Effects of a low carb diet and whey proteins on anthropometric, hema-tochemical, and cardiovascular parameters in subjects with obesity

Giovanni De Pergola, Roberta Zupo, Luisa Lampignano, Silvia Paradiso, Isanna Murro, Annagrazia Cecere, Nicola Bartolomeo, Marco M. Ciccone, Gianluigi Giannelli, Vincenzo Triggiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The best way to lose body weight, without using drugs and/or suffering hun-ger and stress, has not yet been defined. The present study tested a low carbohydrate diet, enriched with proteins, in subjects with overweight and obesity. Methods: The study enrolled 22 uncomplicated overweight and obese subjects. Several parameters were examined before and after 6 weeks of a low-carbohydrate diet, enriched with 18 g of whey pro-teins. Anthropometric (body mass index, waist circumference) variables, fasting hormones (insulin, TSH, FT3, FT4), and metabolic (glucose, prealbumin, and lipid levels) parameters were measured. 25-OH-vitamin D (25 (OH) D), parathyroid hormone (PTH) and osteocalcin, were also quantified. Body composition parameters (fat mass, fat-free mass, body cell mass, total body water) were measured by electrical bioimpedance analysis. As cardiovascular parameters, blood pressure, endothelium flow-mediated dilation (FMD), and common carotid artery intima-media thickness were also measured. Results: The low-carbohydrate diet integrated with proteins induced a significant decrease in body weight (P < 0.001), waist circumference (P < 0.001), fat mass (P < 0.001), diastolic blood pressure (P < 0.01), triglycerides (P < 0.001), total cholesterol (P < 0.001), pre-albumin (P < 0.001), insulin (P < 0.001), HOMAIR (P < 0.001), FT3 (P < 0.05), and c-IMT (P < 0.001), and a significant increase in FMD (P < 0.001) and 25 (OH) D (P < 0.001) was also observed. Conclusion: All these results suggest that a short-term non-prescriptive low carbohydrate diet, enriched with whey proteins, may be a good way to start losing fat mass and increase health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1719-1725
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine, Metabolic and Immune Disorders - Drug Targets
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Endothelium
  • Intima-media thickness
  • Low carbohydrate diet
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Whey proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy


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