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Atkins Diet Warning - Researchers do not recommend for Weight Loss due to Health Risks

March 17th, 2006

Atkins Diet Warning - Researchers do not recommend for Weight Loss due to Health Risks

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There have been questions whether or not the Atkins diet is safe.  A group of researchers from the New York School of Medicine says it is not safe and should not be recommended.

One of the complications that can occur on this diet is called ketoacidosis which can be life threatening if not treated.  Diabetic ketoacidosis is more commonly seen, but with low-carb dieting a person enters into a state called ketosis.  The Atkins diet encourages a person to get into the ketosis state for rapid weight loss.

Klaus-Dieter Lessnau along with colleagues did a case report about this life-threatening complication when a 40 year old obese woman was on the Atkins diet.  The woman was following the diet strictly.  She developed ketoacidosis which is caused when excessively high levels of acids called ketones are found in the blood.  When starvation occurs the liver produces Ketones.  Low carbohydrate diets like the Atkins diet leads to Ketones being produced.


"Our patient had an underlying ketosis caused by the Atkins diet and developed severe ketoacidiosis, possibly when her oral intake was compromised from mild pancreatitis or gastroenteritis," said professor Lessnau. "This problem may become more recognized because this diet is becoming increasingly popular worldwide."

Symptoms of ketoacidosis are increased thirst, increased urination, tiredness, a feeling of not being well.  It left untreated, there is a risk of an eventual coma.  Diabetic patients are more at risk for developing ketoacidosis and are usually educated to watch for Ketones in their urine.


Lyn Steffen who is from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis recommends the following, "Low-carbohydrate diets for weight management are far from healthy, given their association with ketosis, constipation or diarrhea, halitosis, headache, and general fatigue."


Although Atkins diet can produce fast weight loss, it does not ensure safe weight loss.  Every person that plans on going on a weight loss diet should consult with a doctor for any hidden health problems.  The researchers recommend a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss and maintenance.

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Nicole Wilson
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM