Study: Low-Carb, High-Fat Diets May Not Pose Risk to Arteries

Well, hmmmm. Another study suggesting that maybe the low carb diet isn’t so bad after all. While for some folks, this might mean an about face in their eating habits, but we at the AGE Blog hope you take it all in stride. Check out the findings below and leave your thoughts too.-SP

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) — New research suggests that low-carbohydrate diets, with regular exercise as part of the plan, don’t appear to harm the arteries, as some experts have feared.
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“It’s pretty clear low-carb is effective for weight loss,” said study author Kerry J. Stewart, director of clinical and research exercise physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart and Vascular Institute. “The concern has been that because you are eating more fat this is going to put stress on your blood vessels.”

So, Stewart and his team evaluated the short-term effects of a low-carb, higher-fat diet after a single meal. The researchers also compared a low-carb diet with a low-fat diet in dieters. In each case, they found no ill effects on blood vessel health.

Stewart is due to present his findings Friday at the American College of Sports Medicine meeting in Denver.

However, one nutrition expert said longer-term research is needed before concluding that high fat intake doesn’t hurt blood vessel health.

For the first study, Stewart’s team looked at the effects of eating an extremely high-fat McDonald’s breakfast. The breakfast had more than 900 calories and 50 grams of fat. “That’s half of what you should eat in a whole day,” Stewart said.

The researchers then evaluated a marker of arterial stiffness and another measure of blood vessel health, known as endothelial function. “Even after eating this one meal, we didn’t find any vascular changes from before to after,” he said.

The arterial stiffness, in fact, improved, he noted, although he is not sure why.

Neither study had industry funding; both were financed by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

For the diet study, Stewart assigned 55 men and women who were overweight or obese to the low-carb diet or a low-fat diet. They also had abdominal obesity and a large waist circumference (35 inches or more for women, 40 or more for men). Both are risk factors for heart disease.

The low-carb plan included up to 55 percent fat at the beginning, and phased down to about 40 percent. It had about 15 percent carbs initially, and then went to 40 percent. The other dieters followed the American Heart Association’s low-fat diet, with no more than 30 percent fat a day.

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AFA: A protein produced in rheumatoid arthritis may combat plaques

More great information from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. If you’ve never heard of them, check out their informative and education website at

In a study involving mice, researchers found that rats treated with GM-CSF, a protein produced in people with rheumatoid arthritis, had more than a 50 percent decrease in beta amyloid, which forms the plaques found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The scientists believe the protein attracts cells called microglia from the blood supply around the brain, which then attack the amyloid plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. The mice were genetically altered to have memory problems similar to those found in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

Read More at the BBC.

STUDY: Loneliness is Actually Contagious

From the Practical Care Continuum newsletter

New research suggests that loneliness is actually contagious…spreading from person to person up to three degrees of separation. This means if someone close to you is lonely, or his or her cousin or friend is lonely, you may have a good chance of being lonely, too. This research is published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Read more.

Read more here and learn about Practical Care Continuum!

Report: Caregiving in the U.S. 2009

From the AARP website

By: National Alliance for Caregiving in Collaboration with AARP; Funded by The MetLife Foundation | December 2009

Caregiving is still mostly a woman’s job and many women are putting their career and financial futures on hold as they juggle part-time caregiving and full-time job requirements. This is the reality reported in Caregiving in the U.S. 2009, the most comprehensive examination to date of caregiving in America. The first national profile of caregivers, Family Caregiving in the U.S. was published in 1997, and an updated version of the study, Caregiving in the U.S., was reported in 2004.

The sweeping 2009 study of the legions of people caring for younger adults, older adults, and children with special needs reveals that 29 percent of the U.S. adult population, or 65.7 million people, are caregivers, including 31 percent of all households. These caregivers provide an average of 20 hours of care per week. The 2009 reports also begin to trend the findings from all three waves of the study.

Continue to read here.

New Study Shows What Americans Don’t Know About Long-Term Care

From the Right at Home website.

Most Americans know what long-term care is and how much it costs, but their scores fall short regarding how many people will need it and how they will pay for it. The MetLife Long-Term Care IQ Survey, taken by 1,021 individuals aged 40 to 70 in 2009, reveals that most are not taking appropriate steps to protect themselves from potentially catastrophic expenses.

According to the study:

-Just 36% of those surveyed know that 60%-70% of 65-year-olds will require long-term care services at some point in their lives.
-Just 37% know that most long-term care services are received at home.
-Older people (over 60) are more knowledgeable about long-term care than younger people (40 to 49).
-Only 45% are aware that one in five American households care for an adult family member or loved one.
-Few are taking action to protect themselves from such potentially catastrophic expenses; only 18% know long-term care insurance rates are based on age.
-87% are aware that a comprehensive long-term care policy covers home, assisted living and nursing home care.

Read more here at the Right at Home website.

News: Rapid Weight Loss in Elderly May Predict Dementia

From the BBC

In a study involving 1,836 older Japanese-Americans, researchers found that those who lost weight more quickly over the course of the eight-year study were nearly three times more likely to develop dementia. In addition, those with a lower body mass index at the study’s onset were 79 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who were heavier.

Read the rest of the study here