Atkins Diet Other Considerations

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Anyone who would like to try the Atkins diet, should also be aware of the following considerations that may have an impact on their decision to try this diet:

  • Kidney function - may become impaired even in healthy people
  • Current clinical trial underway to determine safety over 4 years
  • No longer-term studies yet completed on the safety of this diet
  • People with impaired kidney function should not try this diet
  • Pregnant and lactating women should not try this diet
  • Suitability of this diet for children is not known
People with impaired kidney function or any other health condition should consult their doctor before trying this or any other diet

References

  1. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Too much protein may cause reduced kidney function - article in the Harvard Gazette, 13 March 2003. Accessed on 10 January 2008. Their study showed that diets high in animal protein are associated with reduced kidney function over time, which is neither beneficial for people with healthy kidneys, but importantly this means the Atkins diet has major health risks for people with existing impaired kidney function
  2. National Institutes of Health - ClinicalTrials.gov. Effectiveness of a Low Carbohydrate Diet Versus a High Carbohydrate Diet in Promoting Weight Loss and Improved Health. Ongoing clinical trial from April 2005 - June 2009 with 240 participants. This study will look at the effects of a low carbohydrate diet versus a high carbohydrate diet on weight loss over a longer period (of four years). The study also aims to measure the risk of cardiovascular disease (blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as blood pressure levels), bone health, kidney function and endocrine (insulin and glucose in particular) mechanisms over the course of the study in both groups. The sponsor of this clinical trial is the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
  3. There are very specific nutrition guidelines for pregnant and lactating women and this diet is not specially made for these groups of women, who have special dairy and other nutrient requirements and who should seek professional medical advice if they would like to try this diet
  4. The suitability of this diet diet for children is not known and the authors of this diet recommend individual advice from a medical professional be sought to ascertain if the Atkins diet is suitable for any child

 

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