A new epidemiological study, published in The Lancet,1 sought to determine the extent to which diet, and specifically carbohydrate intake, is linked to total global mortality and major cardiovascular events including fatal cardiovascular disease, non-fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure. Specifically, researchers examined associations between carb intake, total fat, and types of fat with total mortality and cardiovascular disease. The prospective study, which included 135,335 participants, found that excessive consumption of carbohydrates is a contributing factor to total mortality.
The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study was conducted over a period of 10 years, from January 2003 to March 2013, with subjects between the ages of 35-70 from 18 different countries, with a median follow-up of 7.4 years. During this follow-up, the researchers recorded 5,796 deaths and 4,784 cardiovascular events. Upon conducting a statistical analysis, the researchers found an association between subjects whose diets consisted of high carbohydrate intake and total mortality; however, there was no connection between increased carbohydrate consumption and cardiovascular mortality. In addition, the researchers observed that higher saturated fat intake was associated with lower risk of stroke. Total fat, saturated fat, and unsaturated fats were not significantly associated with risk of either cardiovascular mortality or myocardial infarction.
Given the association between excessive carbohydrate intake and total mortality, the study authors concluded that the “global dietary guidelines should be reconsidered in light of these findings.”
Mitch Skop, senior director of new product development, Pharmachem Laboratories Inc. (Kearny, NJ), manufacturer of the ingredient Phase 2 Carb Controller, a white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) ingredient that has been shown to reduce the digestion of starch, commented on the significance of the study data in a press release: “The results of the PURE study powerfully validate what we have known for years—that excessive simple carbohydrates can be a major contributor toward significant health issues and disease that can result in early mortality and dramatically reduced quality of life. The problem is that people are still not getting the message that consumption of too much of the wrong carbs can be hazardous to your health.”
In the press release, Pharmachem also points to a 2016 consumer survey indicating that consumers “focus on the wrong foods when trying to lose weight.” The survey, which was conducted by Customer Experience Partners, demonstrated that consumers are not well-informed or aware about the connection between carbohydrate intake and weight gain, says Pharmachem. Thus, the findings of this PURE study are significant in raising awareness about the negative effects of excessive carbohydrate intake—not only in terms of weight gain but for overall health.
“Our Phase 2 has been studied numerous times and may play a significant role in promoting better health for those carb lovers amongst us by reducing their digestion and absorption,” Skop added. “In a perfect world, everyone would shun simple carbs, the companies would cease production as demand would dry up, and incidence of total mortality, and cases of related health issues such as metabolic diseases and obesity would drop dramatically. A solution that can positively impact western populations is an increased effort to educate about the dangers of a high-carb and high-sugar diet, and to use tools such as dietary supplements that are shown to be effective in managing weight and carbohydrate utilization.”
- Dehghan M et al., “Associations of fats and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 18 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study.” The Lancet. Published online August 29, 2017.