A High-Carb Diet Reduces Mitochondrial Respiration In Adipose Tissue


From the latest study conducted by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it is proved that mitochondrial respiration of adipocytes can affect the distribution of metabolic fuel into oxidation versus storage, affecting energy expenditure throughout the body. Although insulin has been shown to affect mitochondrial respiration, the effects of macronutrients are not well defined.

A High-Carb Diet Reduces Mitochondrial Respiration In Adipose Tissue

The main aim was to test the hypothesis that a high-carbohydrate diet will reduce mitochondrial respiration in adipose tissue, consistent with the carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity.


Your body requires three types of nutrients for its proper functioning. They are Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. These three nutrients together act as the fuel for our body to strengthen and restore itself. Out of these, carbohydrates play a major role in the production of energy by breaking down into glucose(sugar). They are the easiest source of energy found in berries, vegetables, whole grains, etc.

But from the past few years, there has been a lot of confusion widespread on the use of carbohydrates in your regular diet. From a few latest diet plans like keto, carb-rich foods are considered as the reason for weight gain, and from some other research, they are found in helping reduce the rate of premature deaths. Even though carbohydrates are always considered a major reason for weight gain, they are not bad for your health.

According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, carb-rich foods like whole grains not only provide your body with sufficient energy but also help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The dietary fibers present in the carb-rich foods also reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and aid digestion. Consuming healthy carbs from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains helps in healthy weight control.

The opinions on the benefits of both low-carb diets and high-carb diets may vary according to the experts and studies you might have referred to. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended that eating a moderate amount of carbs of about 45% to 65% of your total daily calories is best for your health.

There are two types of adipose tissue in your body and they are white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). Mitochondria, an organelle that is found in large numbers in most cells is where the biochemical processes like respiration and production of energy occur. It plays a major role in the maintenance of energy homeostasis in metabolic tissues, including adipose tissue.

The abnormality of mitochondria in the fat cells(adipocytes) highly results in metabolic disorders like obesity and type 2 diabetes. This abnormality creates harmful effects on fat cell differentiation, lipid metabolism, insulin sensitivity, oxidative capacity, and thermogenesis, which in turn leads to metabolic diseases.

From many studies it is found that mitochondrial function can be improved by the use of thiazolidinediones, mitochondrial antioxidants, dietary natural nutritional compounds, doing exercise, controlling calorie restriction, thereby maintaining metabolic homeostasis, causing BAT adaptive thermogenesis and WAT browning.

The researchers of the study used an auxiliary study by the Framingham State Food Study for the analysis and the main result of which was total energy expenditure. In short, adults with a BMI ≥ 25 are provided with prepared diets with 60% of their estimated energy requirements to achieve 10-14% weight loss at a start-up.

Individuals achieving the target weight loss weight were stabilized by dietary energy adjustment and randomly assigned to a 20-week trial diet phase of low (20%), moderate (40%), or high (60%) carbohydrate diets. All diets contained 20% protein, which came from diet-like sources, and the rest of the energy came from fat.

The participants of the first two of the three groups of parental trials were invited to participate by telephone interview (n = 51), followed by a personal information session (n = 43). After considering the additional exclusion criteria, 30 participants were eligible for the adjunct study, including those who were randomly included in the trials for the test diets.

The study clearly proved that a high-carbohydrate diet, possibly by increasing insulin secretion, reduces mitochondrial respiratory function, a state of metabolism that promotes the accumulation of fat rather than the oxidation of fat, predisposing it to weight gain.

The findings from the study are consistent with long-term nutritional experiments, which examine the effect of dietary carbohydrate as a proportion of total energy intake on total energy expenditure — a recent study showing the adverse effects of excess nutrition on the carbohydrate oxidizing state of cells.

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