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The effect of very low-calorie diets on renal and hepatic outcomes: a systematic review

Authors Rolland C, Mavroeidi A, Johnston KL, Broom J

Received 6 July 2013

Accepted for publication 6 August 2013

Published 11 October 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 393—401


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Catherine Rolland,1 Alexandra Mavroeidi,2 Kelly L Johnston,3 John Broom1,3

1Centre for Obesity Research and Epidemiology (CORE), Faculty of Health and Social Care, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK; 2School of Medical Sciences, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK; 3LighterLife Ltd, Harlow, Essex, UK

Abstract: Very low-calorie diets (VLCDs) are an effective means by which to induce clinically significant weight loss. However, their acceptance by health care practitioners and the public is generally lower than that for other nonsurgical weight loss methods. Whilst there is currently little evidence to suggest they have any detrimental effect on hepatic and renal health, data assessing these factors remain limited. We carried out a systematic review of the literature on randomized controlled trials that had a VLCD component and that reported outcomes for hepatic and renal health, published between January 1980 and December 2012. Cochrane criteria were followed, and eight out of 196 potential articles met the inclusion criteria. A total of 548 participants were recruited across the eight studies. All eight studies reported significant weight loss following the VLCD. Changes in hepatic and renal outcomes were variable but generally led to either no change or improvements in either of these. Due to the heterogeneity in the quality and methodology of the studies included, the effect of VLCDs on hepatic and renal outcomes remains unclear at this stage. Further standardized research is therefore required to fully assess the impact of VLCDs on these outcome measures, to better guide clinical practice.

Keywords: obesity, liver, kidney, weight loss, health

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