Research says low carbohydrate diets are unsafe

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In Germany, a large study concluded that low carbohydrate diets are unsafe and should be avoided. Compared to participants with the highest carbohydrate consumption, those with the lowest intake had a 32 percent higher risk of all-cause death. In addition, risks of death from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and cancer were increased by 51 percent, 50 percent, and 35 percent, respectively.

The results were confirmed in a meta-analysis of seven prospective cohort studies with 447,506 participants and an average follow-up of 15.6 years, which respectively found 15 percent, 13 percent, and 8 percent increased risks in total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality with low carbohydrate diets.

This study examined the relationship between low carbohydrate diets, all-cause death, and deaths from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease (including stroke), and cancer in a nationally representative sample of 24,825 participants of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey  during 1999 to 2010.