safety review of Atkin's diet

Doug Skrecky (
Sat, 16 Oct 1999 08:51:13 -0700 (PDT)

Forster H.
[Is the Atkins diet safe
in respect to health?]. [German]
Fortschritte der Medizin. 96(34):1697-702, 1978 Sep 14. Abstract
The "Atkins dietary
revolution" is a ketogenic diet consisting almost exclusively of food from animal origin. A similar diet was introduced as the "Banting diet" more than a century ago by the English physician Harvey. This carbohydrate-free diet is high in fat, cholesterol and purines. The measurable ketosis is a precondition for the effect of this kind of diet. However, the predictable hyperlipacidemia and ketosis are recognized health risks. Additionally, hypercholesterolemia is to be expected in a greater part of the adherents to such a diet. Even children under ketogenic diet develop hypercholesterolemia within a short time. A similar high-fat diet, known as the Sippy
diet for ulcer therapy, was found earlier to cause an increased incidence in coronary heart disease. On the basis of the known facts
the Atkins diet seems to
be potentially hazardous to health, unless a controlled study is performed.
However, considering the risks it seems very problematic to perform such a study.