This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. The subproject and investigator (PI) may have received primary funding from another NIH source, and thus could be represented in other CRISP entries. The institution listed is for the Center, which is not necessarily the institution for the investigator. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) remain the leading cause of death globally as well as here in the United States . Manipulations of the macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate and fat) contents of diet have been used extensively for weight loss and weight control in the past several decades. Low carbohydrate diets, in particular, have gained popularity for weight loss. However, few studies have examined the effects of a diet low in carbohydrates on traditional and novel cardiovascular risk factors in the long term, particularly in contrast to the current dietary recommendations for decreased fat intake to reduce risk of CVD. In this proposal, we plan to conduct a 12-month, parallel-arm, randomized controlled trial of a diet low in carbohydrates versus the currently recommended diet low in fat diet to reduce CVD risk factors among obese adults. The objective of this trial is to examine the long-term effects of a diet low in carbohydrates, as compared to one low in fat, on CVD risk factors, including blood pressure (BP), body weight and composition, serum lipids, plasma glucose, insulin, adipocytokines (adiponectin, leptin, resistin), and C-reactive protein (CRP) among obese adults. In order to accomplish these objectives we will randomize 130 eligible participants (n=65 in each group) to consume either a diet low in carbohydrates (40 g/d) or a diet low in fat (7% saturated fat, 35% total fat). Neither of the diets will be energy-restricted. Participants will meet with a dietitian for one-on-one counseling session weekly for the first 4 weeks, then bi-weekly in small group sessions for the next 5 months, and monthly in larger group sessions for the final 6 months of the intervention. Data on both traditional and novel CVD risk factors will be collected at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months. We hypothesize that a diet low in carbohydrates as compared to a diet low in fat will lower systolic and diastolic BP, body weight, total percent body fat, waist circumference, serum levels of triglycerides, and plasma levels of insulin, glucose, leptin, resistin, and CRP, and increase serum levels of HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin. Because CVD is the most common cause of death here in the U.S. and world-wide, this study has important public health implications. It will provide new information on the potential long-term effects of diets low in carbohydrates on both the traditional risk factors for CVD as well as novel risk factors and inflammatory factors. The results from this study will help to determine if a diet low in carbohydrates as compared to the currently recommended low fat diet can decrease the risk of CVD among obese adults. In addition, this trial will provide the junior investigator, Dr. Bazzano, an opportunity to acquire research skills and experience necessary to launch a successful, sustainable, and independent research career in the investigation dietary and lifestyle approaches to reduce risk factors for hypertension and CVD.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-RI-5 (01))
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Tulane University
Schools of Medicine
New Orleans
United States
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