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In brief, January 6th 2014

Role of diet and nutritional management in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease Fan JG, Cao HX. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Dec;28 Suppl 4:81-7.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is closely associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. This condition can be reduced by 3 to 5% by adopting a low-calorie diet plus physical exercise and/or by making behavioural changes. A further 10% weight loss improves the necroinflammatory hepatic symptoms. The  authors recommend that patients should gradually lose weight by reducing their calorie intake and increasing their protein, mono-insaturated fatty acid, omega-3 and probiotic food consumption levels.



Effects of anti-obesity drugs, diet, and exercise on weight-loss maintenance after a very-low-calorie diet or low-calorie diet: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Johansson K, Neovius M, Hemmingsson E. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Oct 30

The authors analyze twenty scientific studies in order to compare three weight-maintenance strategies for patients who have followed low- or very-low-calorie diets. During the weight-reduction period, a mean weight loss of 12.3 kg was achieved within 8 weeks. The data analyzed show that anti-obesity drugs and food substitutes were the most successful means of weight maintenance. Increasing the protein intake or combining a low fat intake with a low glycemic index diet also helped patients to maintain their loss of weight, but to a lesser extent. Neither physical exercise not dietary supplementation with green tea, fibres or ALC  helped to maintain the patients’ loss of weight.   



Timing of energy intake during the day is associated with the risk of obesity in adults. Wang JB, Patterson RE, Ang A, Emond JA, Shetty N, Arab L. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2013 Jun 27.  

This American clinical study deals with the amount of energy consumed by 326 subjects before 11:00 h, between 11:00 h and 17:00 h, and after 17:00 h, and the possible associations with their BMI. The authors observed that eating more than 33% of the daily food intake before midday reduces the risk of being overweight or obese by 32%, whereas eating more than 33% of the daily food intake in the evening is associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of being overweight or obese. In conclusion, having large breakfasts and  light suppers is a good way of preventing overweight and obesity.



Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets. Paoli A, Rubini A, Volek JS, Grimaldi KA. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;67(8):789-96.

After outlining the physiology of ketosis, the authors review the various indications for ketogenic diets and their advantages for treating pathological conditions such as diabetes, poly-cystic ovary syndrome, acne, neurological disorders, cancer, and cardiovascular and respiratory anomalies. The data are classified depending on the level of proof available: (1) solid evidence in the case of weight reduction, cardiovascular anomalies, diabetes and epilepsy; and (2) emerging evidence in the case of acne, neurological disorders, poly-cystic ovary syndrome and cancer. The mechanisms possibly involved are discussed.



Long-term effects of low glycemic index/load vs. high glycemic index/load diets on parameters of obesity and obesity-associated risks: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Schwingshackl L, Hoffmann G. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Aug;23(8):699-706.

The results of this meta-analysis of 14 clinical studies (involving 2344 participants, excluding patients with type 2 diabetes) suggest that low glycemic inex/load diets have beneficial long-term effects on fasting insulin and pro-inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein. This finding should be of particular relevance to the primary prevention of the health risks associated with obesity.  


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