Research Linking Crash Diets and Deterioration in Heart Function

Charles Laverty Blog On Research Connecting Crash dieting and Heart Stress

Transient Deterioration From Short Term Increase in Heart Fat Content

Research on the health impact of crash diets conducted at the Oxford Centre for Magnetic Resonance at Oxford University found some interesting results. Obese patients on meal replacement diets were  600 to 800 kcal per day for 56 days. While insulin and fat levels did decrease the first week, heart fat levels increased about 44% in the study in the first week. In the first week body fat (of course), visceral fat and liver fat all fell and the patients displayed improvements in insulin resistance, fasting total cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and blood pressure.

Short Term Stresses On Heart Possible

By the end of the study the heart fat levels had improved beyond where they had started so these diets do display a number of health benefits. Doctors warned that people with heart disease or other cardiovascular conditions should discuss these diets with a health care professional before hand to ensure they can handle the short term impacts.

Dr Rayner said: “The metabolic improvements with a very low calorie diet, such as a reduction in liver fat and reversal of diabetes, would be expected to improve heart function. Instead, heart function got worse in the first week before starting to improve.”

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