These Low Carb and Mortality Association studies keep coming


This is another cohort research using the same underlying studies used by prior research which found higher all cause mortality in those with lower-carb diets. Lower carb, not necessarily low-carb in the sense those in LC communities would classify them as truly “low carb.”

First need to get a copy of the study which isn’t available: only the first page abstract is.

Second, what do you make of this pattern which seems to be recurring:

“In the same model, the association between LCD and overall mortality was stronger in the non-obese (48%) than in the obese (19%) participants.”

What this is saying is those on LC diets with normal BMIs have higher mortality associations than those who are obese. The way I would interpret this is, the lower the carbs, the higher the association. Why? The definition of “low-carb” is loosey-goosey in these studies. So those who are really hard-core low-carb tend to be the ones with the lowest carbs, either on a gram or kcal percentage basis, and they do tend to have normal BMIs.

Which is the same pattern found in a prior cohort study (probably involving the exact same cohorts) published in September 2018:

“The researchers also examined the link between all-cause death and low carbohydrate diets for obese (body mass index [BMI] 30 kg/m2 or greater) and non-obese (BMI under 30 kg/m2) participants in two age groups (55 years and older versus under 55) and found that the link was strongest in the non-obese older participants.”

“Compared to participants with the highest carbohydrate consumption, those with the lowest [carb] intake had a 32% higher risk of all-cause death over an average 6.4-year follow-up.”

In other words, these cohort studies are finding that older adults on LC diets with normal BMIs with the lowest intake of carbs have the highest mortality. The conclusion they draw is based on animal protein and the lack of fiber in such diets.

First, would like to see the data to see if the conclusion drawn is correct. Second, need to see just how low the low carb diet was that was in the lowest segment and implicated in the highest association with mortality. Third, hunch is there probably is something else going on other than the animal protein deal and the fiber deficit. One possibility:

“Long-term effects of a low carbohydrate diet … have been hypothesised to stimulate inflammatory pathways, biological ageing, and oxidative stress.”

Possibly hormonal implications.



Haven’t read this one yet… but perhaps you’d be interested in similar studies I’ve written about and the some issues of methods and analyses:

The egg article is a bit more comprehensive in its discussion of these issues. Would love to hear your thoughts and I’ll try to read the paper you’ve posted soon.


Thanks, we’ll check that out. Didn’t know there was a blog portion to this forum.