London: Eating an ultra-low calorie diet for just a few weeks could have long-term health benefits, Scottish experts have suggested. Experts at Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, say the "crash diets" - where people consume less than 800 calories-a-day - lead to significant weight loss, improve overweight people's blood pressure, increase fertility and reduce the symptoms of asthma.

A team from the university's Centre for Obesity Research and Epidemiology reviewed 32 studies which had looked into the effects of very-low-energy-diets (VLEDs) on obesity and related health issues, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

The long-term benefits of the crash diets showed significant weight loss in almost all the previous studies.
"We have found that long-term benefits such as improvements in cardiovascular risk, respiratory disorders and fertility are achievable with the use of these short-burst diets," a daily quoted Dr Catherine Rolland, a member of the research team, as saying.

"The knock-on effect was seen for at least five years after the diet ended," Rolland added.
The review also found little evidence to suggest any negative effects of VLEDs on bone health, liver or kidney function - areas of concern highlighted in some previous weight-loss studies into restricted dieting. The findings have been published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

(Agencies)

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