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colette_heimowitz's Blog
Fascinating medical research updates from Atkins Science Board members

We’ve always said it – science is the basis for our nutritional approach. In order to continue to educate people about the growing body of emerging research highlighting the health benefits associated with the principles of the Atkins Nutritional Approach, as well as the development of new products, Atkins created a multi-disciplinary Science Advisory Board that includes nationally known experts in the fields of nutrition, metabolism, physiology and food science.
The Science Advisory Board advises Atkins on the latest scientific findings and medical studies. Each member of the board provides ongoing expert counsel to Atkins as we continue to help people achieve their weight loss and weight management goals.

At the most recent quarterly meeting of the Atkins Science Advisory Board (SAB), we participated in several fascinating conversations I’d like to share with you. I’ll start with the observations and presentations of two SAB members. If you enjoy them, I can tell you about other members’ presentations in my next blog.

Elizabeth Parks, Ph.D.
A professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas, Dr. Parks observed that consumers are increasingly interested in avoiding the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The SAB members agreed that Atkins Nutritionals might have had a positive influence in influencing the attitudes of both government officials and the public at large about the importance of reducing consumption of these processed sugars. 

Dr. Parks commented that ever since the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement in 2004 advocated limiting soft drink availability in schools, public restrictions on the availability and use of HFCS has tightened. From 2003 to 2007, the trend toward removing vending machines that dispense beverages made with HFCS from schools has gained traction in school districts in large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and Seattle.

On the research front, scientific papers demonstrating the adverse health effects of consuming sugars have increased. Widespread media attention typically follows publication of such studies.  Examples include Peter Havel’s presentation at the American Diabetes association meeting, which showed that higher intake of HFCS increased belly fat, and Dr. Parks’ own recent publication of a study demonstrating the rapid conversion of fructose to body fat.

On the international stage, in Mexico, a 20 percent “sin tax” on beverages that contain HFCS has been proposed. Although to date, the proposal has not has not been passed into law—it's up for another vote this month—the government’s health minister is already making efforts to restrict the sale of foods containing HFCS. In this country, the USDA Outlook Forum has scheduled a program in the spring of 2009 to look at changes in corn syrup prices and use of HFCS in the food market.

One positive side effect of the hike in oil prices is that it has increased the value of corn for producing the biofuel ethanol, which has caused the price of HFCS to increase for the first time. As a result, the use of HFCS by the food and beverage industry is economically less attractive, and the industries are more aggressively looking for alternatives. 

Dr. Parks believes that the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) media campaign, launched last month, is, in part, a response to these trends. The campaign’s strategy is to present HFCS as no different from table sugar (sucrose) and as completely safe when consumed in moderation. You may have seen the CRA commercials on national television recently. Print ads are also running in The New York Times and other newspapers. With your greater understanding of how HFCS affects your body, you may regard the media effort differently than the CRA intends.

Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D.

A dietician and professor of kinesthesiology at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Volek described the experimental results of his laboratory work, pointing to carbohydrate restriction as an alternative or adjunct to other approaches in the treatment of metabolic syndrome. Treatment of this condition generally requires multiple drugs, which nonetheless have had only limited success. In short, carbohydrate restriction uniquely targets all three features of metabolic syndrome: high triglycerides, abdominal fat and insulin resistance.

Work underway in Dr. Volek's laboratory has also shown that during both weight-loss and weight-maintenance phases on a controlled- carbohydrate diet, there is significantly less saturated fat circulating in the blood of controlled-carb subjects than in the blood of individuals following a low-fat diet. It may be counterintuitive, but this means that subjects who ate more saturated fat had less of it circulating in their blood than did subjects who ate less saturated fat. In short, controlling carbs mitigates the effects of consuming saturated fat.

Finally, Dr. Volek in another study investigated whether the quality of fat mattered on a low carbohydrate diet when individuals are not losing weight. His team found  that a very low-carbohydrate diet that is supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) results in an even better fatty acid composition profile in the blood. This is very preliminary, but may indicate that a controlled-carbohydrate diet that emphasizes monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids and slightly lower saturated fatty acid consumption is an ideal way to eat when an individual is no longer losing weight.

If you find these updates from researchers on the front lines of nutritional science as interesting as I do, let me know, and I’ll bring you more of the latest news from the Atkins Science Advisory Board next week.

Published Thursday, October 16, 2008 07:46 PM by colette_heimowitz
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Comments
colette_heimowitz said:
Keep me posted.That is highly unusual.
November 26, 2008 04:17 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
We are working on a new bake mix; it is targeted for the online store only. Check back in 6 months. We had to discontinue the old bake mix because sales were not very good. We are working on an improved version.

The company went through a restructuring several years back and one of things that were discontinued were the supplement line. We just couldn't compete in the supplement arena.


February 22, 2009 05:26 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
Hi Sarge92,
That is highly unlikely. Where you fasting for your blood test? It could be a lab error. One thing you can count on is triglygerides to plummet . I could always tell who was cheating by the triglyceride reading. When it goes up it reflects an individual is consuming too many carbohydrates.

If you were not fasting then the result is not accurate.
November 25, 2008 04:42 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
Hi Tayner,
If you are showing ketones, it means you are burning fat. The scales are bound to catch up if you stick with the program. Don't worry too much about the shades. There are so many variables it is difficult to get an accurate urine reading.

You can post your daily intake in the discussion groups so the group can trouble shoot and make sure you are doing the program correctly.
Make sure you are eating all your vegetables to avoid constipation because that could slow down the scale reading.
November 25, 2008 04:37 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
Hi Marcus,
Unfortunately there are many myths about Atkins that are unsubstantiated. There is a certain learning curve to this lifestyle and if a person is only going by media impressions of steak frying in butter, you can understand their concern. An educated individual would know better.
There has been more than 30 years of independent research on ketogenic diets with over 3,000 subjects, 30 years of clinical experience at the Atkins center, and now 4 years of trails looking specifically at the Atkins protocol which have demonstrated safety.
The counter intuitive factor is still enormous. We have made significant progress in the battle of controlling carb consumption vs. eating the low-fat way. There is growing acceptance that Americans are eating far too many refined carbohydrates in the form of white flour, sugar and many snack foods. There is also more awareness of the lack of evidence for the low-fat approach. However, most people in their heart of hearts are still unwilling to believe that the ANA is not ALL about only Induction, and that it is perfectly okay to fill up on protein, healthy fats and vegetables until weight goals are achieved even after all that research.
A researcher once told me that there is a 20 year rule for the mainstream to catch up with scientific knowledge. Unfortunately most of us can't wait that long and need to be ambassadors
November 25, 2008 04:46 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
It is normal for the appetite to be suppressed somewhat during Induction. In phase two, once you add more carbs, it should return to normal.

It may also be a good idea to do a spot check to be sure you are not taking in too few calories which can also suppress the appetite. When individuals follow very low-calorie diets their basal metabolic rate will slow down to compensate for the low caloric intake. This is the body's survival response to preserve its internal organs and muscle mass. If someone is following the Atkins protocol correctly, he or she should not be taking in fewer than 1,500 to 1800 calories daily. This energy supply should not cause a drop in the metabolic rate, but rather maintain the rate while using primarily fat (instead of carbohydrate) as a fuel for needed energy.
December 17, 2008 07:45 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
It is natural to go through periodic phases of shedding hair. But if this is an ongoing problem, make sure you're not restricting calories or skipping meals. Any weight-loss regimen may lower your metabolic rate, which can result in hair loss. Unlike calorie-restricted diets, Atkins is the least likely of any weight-loss program to contribute to hair loss because the higher caloric content keeps the body from behaving as though it is in a starvation mode. When that happens, your metabolism is lowered as a survival mechanism.
Alternatively, you might be low in some specific nutrients that could affect your hair loss. You might try adding biotin, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), glutathione and lecithin to your diet. If excessive hair loss occurs, see your doctor.
December 09, 2008 02:45 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
1. Dr Hoffman’s formulas are the close to Dr Atkins formulas at about the same price. Multi; http://www.drhoffman.com/page.cfm/63

2. Dr Salerno duplicated Dr Atkins formulas as in Basic#1 http://www.salernocenter.com/main.html
December 15, 2008 11:43 AM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
Although excessive protein intake remains a health concern in individuals with pre-existing renal disease, the literature lacks significant research demonstrating a link between protein intake and the initiation or progression of renal disease in healthy individuals. More importantly, evidence suggests that protein-induced changes in renal function are likely a normal adaptative mechanism well within the functional limits of a healthy kidney. Without question, long-term studies are needed to clarify the scant evidence currently available regarding this relationship. At present, there is not sufficient proof to warrant public health directives aimed at restricting dietary protein intake in healthy adults for the purpose of preserving renal function.
December 08, 2008 02:05 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
Our bars are clinically tested for blood sugar response and the net carb claim reflect those results. It comes pretty close to the subtraction method were you subtract fiber, sugar alcohols and glycerine. The FDA does not allow us to post glycerine in the Nutrition Facts Panel, so subtract fiber and sugar alcohol and whatever is left is glycerine.
October 29, 2008 03:40 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
You can use a bran crisp flat bread which is all fiber and only 2 net carbs and melt some sort of cheese on it.
October 29, 2008 03:36 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
Sorry, I just figured out how to check questions from the blog. Sorry it took so long for me to post. The Endulge line of Atkins products has higher sugar alcohol content than the Advantage line of nutrition bars. The peanut caramel bars has only 4 grams so you should be fine, but the peanut butter cups has something like 10 grams of sugar alcohols. Diabetics react diffferently to sugar alcohols so be careful. test a small amount and see how you do. Endulge bars are more like a better for you candy, the Advantage bars and Day Break bars are more nutritional and have less sugar alhohols.
October 29, 2008 03:34 PM EST
dpauls8949 said:
I am concerned as I was checking the nutritional data on the Atkins Bars, and counting the carbs less the fiber they are way higher in net carbs than what it says on the package.

Why is this?
October 25, 2008 06:49 PM EST
mamaCD said:
I am an old Atkins pro. I have tried every eating plan, and gained weight back. Atkins is the only one that works well for me. 5 years ago I found the answer, lose weight and never be hungry through Atkins. I lost about 80 lbs and kept it all off for about 3 years. Recently, due to poorly managed life stresses, I have fallen 30lbs off the wagon. Tomorrow is my birthday, I am determined to return to Atkins, its the only way to eat well and regain health.
November 16, 2008 09:04 AM EST
nreiff said:
Hi Jelly,
I would keep going with your induction. I think we all have slips...I know I do. For me what works is to get back on the wagon asap. You might want to make sure you're not letting yourself get too hungry. If I don't plan ahead for meals and snacks and I get really hungry...and house plants start to look tasty! Hope this helps.
October 31, 2008 02:32 AM EST
SarahC said:
Thanks for all the good info..very helpful!!
November 20, 2008 06:15 PM EST
JenniferK said:
Colette! I love all the research that supports the Aktins Nutritional Approach - I know from personal experience that this way of eating is best! It's great to see the science that supports my personal experience!

Jen
October 19, 2008 06:09 PM EST
Diana-Shepherdess said:
Colette,

Thanks for this information. I like the fact that this type of reporting is given on the front page of the new Atkins Web Format. I am a very busy, no time to waste, farmer. (I'm sure all of you are equally busy.) Having this information on the front page, able to click it and read while sipping my morning coffee before chores allows me to be more update.

I don't have time anymore to search the web for the latest scientific research on my chosen eating/lifestyle. This allows easier, quicker access.

Thanks, Diana

October 26, 2008 07:19 AM EST
lmoreno8945 said:
Thank you Colette I think we all appreciate the information to back up something we already strongly believe in. I do have a question about the rumors or worries of others on our kidneys can you clear that up for me? Another question I have is that my daughter is pregnant and had just started phase 1 about a month ago can she still maintain a low carb diet and have a healthy pregnancy
December 06, 2008 03:43 PM EST
lmoreno8945 said:
Thank you Colette I think we all appreciate the information to back up something we already strongly believe in. I do have a question about the rumors or worries of others on our kidneys can you clear that up for me? Another question I have is that my daughter is pregnant and had just started phase 1 about a month ago can she still maintain a low carb diet and have a healthy pregnancy
December 06, 2008 03:43 PM EST
lmoreno8945 said:
What multi vitamin would you recommend? I am taking Centrum Silver but my daughter says she read about something it contains that may be harmful.
December 13, 2008 06:57 AM EST
lmoreno8945 said:
I've been on Atkins for about 5 months and recently started the OWL phase I've been experiencing a lot of hair loss lately I don't know if this is related to my diet or what to think? I feel great, I've lost 38 pounds and was a 14 and now wearing size 7 Its just the hair loss that maybe has been really bad the last month
December 09, 2008 06:05 AM EST
lmoreno8945 said:
I've been on Atkins for about 5 months and recently started the OWL phase I've been experiencing a lot of hair loss lately I don't know if this is related to my diet or what to think? I feel great, I've lost 38 pounds and was a 14 and now wearing size 7 Its just the hair loss that maybe has been really bad the last month
December 09, 2008 06:05 AM EST
lmoreno8945 said:
I've been on Atkins for about 5 months and recently started the OWL phase I've been experiencing a lot of hair loss lately I don't know if this is related to my diet or what to think? I feel great, I've lost 38 pounds and was a 14 and now wearing size 7 Its just the hair loss that maybe has been really bad the last month
December 09, 2008 06:05 AM EST
ILoveMyCavaliers said:
Colette, I found both of these articles interesting (and alarming in view of the CRA media blitz!) and would welcome updates from researchers into the subjects that affect us. :-) Mary
October 17, 2008 11:14 AM EST
msdetermined said:
Off topic - I love your Cavaliers too - they are adorable dogs. I have a Chihuahua that is the light of my life but think those Cavaliers are the cutests dogs!
October 29, 2008 11:37 AM EST
adagg said:
thank you collette for the imformation.i think any atkins suporter is happy to have new imformation that supports the atkins way of life.it is very encouraging to have your expertise. angela
October 18, 2008 02:44 AM EST
peggy99atkins said:
I can't eat eggs. What are other options for my Atkins program.
October 25, 2008 03:08 PM EST
meow said:
The NDR book says that after a binge, the next meal should be all protein, and take some extra chromium, up your water intake as well. I like to drink some strong green tea, if it's not late in the day, for the diuretic effect ( counteracts the carb-produced water retention).
November 06, 2008 01:01 PM EST
JeanneBeans said:
I feel like I need to record publicly that I am back on Atkins. It is the only plan that relieves me of my cravings for sweets and helps me lose. I lost a bunch a few years ago and gained it back. Have probably started on Atkins unsuccessfully 10 times. I HAVE to do it this time. I am 55 now and up to 300 lbs. Starting to look and feel very unhealthy and like a slob. So, day 1 is done. Tomorrow, day 2.
December 04, 2008 10:21 PM EST
JeanneBeans said:
I feel like I need to record publicly that I am back on Atkins. It is the only plan that relieves me of my cravings for sweets and helps me lose. I lost a bunch a few years ago and gained it back. Have probably started on Atkins unsuccessfully 10 times. I HAVE to do it this time. I am 55 now and up to 300 lbs. Starting to look and feel very unhealthy and like a slob. So, day 1 is done. Tomorrow, day 2.
December 04, 2008 10:22 PM EST
JeanneBeans said:
I feel like I need to record publicly that I am back on Atkins. It is the only plan that relieves me of my cravings for sweets and helps me lose. I lost a bunch a few years ago and gained it back. Have probably started on Atkins unsuccessfully 10 times. I HAVE to do it this time. I am 55 now and up to 300 lbs. Starting to look and feel very unhealthy and like a slob. So, day 1 is done. Tomorrow, day 2.
December 04, 2008 10:22 PM EST
JeanneBeans said:
I feel like I need to record publicly that I am back on Atkins. It is the only plan that relieves me of my cravings for sweets and helps me lose. I lost a bunch a few years ago and gained it back. Have probably started on Atkins unsuccessfully 10 times. I HAVE to do it this time. I am 55 now and up to 300 lbs. Starting to look and feel very unhealthy and like a slob. So, day 1 is done. Tomorrow, day 2.
December 04, 2008 10:21 PM EST
jellybelly80 said:
thanks, nreiff
And yes it's true I did go there with a empty belly!! Won't do that again.
October 31, 2008 08:34 AM EST
jellybelly80 said:
I have a question that has nothing at all to do with the research.
I have been on adkins for 3 days and just reached ketosis this morning then binged on sugar and starch in the afternoon I fell terrible now, out of breath, headache, and tired, what should I do, fast untill morning and start over agian, or just keep going with my induction????
October 30, 2008 02:18 PM EST
Abbie said:
Hi,
My name is Abbie Lin, I am new to start using the Atkin's diet, any suggestions to help me stay on track.
November 02, 2008 08:57 AM EST
june09 said:
My name is Tina, and I am day two on Atkin's. I am feeling alot better already.
I would like to here some successful Atkins diet stories.
November 12, 2008 07:55 PM EST
Sarge92 said:
I am wondering about the reduction in the triglyceride levels. Prior to starting my diet, my triglyceride level was 200mg/dl. That was 4 weeks ago. I've lost 14 pounds since starting the diet and that's great! However, my triglyceride level has almost doubled to 397. My total cholesterol is only 168 but that triglycerde level has me worried. Any advice?
November 25, 2008 01:59 PM EST
Sarge92 said:
Collette
Thanks for the reply. Yes I was fasting and I did not cheat on the carbs. I suppose it could be a lab error. I'll find out in 90 days when I have my next test.
November 26, 2008 11:21 AM EST
judy.p said:
thank you Colette, I am just getting back to Atkins after a typical fell off the wagon story. so am anxious to see success again, and hearing the scientific details is always helpful. Please continue to provide us with new info. Greatly appreciated.
November 17, 2008 03:06 PM EST
solly1 said:
Yes I enjoyed this info. I've only just started On Atkins , and wondered if his book "the New Diet Revolution", 2003 is a bit dated, so it's interesting to see the recent research. Wendy
November 17, 2008 10:56 PM EST
Tayner said:
I have been on the atkins diet for three weeks. Lost 7 lbs first week and have since gained 2 lbs back. Not sure why I am not losing more? Have been in ketosis all along, in the second from highest range on the chart. Do I have to be in the highest darkest range or is one or two down the scale OK?
November 24, 2008 04:59 PM EST
marcus said:
hello everybody!! just a curious question really , ive been on the atkins diet now for about 3month and iam amazed by the results, i was over 20st and so many pounds, im now down to exactly 17st my taget is 16st witch you could say not far to go now , anayway my only concern is this , alot of people are giving me the horror stories about atkins , feeling tired ect ect , and how your kidneys can stop workin , in my opinon to be honest i feel ok but i do feel tired is it because im only puting in 20g per day ? because i have done this for the last 3 months !! , i dont know what to add any good advice please thank you !!
November 25, 2008 09:22 AM EST
marcus said:
hi there Colette thank you for relpying to my post , in my opinon i belive the atkins diet is the way foward to maintain alot of weight loss , when i hear horror stories about this diet i just say " well look at me now " i can eat as much as i want and still loose wieght , i try and educate people about this diet including my family , because they thought i was obsesed about dieting , i told them this there a difrence between obsession and determation , iam determnded to reach my goal of 16st maybe less i dunno yet , and the atkins i belive is the only one that leaves me satisfied all the best
i will be in touch soon to ask more questions about "ccl"
November 25, 2008 07:47 PM EST
kittypat said:
I love this diet. I have never dieted before.
I gained 20 lbs over the last 5 years due to
overeating carbs.. I just completed the induction
and lost 12 lbs, now I'm moving into the
2nd phase, but I am not hungry at all. Any suggestions?

Thank you....
December 17, 2008 11:19 AM EST
barbisless said:
Hi. Like many of you, this is not my first time on Atkns. I lost on it before. I bought into the "health fiber bread " and made many breads which I love. I also gained weight and my waistline went up 2 sizes. In my first week back on the program, I lost 5 pounds and one inch off my waist ! Amazing ! I am a little leary about my cholesterol and lipids, but will have them drawn in a couple of months.I do enjoy having chicken salad with mayo !I am grateful for all the new advice and nutritional information that is available to us now . Thank you !
January 11, 2009 12:09 PM EST
Lynette5001 said:
Colette,thank you for all the information and advice you provide! I would like to know why the company no longer produces the Atkins nutritional supplements. Also I have not been able to find the Atkins bake mix or pancake mix/syrup. Are they still being distributed?
February 21, 2009 11:43 AM EST
axelmarrero said:
I am glad to be back on Atkins. I stared yesterday after falling off the wagon six months ago. I was always successfull on Atkins and was able to maintain my "fighting weight" of 140 for five years. Unfortunately, after relocating for a new job and house I strayed away from the lifestyle and gained 12 pounds. I really believe stress and a hectic work schedule is our #1 enemy. I stared the induction phase yesterday that within three weeks I will be back to 138lbs. I wish everyone good luck!!!!!! Summer is right around the corner.:)
March 02, 2009 01:04 PM EST
rdaugherty said:
is the snacks like peanut carmel bars and peanut butter cups which are new with 0 sugar still ok if you have diabetes
October 16, 2008 08:45 PM EST
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