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22 Oct 2020

Low Carb GP to discuss his ‘Eureka’ low carb moment at DPC

David Unwin

Otherwise known as the Low Carb GP, he is joining Consultant Cardiologist Dr Scott Murray to present a session at November’s virtual Diabetes Professional Care  (DPC2020) show on Wednesday, November 11.

“We’re both advocates for lifestyle prescribing and prevention and we want to talk about how effective a low carb diet can be on blood pressure as a possible alternative to lifelong medication” Dr Unwin explains.

Together, they wrote a research paper which showed how following a low carb diet not only improves diabetes control and helps people lose weight but also significantly improves blood pressure.

“We’ve actually known since 1997, that for people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) insulin causes renal sodium retention which in turn can put blood pressure up,” he says.

“Of all the people with T2D who went low carb, 20 per cent were able to stop taking blood pressure meds, so we’ll be exploring whether we’ve been blaming salt for what sugar has actually done.”

Since publication in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health the research paper has gone into the top five per cent of all studies ever published.

Dr Unwin says they are “proud of their achievement” and it “proves” there is great interest in lifestyle prescription among healthcare professionals.

“Our paper gives hope to people and I believe hopefulness is encouraging people to make those changes that become key to good health,” he says.

Interestingly, when recruiting for the study, both doctors ensured they included older people too. The findings found that the over 65s were just as keen as the young participants to make positive health changes and the outcomes were just as good.

Indeed, Dr Unwin has seen how effective a low carb diet can be for blood pressure first-hand.

“I had my Eureka moment back in 2013 when I started feeling dizzy when I stood up. I started monitoring my blood pressure which at the time was quite high. However, when I gave up sugar and starchy carbs, my blood pressure improved significantly.

“I have seen exactly the same happen among so many of my patients and we want to shout about it. Savings from the drug budgets could pay for better quality care for so many people,” Dr Unwin explains.

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