Case Study Shows Risks with Atkins Diet

The Physicians Committee

Case Study Shows Risks with Atkins Diet

July 1, 2009

In an article published in today’s Journal of the American Dietetic Association, PCRM researchers present a case study of a previously healthy 51-year-old man who developed high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and erectile dysfunction after going on the Atkins Diet, which avoids carbohydrate and emphasizes fatty foods. Within one month, his LDL (“bad”) cholesterol had risen from 85 mg/dl to 154 mg/dl. Eventually, he ended up in an emergency room with chest pain caused by a near total blockage of a coronary artery. Two months after discontinuing the low-carbohydrate diet, his health problems were resolved. The case is remarkable because the individual had a heart scan showing no cardiac disease shortly before beginning the diet.

Barnett TD, Barnard ND, Radak TL. Development of symptomatic cardiovascular disease after self-reported adherence to the Atkins Diet. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109:1263-1265.

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