What Are the Effects of Low-Carb Diets in Men and Women?

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Low-carb diets can affect men and women differently, say researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, Missouri. One key difference may help women with prediabetes reduce their heart disease risk by cutting carbs.

According to the researchers, men typically lose more weight on a low-carb diet, but women see more improvement in artery flexibility. As woman age and approach and go through menopause, their arteries stiffen, more so than in older men, and arterial stiffness increases the risk for cardiovascular problems.

This small study involved 20 middle-aged men and women with prediabetes (higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but below those required for a diabetes diagnosis). Participants were given carb-restricted meals for two weeks and meal preparing instructions for an additional two weeks. In four weeks, the men in the study lost an average of 6.3 percent of their body weight, while women lost 4.4 percent. A method of measuring arterial stiffness (called pulse wave velocity) showed that the women in the study had an average reduced blood flow speed of 1 meter per second and the men showed no significant changes in blood flow speed.

Sourced from: University of Missouri School of Medicine