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Nutr Diabetes. 2013 May 27;3:e71. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2013.14.

Benefit of a low-fat over high-fat diet on vascular health during alternate day fasting.

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Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.



Alternate day fasting (ADF) with a low-fat (LF) diet improves brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Whether these beneficial effects can be reproduced with a high-fat (HF) diet remains unclear.


This study compared the effects of ADF-HF to ADF-LF regimens on FMD. The role that adipokines have in mediating this effect was also investigated.


Thirty-two obese subjects were randomized to an ADF-HF (45% fat) or ADF-LF diet (25% fat), consisting of two phases: (1) a 2-week baseline weight maintenance period and (2) an 8-week ADF weight loss period. Food was provided throughout the study.


Body weight was reduced (P<0.0001) in the ADF-HF (4.4±1.0 kg) and ADF-LF group (3.7±0.7 kg). FMD decreased (P<0.05) by ADF-HF relative to baseline (7±1 to 5±2%) and increased (P<0.05) by ADF-LF (5±1 to 7±2%). Blood pressure remained unchanged in both groups. Adiponectin increased (P<0.05) in the ADF-HF (43±7%) and ADF-LF group (51±7%). Leptin and resistin decreased (P<0.05) in the ADF-HF (32±5%; 23±5%) and ADF-LF group (30±3%; 27±4%). Increases in adiponectin were associated with augmented FMD in the ADF-LF group only (r=0.34, P=0.03).


Thus, improvements in FMD with ADF may only occur with LF diets and not with HF diets, and adipokines may not have a significant role in mediating this effect.

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