Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

The Evidence on Low-Carb Diets

Researchers hope studies currently underway will help answer some of those questions about the safety of low-carb diets. Until then, only short-term studies have addressed these issues.

A review of the research currently available on the safety and effectiveness of low-carb diets published last year in The Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that there was "insufficient evidence for or against the use of these diets."

"Despite the large number of Americans who have apparently adopted this approach to weight loss and/or weight maintenance, we know little of its effects or consequences," write researcher Dena Bravata, MD, of the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research at Stanford University and colleagues.

Some short-term studies have shown an improvement in cholesterol levels after six months on the Atkins diet. But Bravata's study showed that of the few low-carb studies that included information on cholesterol levels of the participants, there was no change in total, LDL ("bad") and HDL ("good") cholesterol levels. In contrast, the larger number of studies on higher-carbohydrate diets that included information on cholesterol levels showed a significant decline in total cholesterol levels.

Researchers say the lack of long-term data on low-carb diets severely limits their ability to evaluate their safety and effectiveness in promoting weight loss as well as reducing the risk of heart disease.

"The bottom line is that there is no single diet that is optimal for everyone," says Hu. "But if you choose the healthy sources of fats, carbohydrates, and protein, you can have many options to design a healthy diet not only for weight loss but also for the prevention heart disease and diabetes."

WebMD Health News

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...