A low-carbohydrate diet is better at cutting blood pressure than weight-loss pills, say US doctors.
In a study pulbished in the Archives of Internal Medecine, twice as many people on a low-carb diet lowered their blood pressure compared to those taking the weight loss drug orlistat, which is marketed under the brand names Alli and Xenical.
Many obese and overweight people are advised to lose weight to help them lower their blood pressure – a classic symptom of PCOS and a severely increased risk factor for a heart attack or stroke.
Researchers from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center say 47% of those in the low-carbohydrate group were able to reduce or cut out their blood pressure medication, compared with around 21% of those on orlistat plus a low-fat diet.
Lead author Dr William Yancy said: “The findings send an important message to people with high blood pressure who are trying to lose weight. While weight loss typically induces improvements in blood pressure, it may be that the low-carbohydrate diet has an additional effect.
“It’s important to know you can try a diet instead of medication and get the same weight loss results with fewer costs and potentially fewer side effects.”