Alarming study results: Low-carb diet can trigger biofactor deficiency

A low-carbohydrate diet can result in a deficiency of vital biofactors, especially vitamins and minerals. This is the result of a current evaluation of various studies on the supply of biofactors in people who have undergone a low-carb diet in order to lose weight.

Low-carb diet shown to reduce the supply of vitamins and minerals
Scientists from Scotland analysed data from a total of 10 studies that investigated the consequences of a low-carb diet, including Atkins and Paleo diets in particular, on the biofactor status.
Depending on the study design, the participants took in between 4% and 34% of their daily energy in the form of carbohydrates. The analysis of the biofactor status showed alarming results: In all individuals, the intake of vitamin B1 (thiamine) and folic acid, as well as the minerals magnesium, calcium, iodine and iron, fell by 10% to a maximum of 70% during the low-carb diet compared to the beginning of the study.

Low-carb diet: Ensuring the supply of biofactors
The proven reduced supply of essential vitamins and minerals as part of a low-carb diet could lead to an undersupply of these biofactors over the long term, according to the scientists. People who would like to lose weight with the help of a low-carbohydrate diet should therefore ensure that they have a sufficient supply of vitamins B1 and folic acid, as well as the minerals magnesium, calcium, iodine and iron, and consider supplementing the biofactors concerned.


  • Churuangsuk C, Griffiths D, Lean MEJ, Combet E. Impacts of carbo-hydrate-restricted diets in micronutrient intakes and status: A system-atic review. Obes Rev.2019 Apr 22.
  • Doi: 10.1111/obr.12857. [Epub ahead of print]