ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Antioxidants Pose No Melanoma Threat
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Most Mt. Everest Deaths Occur Near Summit During Descent
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
FITNESS
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Can a Bad Boss Make You Sick?
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Add your Article

To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best

(HealthDay News) -- Both a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet such as the popular Atkins program and a low-fat, high-carb diet appear to help people lose pounds over the course of a year.

But as for mood? Only the low-fat diets will result in long-term improvement in mood, according to a study in the Nov. 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

People on both diets consumed roughly the same number of calories.

"Both an energy-reduced, very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet and a conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet are equally effective for achieving weight loss in overweight and obese individuals," explained study author Grant D. Brinkworth, a research scientist with the food and nutritional sciences division of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Adelaide, Australia.

"Both dietary patterns also had similar effects on the cognitive domains assessed," which were working memory and speed of processing, Brinkworth added. "However, the conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat weight-loss diet was shown to have more positive effects on mood compared to the very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet."

Dr. Ewald Horvath, interim chairman of psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said the study was the first "to show both long-term weight loss and improved mood."

"This study looked at one factor, and prior studies haven't focused on psychological factors," Horvath said. "This is a great study focusing on something very important."

Other studies have found short-term improvements in mood in people who lose weight on different diets. And the new study also found such improvements over the first eight weeks of dieting.

But few studies have looked at long-term mood changes among people who lose weight.

Health organizations, such as the American Heart Association, tend to advocate higher-carb, low-fat diets. But many overweight and obese people are propelled toward the high-fat diets such as Atkins, "Livin' La Vida" and "Good Calories, Bad Calories," perhaps because of quick initial weight loss, Horvath said.

For the new study, 106 overweight and obese adults, who averaged 50 years old, were randomly assigned to one of two diets -- a low-calorie, low-carb, high-fat plan or a high-carb, low-fat diet -- for one year. Both diets restricted calories to about 1,433 to 1,672 a day.

A year later, average weight loss was about the same in each group: 30.2 pounds.

After the first eight weeks, participants in both groups showed mood improvements, but that lasted only in the low-fat group. After a year, the mood of those in the high-fat group returned to what it had been before they started dieting, the study found.

"The exact mechanism for the observed effects on mood still remains largely unknown," Brinkworth said. "However, if the mechanism for the return of mood toward more negative baseline levels following weight loss with a very low-carbohydrate diet is related to this diet being so far removed from normal dietary habits, then a very low-carbohydrate diet may be best recommended for individuals who habitually consume low amounts of carbohydrate foods in their diet."

More carbs can increase serotonin concentrations in the brain, whereas added fat and protein can reduce concentrations. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in mood.

"Altered mood has been shown to influence interpersonal behavior and, therefore, the consumption of a very low-carbohydrate diet may have psychosocial consequences for interpersonal behavior and relationships," Brinkworth said. "I am not entirely clear as to the effects of mood on long-term weight loss; however a recent review article ... suggested that one of the factors that may pose risk for poor long-term weight maintenance may be 'eating in response to negative emotions and stress.'"

"Therefore, since negative mood may promote overeating, this suggests that consumption of a very low-carbohydrate diet over an even longer period beyond one year may have implications for maintaining dietary habits and weight loss maintenance," he added. "Further, longer-term studies would be required to confirm this."

SOURCES: Grant D. Brinkworth, Ph.D., research scientist, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Adelaide, Australia; Ewald Horvath, M.D., professor and interim chairman, department of psychiatry, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami; Nov. 9, 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine Published on: November 09, 2009