ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
CAREGIVING
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DIET, NUTRITION
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
FITNESS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Tune Up Your Health With Music
Deployment Takes Toll on Army Wives
Laugh and the World Understands
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
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