1. A mouse study confirmed that a ketogenic low carb diet (less than 70-100 grams of carbs a day) can reverse diabetic kidney disease.
Michal M. PoplawskiReversal of Diabetic Nephropathy by a Ketogenic Diet. Michal M. Poplawski et al. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (4): e18604 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018604
Explained here: Science Daily: Low Carbohydrate Diets May Reverse Kidney Failure in People With Diabetes
I hesitated to report on this because so much rodent research does not carry over to humans, however, I have heard anecdotally from enough humans who have reversed their own kidney disease over the years by eating a ketogenic diet and keeping their blood sugar completely normal, that it's nice to see some science suggesting it is indeed possible.
2. Another rodent study found that rats with heart failure did much better on a diet that was 60% fat. This makes sense since the heart prefers to run on ketones rather than glucose.Again, this is a rat study, so we have to be cautious, and the researchers are falling all over themselves to avoid concluding that their study proved that a high fat diet doesn't damage the heart--which was probably the opposite of what they set out to prove, but this is one more piece of evidence calling into question the theory that "eating fat will destroy your heart" theory so beloved by cardiologists.
Myocardial insulin resistance induced by high fat feeding in heart failure is associated with preserved contractile function.B. A. Christopher et al. AJP: Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 2010; 299 (6): H1917 DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00687.2010
Described here: Science Daily: Damaged Hearts Pump Better When Fueled With Fats.
3. Finally, a Spanish study found that sixty percent of a random selection of 2,270 adults attending a healthcare centre in Malaga, Andalucia, a region with one of the highest rates of cardiovascular disease in Spain were overweight and obese and had very high risks for cardiovascular disease. This suggests that there is nothing magical about the "Mediterranean Diet" that is usually described as the most heart healthy.
This does not surprise me. There is very little data supporting the healthfulness of this diet and what little there is was collected two generations ago. The few recent diet studies that purported to prove that the Mediterranean diet was healthy did so by comparing it with the "Froot Loops diet"--one made up entirely of junk food.
Though doctors always tell people to eat the Mediterranean diet, there is no study that compares the effect of a diet featuring significant carb restriction to the Mediterranean diet in terms of the effect on blood sugar or health outcomes. So don't let anyone talk you into eating pasta because it's "health food." It isn't. It's nothing more than a slow release glucose delivery system.
Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in an urban adult population from southern Spain. R. Gomez-Huelgas IMAP Study. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 2011; 65 (1): 35 DOI: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2010.02543.x
Discussed here: Science Daily: Alarmingly High Cardiovascular Risk Factors Found in Mediterranean People