressful lives who go on VLC, can develop adrenal fatigue.
                    My book Fix Your Gut is available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Fix-Your-Gut-D...s=fix+your+gut. The book price is $7.99.

                    I also offer coaching: http://fixyourgut.com/fixyourgut-coaching/.

                    www.fixyourgut.com
                    Twitter: @fixyourgutjb

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You are refeeding right? Because of you aren't then eventually you might crash. You feel great because of all the adrenaline and cortisol now. But this will cause adrenal fatigue and you might crash. Not everyone does but most people do I've seen it a lot.
                      My book Fix Your Gut is available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Fix-Your-Gut-D...s=fix+your+gut. The book price is $7.99.

                      I also offer coaching: http://fixyourgut.com/fixyourgut-coaching/.

                      www.fixyourgut.com
                      Twitter: @fixyourgutjb

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ron_Swanson View Post
                        You are refeeding right? Because of you aren't then eventually you might crash. You feel great because of all the adrenaline and cortisol now. But this will cause adrenal fatigue and you might crash. Not everyone does but most people do I've seen it a lot.
                        Not really. Maybe a little.

                        I'm not buying the adrenal fatigue argument yet.

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                        • #13
                          This is another issue with the study- they were paid $509 to get 10% of their weight off first, so heaven knows what they had done to themselves going into it.

                          But the end point is that the confidence intervals overlap so it means NOTHING. And what I hate about seeing a study like that is it tends to stick in your mind as if it has some kind if meaning, but it doesn't.
                          “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
                          Blogging at http://loafingcactus.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Adrenal fatigue is an issue for low carbers, if they are in a chronic stress, don't get quality sleep and/or exercise a lot, especially doing Crossfit type intense workouts or chronic cardio. Robb Wolf always stresses that in his podcasts.
                            However for a lot of people, especially those who are not crazy active or do mostly weightlifting/slow cardio or who have glucose metabolism issues, VLC is a great way to go.
                            Before I started Crossfit, I ate under 50 g a day with one refeed a week, 4x heavy weights a week and was losing fat nicely without any cortisol issues (had it tested several times). However lately with 3 CF workouts and 2 weightlifting sessions a week I feel I have to go up to 100 g of carbs or more in order to keep up and feel good. So it all depends on your situation.

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                            • #15
                              If your doing what Robb does: jujitsu 3x/week, strength training 2x/week, gymnastics 3x/week, running a gym, paleo business, raising a family, and various podcasts..... ya might need a refeed in there! Seriously, the guy always said even from the beginning when he was very pro low carb that you should let your activity levels guide your carb intake.... he just didn't heed his own advice.

                              I've read him say that if he was to cut out the jujitsu he could probably subsist on the lower carb spectrum again. But come on! He's doing 6x/week glycolytic activity and he ain't no spring chicken anymore.

                              As a contrast point. I do 2x/week 15 minute strength work outs. That is all. Well I run my office and have a family, but I have very little (none perhaps???) self imposed stress. I don't freak out bout anything. I'm easily gonna get by on low carb without issue (probably ). Plus I still do refeeds... I just don't call em that cause I'm not uber fit type A meal planning guy.

                              So moral of the story is cortisol is N=1 and has lots of factors outside of current diet regimen. And even so read my link from first page.... this study has issue, but even so just read the actual numbers and you see low carb is still better than SAD and some other inflammatory markers actually beat out the low fat diet.
                              Last edited by Neckhammer; 06-20-2013, 10:17 AM.

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