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Influence of a low-carbohydrate diet on endothelial microvesicles in overweight women


Antony L. Wekesa

Lorna M. Doyle

Doreen Fitzmaurice


John P. Phelan

Keith S. Cross

Michael Harrison


Low-carbohydrate diets (LCD) are increasing in popularity, but their effect on vascular health has been questioned.
Endothelial microvesicles (EMV) are membrane-derived vesicles with the potential to act as a sensitive prognostic biomarker of vascular health and endothelial function. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of a LCD on EMV and other endothelial biomarkers of protein origin. Twenty-four overweight women (age, 48.4 ± 0.6 years; height, 1.60 ± 0.07 m; body mass, 76.5 ± 9.1 kg; body mass index, 28.1 ± 2.7 kg·m−2; waist circumference, 84.1 ± 7.4 cm; mean ± standard deviation) were randomised
to either 24 weeks on their normal diet (ND) or a LCD, after which they crossed over to 24 weeks on the alternative diet.
Participants were assisted in reducing carbohydrate intake, but not below 40 g·day−1. Body composition and endothelial biomarkers were assessed at the crossover point and at the end of the study. Daily carbohydrate intake (87 ± 7 versus 179 ± 11 g) and the percentage of energy derived from carbohydrate (29% versus 44%) were lower (p < 0.05) on the LCD compared to the ND, but absolute fat and saturated fat intake were unchanged. Body mass and waist circumference were 3.7 ± 0.8 kg and 3.5 ± 1.0 cm
lower (p < 0.05), respectively, after the LCD compared with the ND phases. CD31+CD41−EMV, soluble (s) thrombomodulin, sE-selectin, sP-selectin, serum amyloid A and C-reactive protein were lower (p < 0.05) after the LCD compared to the ND, but serum lipids and apolipoproteins were not different. EMV along with a range of endothelial and inflammatory biomarkers are reduced by a LCD that involves modest weight loss.


Wekesa, A. L., Doyle, L. M., Fitzmaurice, D., O’Donovan, O., Phelan, J. P., Ross, M. D., …Harrison, M. (2016). Influence of a low-carbohydrate diet on endothelial microvesicles in overweight women. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 41(5), 522-527.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 4, 2016
Online Publication Date Mar 10, 2016
Publication Date 2016-05
Deposit Date May 3, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 3, 2016
Print ISSN 1715-5312
Electronic ISSN 1715-5320
Publisher NRC Research Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 5
Pages 522-527
Keywords Vascular health; endothelial biomarkers; weight loss; microparticles;
Public URL
Publisher URL


Wekesa et al 2016 App Physiol Nutr Metab Low CHO and Microvesicles Proof.pdf (<nobr>344 Kb</nobr>)

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