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Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet Gets Better Results Than Diet Pill

Regimen found to lower blood pressure more than orlistat and low-fat diet

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Adhering to a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet produces similar outcomes to the weight-loss drug orlistat and a low fat diet in terms of weight loss, serum lipid profile and blood sugar, but it is more effective at lowering blood pressure, according to a study in the Jan. 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

William S. Yancy Jr., M.D., of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues conducted a study of 146 overweight or obese participants with a mean body mass index of 39.3 and a mean age of 52 years, who were randomized to either a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, or orlistat therapy and a low-fat diet. The participants attended group meetings over a period of 48 weeks.

In all, 65 people (88 percent) in the orlistat group and 57 people (79 percent) in the ketogenic-diet group completed the program, and both groups had similar mean changes in weight, at −8.5 and −9.5 percent, respectively, the researchers found. There were comparable improvements in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but the ketogenic-diet group saw greater improvements in terms of lowering blood pressure, the investigators note.

"Weight loss was substantially greater in participants who attended group sessions regularly, which may indicate the usefulness of these sessions, signify motivated participants, or both," the authors write.

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